Be sure to check out the studio Facebook page for photos, info and special offers!
Celtic week continues… The Celts are deeply symbolic folk. Here’s a nice one – the Tree of Life… Branches reach high into the heavens while roots dig deep into the Earth. Never ending knots, all interwoven signifying the connection between this world, the other world and all living things.
The Tree of Life.
Hey – have fun celebrating today! Have a safe and fun St. Pat’s Day!
Celtic art conjures visions of knotwork – or what some tattooists call “Celtic Nightmares”. Not me. Can’t get enough, in fact! There are three traditional styles of Celtic design: knot work, maze patterns and spirals. Celtic knotwork is distinguished by its never ending pattern, and also includes Zoomorphic designs (see the birds in the piece to the right). Spirals are typically rendered in three’s, which while attributed to the Holy Trinity is pre-Christian symbolism for This World, the Otherworld and the connection In Between. And then there’s the maze pattern… the path we take as we find our way each day… a metaphor for life’s journey.
Yes, it’s the week of Shamrock Shakes, green beer, kilt lifting and (for the rest of us) a nice pint of Guinness and music that is off the hook! Pre-dating St. Pat is the indigenous tradition of Celtic tattooing, so what better time than now to peruse some Celtic art and history?
The ancient pre-Celtic people are referred to as Picts, whose name was a derogatory reference meaning “Painted” used by the Romans for their tattooed enemies. The Gaelic Celts used the term “Curithnii”, meaning “the People of the Designs”… and hey now – I’d say that’s more like it. The Picts were not simply painted but indeed tattooed, using sharp iron tools and a natural plant-based blue ink called Woad.
While not much is definitively known about the Picts (who began to merge with the Gaelic people by the 10th Century), there are Roman accounts of fierce warriors with “wild hair” (apparently lime paste was used to stand hair straight on end) who were “painted blue”. So, for some of us not much has changed I guess.
Here are a few images of how the Picts may have appeared, and a piece of Pictish stone art that I recently had the opportunity to render!
I for one prefer sweet and salty to sour, so why not put a new spin on Valentines Day and celebrate the love and gratitude in your life in your own way? In this case this simple and symbolic heart represents a Mother’s unconditional love for her twin boys. Nice, huh?
So just walk on by the pink and red zone at your local store, take the opportunity to run to the kitchen for a snack when the diamond commercials tell you that only a diamond is forever, and instead take a moment to give props to those important to you in your own way.
I came across the Olympic Creed this morning which reads: “The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well.”
I’m liking that perspective – big time. And in that light it’s a given that many Olympic athletes mark themselves to honor the struggle to reach that pinnacle moment of participating in the Olympic Games. Vince Hemingson’s “Vanishing Tattoo” has a nice link to Olympic imagery as well as links to photos of Olympic athletes and their ink.
Art With a Point is joining a handful of shops across the country in honoring our Olympic athletes by offering free Olympic tattoos for medal winners. In fact, in the spirit of the Olympic Creed I’m broadening the offer to all twenty one of Minnesota’s Olympians who are participating. So, if you’re one of Minnesota’s twenty two Olympians, come on down for your tattoo after Vancouver. And, if you medal be sure to bring your medal with you. (I’ve always wanted to see one.) In the meantime, lets cheer on and congratulate all the participating athletes on a road well traveled.