Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Inspiration: Celts at the National Museum of Scotland

Tis the season of summer schools here.  With the first Diploma Group we had a trip to the Wemyss School of Needlework and the Fife Folk Museum.  Both the Certificate Groups are having a day at the Botanic Gardens in Glasgow (more to follow).  For the other Diploma Group, I thought long and hard about where to go, before settling on the National Museum of Scotland, because there is something for everyone there.  Everyone went their own way to explore and sketch and we met at lunchtime to exchange inspiration.  
Celts exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland
Whilst we were there, I went to the special exhibition on the Celts.  It continues until 25 September 2016, so there is still time to visit it if you can.  And you should!
The exhibition guided you through the idea of the Celts and their place in Europe from the earliest times right up to the revivals in the 19th and 20th Century.  The degree of interpretations was fascinating, from who viewed themselves as Celts and when the whole concept of the Celtic world was born.  The variety of objects was fantastic and there were many which totally fascinated me.  In particular, I loved the patterns and the repeats and how the shapes hinted at animals and objects without being totally explicit.  Unfortunately, no photography was allowed, although there are a couple of images on the website - 
pages from my very rough sketchbook
As the aim in taking the students was to encourage them to sketch, I felt obliged to do the same.  
More pages of quick sketches
However, it is the patterns on one object that really grabbed me - one which I couldn't really sketch at the time as it was circular in nature and circles are notoriously difficult to draw freehand. So when I got home, I got out the compass and drew the interesting pattern.  I scanned it and reprinted a couple of variations to try colouring in.  
I know colouring in is very popular at the moment, but those detailed colouring in books would drive me nuts.  I can't stay within the lines and all that concentration, just to be ruined by not being accurate enough...  
Coloured in with felt tip pens
I didn't mind doing these, but I did realise it would be a lot quicker on the computer, so that's where the second lot came from.  And all the colour is within the lines!
Versions from on the computer - nicer colours too
I've now moved into fabric, but that is for another post as it is in early stages.  I know where it is going, but all you can see at the moment is the insipid under layers.  

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