s you might have gathered from my recent update, I’m very much aware of spring erupting all around me right now and the changes it naturally brings with it.
There is an excitement in everything and everyone; spring is abuzz with barely restrained energy. It’s like a horse impatiently pawing the ground in anticipation of a race.
And that’s where my newest piece of artwork ties in.
May I present to you my newest piece: “Earrach (Spring)” (2017).
All in all, I am astonished by how peaceful this illustration turned out, considering the amount of BBC documentaries I watched on the “Hidden Killers of the [Edwardian, Victorian, Tudor] Home” I’ve watched….
In the following segments I will tell you
- About the background of the piece
- About some of my thought processes behind its composition
- Where you can get her for yourself
1 // Earrach – The Potential of Spring
Earrach is the Irish Gaelic word for spring. Even though this time has various religious connotations, it was important to me to make this piece about spring itself, without tying it to any specific faith.
For me, spring stands for hope and growth, but also vulnerability.
There is hope when we notice how strong the sun is becoming; when the first burst of buds start peeking out from dry bushes; when everything suddenly looks less drab than a week ago.
There are examples of growth all around us that encourage us to grow as human beings as well – on a conscious and unconscious level. I’m a firm believer that humans cannot exist independently from nature and that even the most convinced urbanites among us intrinsically sense that something’s up this time of year.
As nature is getting ready to burst into bloom and dazzle the world – don’t many of us feel like doing the same?
But with this hope and growth, I find there’s always an element of vulnerability present. While the days are longer and the buds grow stronger, everything is still delicate; fragile. Spring gently promises us rich summer spoils – but it still needs protection and support.
A harsh wind, a cold night – it’s so easy to break the stem before the flower can bloom; it is so easy to be discouraged when we are only starting out on our own adventures.
It is this energy of absolute potential that my piece is about – with the gentle reminder that we still need to gently coax it out of its winter sleep and nurture it into being.
While I invite you to forge your own bond with this piece – and any piece of art, for that matter – here are some thoughts that I had as I set out to create it.
2 // Some Thought Processes in Detail
While Earrach’s posture is peaceful, the fabric of her dress and her hair seem restless. This is a metaphor for her deep trust in the magic that will soon unfold, while everything around her is getting ready for it.
The pattern on her dress has opposing messages. On the one hand, we have leaves that look like they are falling to the ground suggesting that everything in nature is still in the state that autumn left it in – brown, lifeless, bare. On the other hand, there are little branches carrying leaves and small blossoms, suggesting that spring is already on its way. The colour of the fabric is reminiscent of winter and the bluish hue of ice, but it is already tinged with green.
The flower blooming in her hand is glowing with the energy of life and is a symbol for all the beautiful life – nature and otherwise – that is coming into being at this time. The world is renewing itself and the old is not replaced, but expanded by the new. However, and this knowledge lies within her loving gaze, this new life relies on her care and guidance.
In addition to spring, it is particularly the archetype of the mother that I relate to this Illustration, because who else nurtures and coaxes the potential of life into the world more than a mother, the maker of worlds?
For this reason I would like to dedicate “Earrach” to my Aunt Caoimhe and her baby girl Cadhla.
3 // Bring Earrach Into Your Home [see what I did there? 😉 ]
and invite everything she means to you into your own life on a more conscious level. It can be a powerful step to surround ourselves with the images and objects that remind us of who we feel like inside and the thoughts that are important to us.
Maybe “Earrach (Spring)” could help you do that?
An artprint, while such a seemingly unimportant object, can have the power to connect you with you. It can help us remember – visually and emotionally – where we want to go and how we want to feel, when our hectic lives often make us forget or go numb. Imagine heading for your first hit of caffeine in the morning – second guessing yourself about the path you’re currently on, and beating yourself up about all the things you haven’t achieved yet – and then you see your print of this piece. For a moment, your negative spiral is interrupted by the associations you have with this piece of art. You might smile to yourself as you remember that doubt and feeling vulnerable is a natural part of the growth process and requires you to slow down and be gentle with yourself. You might, for a second, just stop beating yourself up and head into your day with a more positive, kinder attitude towards yourself and your achievements.
Not so unimportant after all, right? 🙂
I also think this piece would make a beautiful baby shower gift that focuses on the magic of motherhood and serves as a message of empowerment to a mother when she might feel overwhelmed, or worried about the new role she is preparing for.
I would love to hear your thoughts on my piece, as well as the subject, and want to ask you: What are you surrounding yourself with that makes you feel really good, and what does it remind you of?
Lots of love to you and I wish you a great day!