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lunedì 25 maggio 2015
Working on this painting touched me both on a spiritual level as well as on an emotional one, and there are so many things I’d like to say about it - but I’ll let the image speak for me this time.
I dedicate this to all mothers, to all those warrior and nurturing spirits out there standing up for what they believe in.
(quick note on the Irish Elk that inspired this work: despite its name, it was found all across Europe and Asia, and in North Africa, and is technically a deer rather than an elk. It is famed for the size of its antlers, which spanned up to 4.3m and weighed 45kg. Irish elk fossils are found in large numbers in Ireland’s peat bogs and many are of males that suffered from malnutrition, which suggests they lived a life much like today’s red deer spending each autumn fighting for the right to mate. The Irish elk’s skeleton suggests that it was an endurance runner that could wear out predators without tiring itself.)
Artwork for Fate of the Norns.
The Banshee, (Irish Bean Sidhe, Scots Gaelic Ban Sith, “woman of the fairies”, or “woman of the barrows”) is a female spirit in Irish and other Celtic folklore whose mournful “keening,” or wailing screaming or lamentation, at night was believed to foretell the death of a member of the family of the person who heard the spirit. In Ireland banshees were believed to warn only families of pure Irish descent. The Welsh counterpart, the gwrach y Rhibyn (“witch of Rhibyn”), visited only families of old Welsh stock.
(Artwork for Fate of the Norns)
Anne Bonny, from Black Sails. (In case you didn’t know, she’s not a fictional character. She was born probably around 1700 in Co. Cork, Ireland, and started pirating merchant vessels around the Jamaican coast with Jack “Calico” Rackham when she was in her 20′s, helped by Mary Read, one of the most famous female pirates of her time. You can read more about her life here.) Watercolour and PS.
“Eos of the rose fingers” (”Ῥοδοδάκτυλος Ἠώς”, Rhododaktylos Ēōs, as Homer used to call her), was the ancient Greek goddess of dawn. She rose each morning from her home at the edge of the Oceanus, and was the daughter of the titans Hyperion and Theia, and sister of Helios, the sun, and Selene, the moon.
domenica 8 marzo 2015
sabato 7 febbraio 2015
mercoledì 4 febbraio 2015
I've had this painting in my mind since I first visited Wales. Last summer I worked on an organic farm near Llanidloes, experiencing true rural life , sleeping in a barn (best bed ever, if you ask me!), tending to animals and wandering through the hills nearby.
domenica 1 febbraio 2015
I want to thank all who voted for my “May Queen” to be chosen for the Beltane Fire Festival poster! It seems like you’ll be seeing it on the streets of Edinburgh soon :)
I’ll most likely be in Edinburgh for the festival, see you there on the 30th of April to celebrate the coming of Summer? :)
Völva, the Wand-Wed, shamanic seeress and priestess among the Norse.
First digital painting of the year! It’s been a while, glad to see I haven’t lost my touch.
Vafþrúðnir (Old Norse “mighty weaver”) is a wise jötunn in Norse mythology. His name comes from Vaf, which means weave or entangle, and thrudnir, which means strong or mighty. Some interpret it to mean “mighty in riddles”. It may be anglicized Vafthruthnir or Vafthrudnir. In the Poetic Edda poem Vafþrúðnismál, Vafþrúðnir acts as (the disguised) Odin’s host and opponent in a deadly battle of wits that results in Vafþrúðnir’s defeat.
Heimdallr, in Old Norse, is the watchman of the gods. Called the shining god and whitest skinned of the gods, Heimdall dwelt at the entry to Asgard, where he guarded Bifrost, the rainbow bridge. He required less sleep than a bird, could see 100 leagues, and could hear grass growing in the meadows and wool growing on sheep. Heimdall kept the “ringing” horn, Gjallarhorn, which could be heard throughout heaven, earth, and the lower world; it was believed that he would sound the horn to summon the gods when their enemies, the giants, drew near at the Ragnarök, the end of the world of gods and men. When that time came, Heimdall and his enemy Loki would slay each other. (Enciclopedia Britannica)
(Artwork for Fate of the Norns.)
Freyr (or Frey) is one of the most important Vanir gods of Norse paganism, associated with sacral kingship, virility and prosperity, with sunshine and fair weather. Son of the sea god Njörðr, and twin brother of the goddess Freyja. Gullinbursti is the name of his shining dwarf-made boar. (Artwork for Fate of the Norns)
Kitsune (狐) is the Japanese word for fox. Foxes are a common subject of Japanese folklore. Stories depict them as intelligent beings and as possessing magical abilities that increase with their age and wisdom. Foremost among these is the ability to assume human form. While some folktales speak of kitsune employing this ability to trick others—as foxes in folklore often do—other stories portray them as faithful guardians, friends, lovers, and wives. Kitsunebi (狐火) is a kaika (atmospheric ghost lights and fires of unknown origin similar to the will-o’-wisp) told about in legends all across Japan outside Okinawa Prefecture. As its name implies, it has a close relation to kitsune (foxes), and there are many theories stating that the glow of the sigh or long breaths of a fox, other than that it is also said that a fox is knocking together its tail and causing a fire, or that it is the glow from a ball that the fox possesses called the kitsunebi-dama (kitsunebi ball).
“For he comes, the human child
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand
From a world more full of weeping
than he can understand."
I found the ispiration for this painting in one of the songs by Loreena McKennitt: The Stolen Child, homage to my favourite Irish poet. For me, being “taken by the fairies” can also be seen as a methaphore for the capturing power of music. The singer, as a bard, becomes a channel that opens the path to a world that lies beyond the ordinary.