Then there is the actual historical side where I imagine monk's sitting in a freezing room writing and painting for hours and hours on end until their backs ached! Some of them write little grumbles in the margins about their suffering, how their hands ache or how cold it is, how bad their tools and materials are!
In the spirit of this style of design I have created an image featuring my little owl Hephzibah. It is watercolour and features twists and turns and curls.
It was actually very therapeutic to draw and paint in this style but then I didn't have to do it on calf skin in a cold library, in an unheated monastery in Ireland using a candle for light!
|from Book of Kells f45R|
|from Book of Kells f202R|
|from Book of Kells f114v|
Reference Book of Kells Reproduction from the Manuscript in Trinity College Dublin.
Thames and Hudson, London 1977.