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