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With thanks for an Artist Support Grant made possible by the North Carolina Arts Council, the Arts Council of Greater Greensboro and the Arts Council of Winston-Salem/Forsyth County, throughout 2024, I will be creating a new series entitled, Faces of the Goddess: Medicine Paintings Through The Portal of Old Irish. These paintings are inspired by near-extinct phrases of old Irish. Each phrase offers medicine for understanding the inter-relationship between humans, land and spirit, with special regard to the sacred feminine. This seedlings of this series began on a recent trip to the Dingle Peninsula where old Irish culture is lived and celebrated. I came upon the book, “Thirty-Two Words for Field” by Manchán Magan. This book put into words what I sensed being on that landscape. That people once held a far deeper relationship with the land, and through that relationship, they had entry into realms of peace and magic, which through Anglo-sized English, we now disregard as fantasy. There are lessons for living modern life available through the pages of meaning encoded in a single word of old Irish, now threatened by linguistic extinction. These paintings will bring visual life to this fading tradition and the medicine it offers.

 

Sales for all paintings in this series are managed by the Artfolios gallery in Winston-Salem, NC

Bealach na Bo' Finne/The Milky Way, 2023

24 x 36

Acrylic on canvas

 Original Sold

8 x 10 matted and sign giclee prints + folklore description $30

This painting depicts the story of the river goddess Boann, the goddess of the River Boyne. Boann created the Boyne River when she disobeyed her husband and walked counter clock-wise around the Well of Segais. Because she challenged the power of the well, the water rose up and flooded the land to the sea, drowning her and creating the Boyne and she as it's goddess. It was said that the river and goddess are so bountiful and luminous that at night their light is reflected into the sky, forming the Milky Way. There is much more to the story of this land, the goddess and the meaning behind this phrase that translates as “The Milky Way.” 

Foráil Seirce/Abundance of Love, 2024

30 x30

Acrylic on birch panel

$1500

Purchase Here

This painting depicts The Dream of Aoghus Óg of Irish mythology. Aoghus Ó was the son of Daghda and Boann (goddess of the River Boyne). Aoghus Óg is the god of love. As the god of love, everyone loved Aoghus Óg. Because of that, he never knew longing—until one night, a woman of great magic and beauty came to him in his dreams. Night after night, they spent together for a year and a day. Each night his dreams were filled with her and their love, and in the morning she would be gone when he woke. Then one night, without warning, she did not come. Nor the next night nor the next. Another year and a day passed, and still, she did not return to him. Aoghus Óg was heart sick and could barely go on. Beside herself with concern for her son, the goddess Boann set out a search across the land for her son’s beloved. The search lasted a year, but the maiden was found by the Lake of the Dragons Mouth and she had taken the form of a swan. Her name was Cáer, and she was the daughter of a powerful Druid. She explained to Aoghus Óg that she loved him and wanted to be with him as well, but for the time being, she a swan. With that, Aoghus Óg turned himself into a swan, and the lovers flew to his palace on the River Boyne singing music together that so beautiful that anyone who heard it fell asleep for three days and nights.

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Breacadh/Dawn of A New Day, 2024

30 x 30

Acrylic on birch panel

$1500

Purchase Here

This painting depicts the gentle awakening to a new day and the awakening of the Earth in Springtime. It is also inspired by hope that comes with each new beginning in life in which we are born again.

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Aíne/Mother of the Crone

30 x 30

Acrylic on birch panel

$1500

Purchase Here

In this work we see the Earth Goddess, Aine, dancing around the bonfire at Beltane, the Celtic fire ceremony that is celebrated on May first, the half-way point between the Spring equinox and the Summer solstice.  Aíne is Goddess of Summer, Abunance and Love.  She is a Goddess of Fertility and Protector of women and children.  She is the Goddess of the magical people, the Tuatha Dé Danann and is the Queen of the Síde.  In this painting, Aine draws her power from the Sun for the fertility of land as she dances around the bonfire to the beating of drums played by the tree spirits.  Aíne is a reminder to be a keeper of one’s own flame.  As the Mother of the Crone, the fruits of Life she ripens will feed the wisdom of the Crone that is yet to be born.

AineMotheroftheCrone.jpg

Cailleach/The Crone

30 x 30

Acrylic on birch panel 

Original Sold

The Crone is one of the traditional three faces of the goddess/three stages of a woman’s life: Maiden, Mother, and Crone.

 

Poems written in honor of the Cailleach say that she is so old that she remembers when the Island (of Ireland) was connected to the mountains (Appalachia). Considering that science has estimated that the Appalachian mountains are older than the rings of Saturn, and the Cailleach remembers the time when these land masses were one, she is old indeed.

 

The Cailleach is sometimes shown as an old woman flying on a broom beating back the last of the fall harvest and ushering in the winter and the night. Sometimes she is represented giving birth to Spring. Here she is appears in her crow form with a jewel in her beak symbolizing the wisdom that is the gift of a long-lived life. Her body holds the markings of her journey. A cauldron sits beside her with three scrolls that chronicle of the three phases of life. Magic flows from it. Three candles are lit in honor of it all.

Cailleach_TheCrone.jpg

The Mórrígan/The Great Goddess

30 x 30

Acrylic on birch

$2000

Purchase Here

Metaphysicist, Toney Brooks writes that to conceive of the goddess as simply nurturing and creative is not willing to really know her.  The Mórrígan is the Celtic goddess of war and represents the fierceness of the feminine.  She is the goddess of Life and Death, Destiny and Transformation.  She is a shapeshifter and takes the form of anything that serves, often associated with the raven, the deer, and all aspects of the feminine.

 

It would be easy to interpret the Mórríagn as “bad” or “evil”.   It is more accurate though to understand that the concepts she represents tend to evoke fear and yet are often gateways for transformation.  In that way she brings to awareness that which often wants to be denied in our psyche or is difficult to be with.

 

Here the Mórrígan is painted holding a spear in her right hand, a weapon for cutting through ignorance and the illusion that blinds us from Truth.  A raven perches on her left arm symbolizing freedom through transformation.  The Mórrígan is a slayer of illusions and ignorance and whatever constrains us from life and living.  She is an invitation to hold the complexity of existence and contradictions of life.  It is this energy that empowers us when fierceness and bravery are called upon in our own lives, when we face our own personal battles. Because of this, she is also a source of courage.

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