Illuminated Art



In the midst of this Covid-19 virus outbreak, everything has changed. Nature sent us to our rooms to stay there in isolation. These illuminated artworks are Inspired by Medieval manuscripts and the Books of Kells and Lindisfarne. Made by artist monks, often in isolation for years. I hope these new Illuminated pages will add a little glint of golden sunshine to your day.

Most of these works are inspired by the ancient and medieval sites of Argyll. It is something I have enjoyed doing ever since laying eyes on the Book of Kells as a child. I have spent years unraveling the knots and trying to understand the patterns and have folios full of bits and pieces of all things Celt, Pict Norse & medieval. There’s too much to show here. So this is just a small selection of more recent works.


I would love this project to encourage others to have a go. It doesn`t have to be a huge epic like the Book of Kells, just simple designs & panels. I hope to make templates available soon. If you would like to have a go or already have some work you would like to share, get in touch, I would love to see it.

Pangur Ban - Illuminated page

Pangur Ban – The scholar & his cat.

I love the story of Pangur Ban and have made lots of sketches and paintings of him over the years. The poem has endured since written in the 9th century. Written by his companion, a monk, who compares his own skills and those of his cat as they work through the nights.

Using watercolour pencil and washes layered with ink and embellished with silver & gold leaf. this artwork is 15 x 15in on 250 gsm textured card. Greetings cards and prints are available on request.

The Laughing Hounds - Illuminated page,

The Laughing Hounds

Many tangled creatures hide in the patterned borders of old illuminated books. Some of my favourites are the hounds. (As a whippet parent I have a slight bias) This painting is yet another nod to my little blue boy.

Ink & watercolour, Illuminated in Gold on marbled parchment paper. 16in x 8in

Original artwork is available.

twa corbies - Illuminated page,

Twa Corbies (two crows)

There are many creatures hidden in the borders of medieval pages and they have inspired me for years. This is my interpretation of 2 crows making a nest. Watercolour & ink, Illuminated in Gold on marbled parchment paper

Original artwork available.

Pangur ban

Pangur Ban- Old Irish text

This work combines my original watercolour & ink artwork “The ungodly thoughts of Pangur Ban” with the original poem in Old Irish. Written by a 9th-century monk. It features Pangur watching the night creatures from the window of the monastery.

An 8 x 10in print is available (mounted size 10 x 12 in)

Greetings card available.

English translation available(see below)

Pangur Ban

Pangur Ban – English text

This work combines my original watercolour & ink artwork “The ungodly thoughts of Pangur Ban” with the English language version of the poem as translated by poet Robin Flower. Originally written by a 9th-century monk. It features Pangur watching the night creatures from the window of the monastery.

An 8 x 10in print (mounted size 10 x 12in) is available

Greetings card available

golden chip illumination

Battle for the Golden Chips. Illuminated sampler

This sampler was made in response to news of an impending cull of gulls by various councils around the country. Thankfully the decision was reversed. As a huge fan of the Herring Gull, I believe their reputation is undeserved. Most of the antisocial behaviour they display is caused by humans total disregard for the rubbish they leave behind. Is that a good reason to harm a hungry creature?

Original artwork & greetings card are available

illuminated serpent

Opal Serpent

This Dragon is based on a Norse design Watercolour & ink with an opal/silver backdrop. On heavy textured card.

Original artwork sold.

illuminated art

Campanula illuminated Sampler

There are plants and flowers hidden in many of the illuminated pages of medieval manuscripts. I took a Campanula flower from my garden to create this sampler. A small ORIGINAL art piece on heavy textured card in watercolour & gold.

illuminated art

Ceud mile failte – A hundred thousand welcomes.

This Gaelic language piece welcomes the viewer to explore. Featuring lily of the valley and thistle alongside a collection of creatures and knotwork patterns found in the Westen Isles.

Original artwork available

illuminated sandpiper

Sandpipers Sampler

I enjoy watching the wading birds on the beach. I was inspired to paint this after watching a group of Sandpipers feeding in the shallow water. Watching their reflections and the dazzling sunshine on the lapping water. This is a small ORIGINAL art piece on 250gsm textured card in watercolour & gold.

Greetings card available

illuminated art

Ravens laugh.

Ravens laugh in the ruins as nature takes back her own. Illuminated page for award-winning Colmcille 1500 project. Featuring Ogham Script, it shows ravens among the broken medieval stones found in so many of our ancient churches. Many stones hidden by the twisted stems of the flowers they once depicted. Artwork available

illuminated page

Encounter on the hill of angels

Coimhdhail air cnoc nan ainglean. This ink drawing was created for the Colmcille 1500 award project. Telling the story of a meeting between St Columba and a host of angels on the fairy hill on the Isle of Iona.

illuminated page

The Journey

This illuminated page was created for Colmcille 1500. It tells the story of St Columbas’ journey through Argyll to the Isle of Iona. The legacy of St Columba is still strong here and many people still follow the old pilgrim routes to Iona today.

Watercolour, ink, silver & gold

illuminated page

In these Isles.

In these isles, a dove still sings. Bidh a calaman fhathast a seinn anns na h-eileanan seo. Award-winning Illuminated page created for Colmcille 1500.

Watercolour, ink, gold & silver on 250gsm textured card.