Who Did You Inspire Today? You Might Be Surprised!

(c) Seamus McArdle

(c) Seamus McArdle

A few days ago, I received the following sketch in a message, with the words, “Thanks for the inspiration for this.”

(c) Seamus McArdle

Seamus McArdle is an Irish author and artist who has featured on this blog before. You can read about him in my post, The Friday Fiction with Artist and Author Seamus McArdle. I have always loved the intricate detail, the colours, the symbolism, and the style of Seamus’s artwork, so to receive a sketch and message like this was intriguing and exciting, to say the least.

It turns out that Seamus had been inspired by a story I had included in one of my blog posts about a giant serpent-like creature which had swallowed a drunken harper, who had continued to play his harp from inside the beast, not realising where he was. Here is how I told it…

“One such creature, named Oillipéist (oll meaning ‘great’, péist meaningworm/ reptile/ beast’) is credited with having carved out the route of the River Shannon. Apparently, he swallowed a drunken piper by the name of Ó Ruirc, who, much to his chagrin, continued playing, unaware of his fate. Infuriated by the din, Oillipéist consequently coughed him up and spat him out in disgust.”

Now I can’t take any credit for the story, it already exists in Irish folklore, but you can read more in my post,  Lake Dwellers of Ancient Ireland. Little did I know when I wrote it that it would inspire someone to create a painting!

Writing isn’t just about number of blog views, or book sales. It’s about connecting with people, and I am so happy that in this case, a few words I wrote down one evening connected with someone to such an extent, that he was inspired to create a work of art. What a compliment that is.

A few days after sending me the initial sketch, Seamus messaged me with the final completed picture. Thanks, Seamus, you really made my day! I love it! I love the colour, I love the detail particularly of the hands, face and hair. I love the fish skeletons, and the molluscs. I love the eternal, circular aspect of it. It’s so full of colour and life and movement. You can see the finished painting in its glorious detail at the top of the post.

You can view more of Seamus’s art on his website, www.seamusmcardle.ie, and you can buy his enchanting book on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.

37 Comments on “Who Did You Inspire Today? You Might Be Surprised!

    • Thank you! Well it wasn’t me really, it was the myth which so captivated him, but he first read about it through me, so that’s good enough for me!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. The painting is exquisite but your post must really have inspired Seamus to provoke such work. Both of you are excellent tale tellers in different formats.


  2. Somehow people arrive at your doorstep (so to speak) He’s very talented – you said just the right words at the right moment to start his mind whirling.
    Powerful, right?
    You just never know the reach.
    Thanks for sharing

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh Ali, it’s wonderful to receive messages like this, to know that something you wrote and shared inspired someone. Your friend Seamus’s painting is beautiful, and how lovely that he wrote to you. Connection, inspiration, friendship. It’s what blogging is all about isn’t it? Have a wonderful day my friend and thank you for sharing this ❤ xxx


  4. Wow, what a stunning painting! So evocative! And it’s great to have a backstory for it, we rarely get to find out the inspiration behind the artwork.
    You’ve made me think. It really is so much more than stats and likes. It’s about this exactly. Connecting.
    Beautiful post, Ali 🙂 xx

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you Elli. We connect with others all the time through our blogs, but unless they leave a comment, all that registers is a page view. We have no idea how what they found affected them, if indeed it did at all. This has really made me rethink things too. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s a beautiful painting, and so lovely that your words inspired it! And you’re right – the most rewarding part of blogging for me is the connections with other people. You are very inspiring, so this isn’t a surprise 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is, and I love it! He’s very talented. It never ceases to amaze me how artists, sculptors, even builders can create a visual, physical masterpiece from virtually nothing… I mean, how the hell do they do that?

      Liked by 1 person

        • Possibly. But writing is different. It takes effort and determination for a reader to appreciate a book. But you can’t miss the effect of a beautiful painting or building… it instantaneously whacks you over the head with its awesomness as soon as you clap eyes on it, whether you are willing or not. Theres no slow burn. It just explodes into your consciousness. You dont get that with writing.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Yes, very true – it’s the one artform where you have to actively engage someone before they can experience it. Everything else, as you say, is there, exploding into your consciousness (I love that phrase!) 🙂 But the process for us is much the same I think, in that we draw the thread of the story from…somewhere, and weave something entirely new.

            Liked by 2 people

  6. Inspiration is a gift but, more importantly, it is a weapon that can smash through the bricks of the wall of writers block.

    That’s a lovely post to read this morning, Ali. It’s made me smile. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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