Yesterday was the feast day of St. Brendan the Navigator. St. Brendan was an Irish explorer monk, the patron saint of sailors, who is credited with the discovery of America in the 6th century. (I've written about it before.) Tolkien wrote a poem called The Death of St. Brendan - or, alternately, Imram, about St. Brendan's adventures. You can read the whole thing here and you really should do so. It is lovely. Many years back, I started a project involving writing the whole thing out on pale blue paper, in Tengwar, with watercolour illustrations and silver gilding all over the place. I didn't get so far, though I still have the pages I wrote out, and would like to start fresh, as I never did entirely abandon the idea. However, I have been thinking about it a good deal more than usual the last few months, because St. Brendan figures into the myth-building part of the story I am working on, and that line of Tolkien's "a cloud, a tree, a star..." has been going about my head while I struggle to write what I want to write. I ended up doing a small illustration for the poem yesterday. It started on a cheap bit of scrap paper while I was at work, and though it was meant for a draft, the sketch was better than anything I was likely to follow it up with, so it turned into the illustration. Cheap scrap paper does not lie flat once you splash watercolour on it, even if you are restrained in the splashing, so it did not photograph as well as it ought. But I was rather pleased with it. So here you are, a day late: St. Brendan the Navigator:
This other picture takes a bit of explaining. Several of my co-workers were discussing small children the other day and how small children generally want to grow up to be famous. They both agreed that they had wanted to be famous when they were little, and that seemed to clinch the matter. That is, until one of them looked at me sitting there, and amended it to, "Except Mahri. Mahri never wanted to be famous." Which was true. I wanted to be good at thing, I just didn't care who knew about it, and I said as much, aloud, to the amusement of the audience. "You just wanted to be Daredevil." one of them remarked, and I, after a stunned moment, agreed whole-heartily. The timing of this conversation was rather uncanny. My sisters and I were in the middle of watching Daredevil at the time, though I hadn't mentioned it to anyone at work, and the idea of being a sweet anonymous person during the day, and a skilled avenger at night (thus maintaining my anonymity) appealed to me strongly. So I came home a doodled a Daredevil librarian, which was gradually embellished (ha, what a word for so slight a work) with a tiny bit if watercolour and some green and brown ink. The result isn't nearly so impressive as the image in my mind, but I rather liked it when it was finished.
And that is that. Doodles, as usual. I think I must make an effort to work at this art stuff a little more seriously than I have been. I enjoy it. It's just not my strongest suit.