”I arise today through the strength of heaven, light of the sun, radiance of the moon, splendour of fire, speed of lightning, swiftness of wind, depth of sea, stability of earth, firmness of rock.”
John O’Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom
Jake and I spent time in August exploring the wild beauty of Northumberland. We both loved painting outside.
”If you go out for several hours into a place that is wild, your mind begins to slow down, down, down. What is happening is that the clay of your body is retrieving its own sense of sisterhood with the great clay of the landscape.”
John O’Donohue, Walking in Wonder: Eternal Wisdom for a Modern World
During our time in Northumberland we visited The Holy Island of Lindisfarne on foot. Lindisfarne is an island that can be reached by car but we chose to walk. At low tide, a two mile causeway attaches the island twice daily to the Northumbrian coast. Earlier travellers sometimes crossed by coracle.
At the end of the seventh century, one of the greatest works of English art was created in the damp and draughty scriptorium of Lindisfarne. One man, Eadfrith, copied out the four gospels in beautiful manuscript and illustrated them with decorated pages of amazing intricacy. He used 258 pages of calfskin vellum, ink made from soot bound with egg white, quills from seagulls’ feathers and materials that included green malachite, blue lapis lazuli and red dye from insects. The ‘carpet’ pages before each gospel are made of abstract patterns, spirals, ribbons, animals and birds, the whole design in the form of a cross. I loved exploring the history of the island and enjoyed developing a series of paintings whilst in the area.