Spring Picture

3/4 of the coloured versions.

This is one of those things I had had in mind for years, and I finally got round to do it. I wanted the initials to resemble the Book of Kells (which doesn‘t contain as many celtic knots as you‘d think), and it took me hours… and hours… and hours… and more hours… At least I‘ve finally kept my promise to do something else based on medieval book illumination.

The scanner wasn‘t kind to this one and made all those hues of light blue simply white, but I suppose you‘re already used to that. It also made the goldpaint a bit brownish, but that‘s something Photoshop can fix.
All the other issues in this painting are my own fault. Like, the kingfisher‘s enormous size. I have no idea WHY it is about the size of a full-grown harpy or something like that. Well, okay, I have an idea, because the birdie is already painfully small on the painting, the correct size of a kingfisher on a tree somewhere in the background would have been a drop of blue paint on the paper, and that would have been boring. But it‘s not like medieval book art would heed to perspective, so let‘s say it‘s deliberate (which in part it is, I‘d just like you to know that I‘m aware if the fact that kingfishers are actually tiny little birds).
It only ocurred to me when colouring that I could simply have drawn a branch in the FOREground and have the kingfisher sit on it. That would also have made it easier to detail the branch and make it recognisable as an apple-tree in bloom (Apples have so nice mythological connotations). I feel stupid. At least I like the initial, the mossy stones and the bloody checked cloth, which is certainly more important.

Anyway, spring is pretty straight-forward: water, creation and recreation, blues and greens. And a nicely celtic chalice for kicks. I resisted adding flowers, though. They‘re for the lady, not the lord of spring (yep, he‘s got a sister…).
I chose water instead of air to be the thematic element here. I know air is the traditional element for spring, but I associate water rather with recreation and the freshness of spring, not cold and icy winter. Yes, sure, snow is frozen water but… yeah, it‘s FROZEN water. Not liquid water. The association never quite worked for me.
Sorry, medieval lore. I just can‘t cope with water being the winter element. Water is the spring element. Don‘t argue with me.

Today‘s music suggestion: Eluveitie in general and especially Luxtos:
(all their songs are about (war in) Gaul, but hey, close enough)
People who don't like Folk Metal could go for the Secret of Kells OST instead (I'm so original).

Watercolour, bits of white acrylics, and goldpaint, and I used a reference for the kingfisher…

Detail shots:

All four paitings as a photoset:

I certainly forgot half of the symbolism choices I made here, but feel free to ask me anything!
Continue Reading: The Creation