Illuminated Calligraphy
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  
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".  Ornate gilt wood frame.  Triple matted:  antique gold and deep
blue inner mats, off-white stucco textured top mat.  $2000, shipping

Limited Edition Print (250 prints total), each one individually signed and
numbered.  Image size same as original.  Paper size 14 1/4" x 11"
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 shop  (see link
at left
BENEDICTION  (Numbers 6:24-6, Old Testament)

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 person!

The original and limited edition prints are for sale at Marco Island Center for the
Arts until July 31, 2018
Home            Illuminated Manuscripts             Paintings            Jewlery             Glass             About Gail            
All images copyright Gail Coppock

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

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 shapes.

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 on the internet and
in the local library  -  so that I
could create my own original
knotwork designs.

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 cover.

At first the complexity of Celtic
knotwork was a bit 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

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.

- Gail
"Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me,"  from a song by Jill
Jackson and Sy Miller, lyrics used with kind permission from
Jan-Lee Music .  
To hear the song sung , go to
You Tube and type in the title;  there are many
beautiful versions to listen to.

on sheepskin vellum.  It is carpeted with intricate Celtic style interlacings,
mandalas,  and geometric patterns.  Image size 8 1/4" x 10 3/4".  It is double
matted with an antique gold matte-finished liner and off-white stucco textured
top mat.  The outside dimensions of the antique gold, beaded frame are 19 1/2"
x 24 1/2".  

The original as well as the last of the limited edition prints are  for sale at Marco
Island Center for the Arts until  July 31, 2018.

Click on any image for
an enlarged view.

Then click again  for a
really detailed image.
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.

The original is SOLD,
but items featuring this
"Carpe Diem" image
are available at
CafePress store.
(Mugs, note cards,
prints, calendars,
framed tiles, T shirts ....
all kinds of stuff!)
Limited edition
signed & numbered
prints are SOLD

But posters, wall
available  at my
Cafe Press store
This piece was
featured on the
cover of Congregational
Magazine as well
as in an article