Category: mythology

Cimaruta, the original Lucky Charms

YES, that entendre was doublé ! Anyway, Cimarutas, or Cima di Ruta (sprig of rue) are traditional Italian folk-charms which possibly originate all the way back to the Etruscans. They are pendants, usually silver, and the folk tradition is to place them where one would want protection (baby’s cradle, hung in a doorway, worn as a necklace etc.) They are always a sprig of rue with charms/symbols hung from the branches. The symbols are often a mixture of Pagan and Catholic motifs.

I just discovered these things and thought they were neat, so I drew one.

Chee-ma-roo-ta, doesn’t it sounds like children’s programming?

Illustration Painting II Final

My painting final serves two functions. As I wrote up in my final proposal, I wanted to create a fantasy illustration, something versatile that could be used for calendars, gaming books, or even books on witchcraft (like a John William Waterhouse painting.) These are the markets I want to get into as an illustrator. The primary reason I created this painting was as a devotional painting to Brighid, as I have certainly been blessed with inspiration, productivity, and skill this first year at art school.
Brighid, goauche
Illustration Painting II Spring 2010
For reference I set up a photoshoot with my friend Coleen. Have I mentioned yet that my friends are good sports? She was willing to let me dress her up and stand by a fire-pot in her backyard for an hour while I took pictures of her in the cold.
p.s. Coleen doesn’t really have horns.
I was able to superimpose this image over a woodsy background, the lighting was challenging but I pulled it off.
I was stoked that I pulled off the fire-pot as well.

Master’s Study

We all did one Master’s Study in my Illustration Painting class, in other words, choosing a painting by an artist we admire and recreating it with goauche. I chose Morganna Le Fay by Brian Froud. Brian Froud is definitely an artist who I want to emanate in my paintings.

Master’s Study, goauche
Illustration Painting II Spring 2010
I think I did a really good job rendering the painting while throwing in my own style (even though I didn’t get to finish)
This bird looks so mad!

The Journeys Project

This was my favorite assignment in Illustration Word and Image. We were to make up an explorer and illustrate/document their journey. We had to depict where they went, who they met, what they found etc. and create an illustrated book around this story.
I decided to make a Celtic children’s story: The Journey of Sionann Donnelly. This decision was inspired by a book I recently read, The Red-Haired Girl from the Bog by Patricia Monaghan.  

I made this one another accordion book. I made the cover out of illustration board and book cloth. The image on the cover (drawn with colored pencils) was an homage to one of my favorite motifs from history, The Three Hares. I snuck them in throughout the book.

cover page
Beginning of the story, intro to the character. First illustration shows her home-base (bedroom.)
page 2 and 3 are a little map of the journey…..
SURPRISE! Fold out, detailing the journey
Northern Irish cemetery (sorry about the blurriness)
Biddy Early’s cottage
At the Climax, Sionann is confronted by the goddess Ériu, who chews her out for stealing and tells her to go home.
Sionann flies home, and when she unpacks her things, she finds a book that tells the tale of her journey. 
There’s a little hidden raven in every image, as Ériu’s raven spies on Sionann throughout the story.