Daily Creativity: Cross of St Brigid

Daily Creativity: Cross of St BrigidDaily Creativity: Cross of St Brigid

Happy St Patrick’s Day, so of course I dress the Cross of St Brigid. I’ve done this before, but this time I wanted to add some color. I drew this with pencils and colored pencils. Growing up this cross was hanging in a few places, in my Grandma’s house, and in our own home. More than because my sister is named Brigid, though I know her adornments have something to do with that connection. Also because there are three patron saints of Ireland, and Patrick, the most famous, wasn’t born there. As the Irish PM reminded us today, he was an immigrant. Brigid and Columba were born there, and Brigid is the only one who also died there. I love the cross too, the interwoven palms that form the cross. It’s simple and meaningful, like my favorite things of the culture Grandma raised us with.

Celebrating St Paddy’s up here in Canada is interesting. Catholicism is the dominant religion in Canada, a stark contrast to the USA. Granted, a good percentage of those Catholics are French. Yet the Irish descendent population is much smaller than the USA, and that is counting the big Irish population in Quebec. So Paddy’s day is celebrated pretty much everywhere (in my experience the most thin was in Nova Scotia, gee, wonder why? :) ).

Getting into any Irish pub is tricky. Last year, we didn’t make it, this year we went during the day, after lunch, and still had to wait 30-45minutes for a table. It wasn’t too bad though, the beer was flowing and the pipes and drums were playing. I did notice however that the pub was pretty generic in the sense that they had nothing about counties, religion, or even football clubs. Many patrons and workers seemed to think of the day as green mardi gras. It’s great to have that excitement, but sometimes it is a bit strange to see. Coming from NY where Paddy’s day is a bit different, celebrated by all, but a lot less irreverent to the culture behind it. At one point today while talking with a friend of mine after she commented on all my green, saying I looked Irish today*. I laughed about being Irish every day, a stranger who seemed to want in on our conversation says “I’m actually Irish.” I nod and say “Yeah, me too. County Armagh.” He stopped, stammered, and said “Oh, I’m like maybe 10 percent.” I smiled and said nothing, it’s not a competition or a one up game. Just sometimes people remember heritage on a party day, and that’s fine.

*Grandma used to say, if you can’t tell I’m Irish by looking at me, you don’t deserve to know. And that always made me giggle. Granted she looked more stereotypical Irish than me, and wasn’t as black Irish looking, and well when asked, she really was Irish, just not descended. In truth, when people ask me what I am I say American. Especially now that I’m an immigrant and my cultural identity is more American than anything else, and I think that would make Grandma really happy. She wanted to raise her children as American, not Irish. So while I was raised with the culture of my immigrant grandparents (Irish and German) my culture is American. Many Americans don’t see that as a culture, but when you leave America, you become very aware of it.

Daily Creativity: A Shamrock for St Paddy’s Day!

Daily Creativity: A Shamrock for St Paddy’s Day!

Daily Creativity: A Shamrock for St Paddy's Day!Shamrocks are often associated with the Irish and St Patrick’s day, and there is a good reason for that. St Patrick used the shamrock to explain the trinity, and it was one of the things that helped me understand it as a child too. How do we say we believe in one God but then talk about Jesus, God, and the Holy Spirit. Much like the shamrock, it has three leaves, three sides, three aspects, but they are all one plant, one thing. So the father, the son, and the holy ghost are all the same thing, but they appear to us as separate because they come to us in different aspects of our lives. I think it’s fitting St Paddy’s day is often in the middle of lent. I know some people think it’s a pain when it lands on Friday, but to me having a lesson on the trinity right in the middle of lent is a great way to prepare. That’s what lent is all about, to me, we are preparing ourselves, we are thinking about God and how we are influenced daily, and how we can bring the teachings of Jesus into our daily life.

This description got a bit on the religious side, but it’s important when I talk about my process. I wanted to reflect the lessons I have learned from the shamrock, the lessons about the trinity. Doing this I incorporated the trinity knot into each of the leaves to put the idea in there a bit more. I made this using ink and colored pencil on natural unbleached paper.

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Daily Creativity: Clover Swirl

Clover Swirl - Happy St Patty's Day!
This was yesterday’s Daily Creativity, but as I was out until close to 6am this morning, I didn’t scan it until today. I had a blast yesterday BTW, and this was done in honor of St Patrick. You will notice it is not a four leaf clover, because that is just superstition and has nothing to do with St Patrick, the clover is what St Patrick used to explain the trinity to the celtic people. Each leave represents individually the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Yet, they are all part of one being, one clover, hence the same thing.

Daily Creativity: Rory on St. Patrick’s Day

Rory wishes you a happy ST Patty's Day
What else could I draw on St. Patrick’s Day, also more well known as Dragon Appreciation Day, but my favorite dragon in the whole world, Rory :) Notice he is wearing a shamrock shirt, to reward myself for drawing the little dude I’m enjoying a shamrock shake, these things rule.

You can follow Rory on Twitter at @RorysaysRAWR