Monday, April 5, 2010

Not Characters, Not Animals...


I know I am jumping about like a rabbit but at least I am a Celtic bunny. :-) With Celtic Art, The Methods of Construction by George Bain in hand and The Celtic Design Book: A Beginner's Manual, Knotwork, Illuminated Letters by Aidan Meehan on the way, I'd like to try some knotmaking.

But before I delve into those texts, I want to first try an exercise from Katharine's web site.

I left out the shading and border, as clearly this turned out to be a practice piece. I did okay with the initial layout of the squares but got a bit off with the diagonals spacing. That in turn mucked up the curves. But all in all, it was a really good exercise, letting me get the feel for the "over and under". It looked easy to do but it took time for me to feel spatially at home. After roughing in with a 4H pencil, these lines were finished off with a Pigma Micron 01 Sepia. I'll give this exercise another go soon.

While out around the lake this weekend, I kept noticing intertwining. More examples to come...


  1. Oh lovely! -- life imitating art -- look at those luminous colours. The first photograph especially contains a range I'm sure I've seen in the Book of Kells on several pages: dull purple, russet, soft sooty black, pale gold and even the light greyish green is not far off verdigris.

    Your knotwork is better than in a couple of manuscripts I know of that are treasured by their libraries, I think you'll get your Celtic Monastic certificate no problem. (Cheat tip: when inking in if you use the same colour for the background as for the outlining you can adjust the width of too-broad underlines :-)) It's an interesting exercise in sustained repetition though isn't it? You will love adding breaks.

    Really looking forward to seeing your next creations. This blog makes my fingers itch for a brush. Best possible plaudit.

  2. Wonderful post today- I second Katherine re: life imitating art! A few weeks ago I got the brilliant idea to carve a rubber stamp of knotwork to decorate a page in my journal ( I use the word brilliant as in "what was I thinking!?!?!"). Despite my modest success, it proved to be an exercise in both steadiness of hand and just plain patience; but I too began to notice (and perhaps more importantly pay attention to) all the intertwining and design found in nature.
    I think your knot work looks amazing!

  3. You know, Katharine, I finally remembered that your exercise called for breaks after I went to bed. If not for the ink, I may have got up!

  4. Rubber stamps? Oh no, Gretchen! Now you've gone and planted another new thing in my mind.

  5. And a comment for both of you...

    Thank you so much for the kind words. They do spur me on.

    Life imitating art... You sent me to reading The Decay of Lying. Your such fascinating comments that lead me down overlooked alleys...