Text, artwork, and calligraphy are all by me.
The lettering and some of the designwork are
done in India ink. Other media used are
pigment inks, metallic inks, Prismacolor
pencil and watercolor.
Incorporated into the detailed decorative
carpeting are numerous Celtic-style knotwork
patterns, which are composed of a single line
that weaves over and under itself and back to
its own beginning, symbolizing eternity and
unity, thus a fitting emblem of marriage.
Original is not for sale.
1088-P Limited Edition Print SOLD OUT.
But you can order this image as a poster or
plaque, as well as a number of other items,
from my CafePress store
The central text of this piece is the well known passage from
Shakespeare's "Hamlet" wherein Polonius advises his departing
son,"This above all: to thine own self be true and it must follow as the
night the day, that thou canst not then be false to any man." The
miniature watercolor paintings in the upper and lower areas correspond
to the day and night referred to in this speech.
Woven into the overall design are six additional passages addressing
the theme of personal authenticity. Included are quotations from Lao
Tse, Euripides, Chaucer, Wittier, Lessing and Thoreau, spanning 2400
years. A further expression of the overall theme is found in the Celtic
knotwork designs in which a single line weaves over and under itself
and back to its beginning, a fitting symbol for personal integrity.
India ink, pigment inks, metallic inks, watercolor, and 23-1/2k pearl gold
on d'Arches 140 lb hot-pressed 100% rag paper. Image size 11 5/8" x
8 3/8". Original in my own collection: not for sale.
Limited Edition Print (250 prints total), each one individually signed and
numbered. Image size same as original. Paper size 14 1/4" x 11". $45,
including shipping. Available from my Etsy shop.
Latin for "Love conquers all."
This piece was drawn on
parchment paper using India
ink, metallic ink, Prismacolor
pencils and pigment inks.
The original is already SOLD,
but framed prints as well as
notecards, T-shirts, tiles, mugs -
and even baby onesies! - are
available at my Cafe Press
The text of this ancient blessing is
written in Old English script in sepia
ink. Other media used are pigment
inks, gold metallic ink and
watercolor. The 9 7/8" x 6" original
piece is on acid-free 140 lb. 100%
rag d'Arches watercolor paper. The
detailed designs, especially the knot
work, were inspired by the "carpet"
pages of the Book of Kells, an 8th
century Irish illuminated manuscript
created at the monastery on the
island of Iona, then later moved to
the monastery at Kells for safety from
raiders. It is now at Trinity College,
Dublin, where I actually got to view it
and other medieval manuscripts in
The original is not for sale, but prints
are available at Cafe Press.
|All images copyright Gail Coppock
A LITTLE BACKGROUND
When I first came across images of the
illuminated manuscripts produced in
monasteries in the British Isles as early as the
800's, I was immediately taken with the
sumptuousness of design and color.
At the time, it did not yet occur to me that it
was a bit ironic that monks living within damp,
bone-chilling stone walls, with the most
meager of creature comforts, could be
inspired to create some of the most
intricately-designed, luminously painted
manuscripts of the Western world. All I knew
was that they made me want to make my own
"carpet" pages of geometric patterns,
continuous-line knotwork and zoomorphic
Eager to take my own handlettering, which I'd
been doing since 1978, to a different level by
incorporating these ancient design ideas, I
studied facsimiles of old illuminated
manuscripts to learn the principles of Celtic
interlacing - poring over whatever images I
could find onlinet and in the local library - so
that I could create my own original knotwork
This process led to my becoming more aware
of the geometric patterns and shapes all
around me - from the embossing on a paper
napkin in a diner, to the Greek-inspired design
on the linoleum floor of a funky little beach
house we rented, to the beautiful Moorish
mosaics featured on a Smithsonian magazine
At first the complexity of Celtic knotwork was
daunting: how to create a decorative design
that not only stands on its own with aesthetic
integrity but is also true to the principle of the
neverending line which crosses over and
under itself and eventually back to its own
beginning? After a while, though, it started to
become part of me. It was an "aha"
experience that gave rise to a whole new, and
very fulfilling, mode of visual expression for me.
New, yes, but also very old. Many times I have
visited in my mind the ascetic calligraphers of
hundreds of years ago, working in their
scriptoria: those monks whose rich
imagination lead to the ethereal, illuminated
pages that might never be equaled. And
always I am in awe of - and forever indebted to
- their creative vision as well as the example of
their exquisitely careful execution.
The text of this piece is from the Robert Frost poem, The
Road Not Taken, which begins, "Two roads diverged in a
yellow wood ..." - hence the autumnal watercolor motif.
The central design, done in carefully drawn Celtic knot
work, represents the four cardinal directions, apropos of
deciding in which direction to go.
The original is SOLD, but prints and other items with this
image can be purchased at my Cafe Press store.
LOVE & MARRIAGE
THE ROAD NOT TAKEN
THE TWENTY-THIRD PSALM
TO THINE OWN SELF BE TRUE
SEIZE THE DAY
The original is SOLD,
but items featuring this
"Carpe Diem" image
are available at my
(Mugs, note cards,
framed tiles, T shirts ....
all kinds of stuff!)
signed & numbered
prints are SOLD
But posters, wall
plaques, etc. are
available at my
Cafe Press store
AMOR VINCIT OMNIA
|This piece was
featured on the
cover of Congregational
Magazine as well
as in an article
Since 2011, I have been privileged to work with Three Hands Press,
designing ornamented capitals and original calligraphic alphabets for their
contemporary occult publications, including the long-awaited "The Green
Mysteries", a herbarium by Daniel A. Schulke, representing 25 years of
An interview by the author regarding my calligraphy for "The Green
Mysteries" is published as "Auspices," Volume VIII.