Saturday, February 12, 2011

Saint Patrick, Banishing the Snakes from Ireland

My very talented husband, artist Alan Lees, has just completed the above picture of Saint Patrick banishing the snakes from Ireland. This one took a very long time to complete, with a number of changes along the way, but I have to say that I think this is his best yet - I just love it! It's a very large canvas in acrylics and my photograph doesn't really do full justice to the vibrant colours, and the sheen on the gold, on his robe, his belt and his staff.
At the moment, the plan is to have this properly photographed, and then to make canvas prints, and satin finish poster prints from it, in various sizes, as well as some postcards, so that it can be shared, worldwide. We don't plan to sell the original just yet!  The big canvas prints would be suitable for schools and churches, although to be honest, I would be quite happy to live with this picture of an early Celtic saint forever. I don't know quite why, but I just love this picture - I love the strength of the saint - I love the greens of the Irish landscape, and the foxgloves and clumps of thrift, as well as Croagh Patrick and the shadowy little church in the background. I'll blog about it again, as soon as the various prints are available.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

An Unusual Scottish Linen Damask Tablecloth

This week, in my eBay shop, I'm listing a beautiful and very unusual linen damask tablecloth - a big rectangle which is woven with all kinds of Scottish scenes and motifs. I'm not sure if it was made in Ulster for the Scottish market, or in Scotland itself. The design is amazing, with lots of 'roundels' containing Holyrood Palace, The Old Brig o' Doon, at Alloway in Ayrshire, Dunfermline Abbey and so on, as well as various Lions Rampant, thistles, heather and the 'bluebells of Scotland' which aren't what the English call bluebells at all, but instead are the pretty harebells that flower later in the summer, when the heather and ling are just coming into bloom, making a lovely contrast with them. The design is incredibly complicated and pretty - the names of some of these places are even woven into the cloth. It would make a wonderful talking point at any Scottish event.