A CELTIC ART GALLERY - THE CELTIC ART OF HAMISH BURGESS

 

Hamish Douglas Burgess, also known as Jim or Seumas, is an artist living on the island of Maui, in the Hawaiian Islands. He continues the ancient practice with his own Celtic art, traditional and modern, in various mediums. Coming from Celtic stock (Scottish), and living for many years in a Celtic area of Britain (Cornwall), he has a love of Celtic art and music instilled in him, producing Celtic artwork in different media, photography from the Celtic Lands, and playing the bagpipes. He regularly spends time in the ancient Celtic areas of Britain, Ireland and Europe, studying ancient works of Celtic art, and visiting other artists. Recent works have included album covers, book illustrations, commissioned pieces, original celtic tattoos, temporary celtic tattoos and even an entire car! For a forward for renowned celtic artist Courtney Davis' latest 'Celtic Tattoo Workbook' (Volume 2) - see bottom of page.

April - The Celtic Art of Hamish Burgess is on display for the month of April at Hawaiian Village Coffee in the Kahana Gateway Center (4405 Honoapiilani Hwy, #207) in West Maui. Opening hours 6am-6pm ! See our Hamish's Celtic original art giclees - all available for purchase. If you want a chat with him about his art, please call 808-264-5190, and he'll pop round to the coffee shop to see you (but away until March 30th). Preview the artwork on our Gallery page.
Mahalo to David Maran, owner of Hawaiian Village Coffee, for supporting local artists.
There will be an artist's reception Saturday April 19th from 6-8pm with a Celtic Music Session - with special guest Irish singer Michael Black - the craic will be mighty !

Hamish Burgess with his Celtic art at Hawaiian Village Coffee, Kahana

Hamish Burgess with his Celtic art at Hawaiian Village Coffee, Kahana, Maui, April 2014

The centerpiece of the show is "The Life of the Rover", his recent album cover for The Irish Rovers 50th anniversary triple CD (see below). All Artwork © Hamish Burgess 2014

ORIGINAL CELTIC ART BY HAMISH BURGESS, RECENT WORKS

 

'THE LIFE OF THE ROVER' © Hamish Burgess 2013

'THE LIFE OF THE ROVER' by Hamish Burgess © 2012

'THE LIFE OF THE ROVER' © Hamish Burgess 2013. Original Celtic art by Hamish Burgess, on stained watercolour paper, with acrylic paint colours, and acrylic black ink outline. A piece commissioned by George Millar founder of the legendary Irish Rovers, for the cover of the new triple CD "The Irish Rovers - 50 Years". Available now at The Irish Rovers online store, as well as an 18" x 24" art poster, with a black surround and writing area underneath. The above artwork is available as a 24 x 24 inch limited edition giclee print on watercolour paper, signed and numbered, costing $150. Please email Hamish at hamish@mauiceltic.com

Hamish created the art after the style of the ‘Book of Kells’ (c.800AD), combined with a modern twist (Celtic art pun intended) to tell the band’s story, from the lads’ origins in Ireland, through forming the band in Canada, and up to the present day. Within the piece are 26 historical references to the group, and 11 songs they recorded, that were significant in their career.

Starting at top left, the heads on the letter ’T’ represent George Millar meeting Jimmy Ferguson in Toronto in 1963, where the Irish lads first got together and played music. Jimmy sadly passed away in 1997, but is shown here in a star in the shape of a cross, looking down on the story and smiling.
The series of grey spirals represents the Millars’ hometown Ballymena. Known as ’The Seven Towers of Ballymena’, with four churches, the Castle of the Adair family with their arms of three red hands, the Town Hall and the Braidwater Spinning Mill, where George & Will’s father Bob Millar worked. The spiral connects to Bob’s accordion, as he was a big musical influence on the young Millar boys.
The capital letter ’I’ ends with a pony’s head. George Millar was promised a pony when he left Ireland, but never got it, so here it is.
The blue trisceles signify heading across the waves to Canada, as all the members of the band did.
The spiral coming off the figure five shows the logo that was on the door of the band’s original station wagon.
The capital letter ’R’ ends with George’s dog, Ruby, an Irish Red Setter. Above her head the brown stacked knots represent Phil’s Pancake House in Calgary, one of the band’s first musical breaks. That connects to another big break, The Purple Onion folk club in San Francisco.
The blue and white knotwork represents The Ice House club in Pasadena, melting into the colours of the 1960’s Decca Record label. The label discovered the band and recorded their first album there.
Moving on, the band had three successful television shows. The traditional grey and red Celtic piece is a movie camera, the spirals being the film reels and the lens, and the key pattern is the camera body. The lens connects to a representation of three 1970s and 80s TV station logos in Canada and Ireland, CBC, Global and Ulster Television.
The grey Celtic spiral represents The Virginian television series, on which the boys guested for three episodes. Viewed sideways it becomes a Colt 45 revolver.
Five years into their career, The Irish Rovers had a hit single with ’The Unicorn’. Starting in the top bar of the numeral 5, ’?there were green alligators, and long-necked geese…’ and moving to the numeral 0, clockwise from the bottom ’…humpty back camels and chimpanzees, cats, rats and elephants…’ and back to the head of the 5 ’…but as sure as you?re born, the loveliest of all was the unicorn’. The unicorn’s spiraling horn is entwined by a traditional Celtic tree of life, with some berries that the unicorn’s tongue is after.
The B side of the Unicorn single was ’?The Black Velvet Band’. Sitting between the numerals is a young colleen, ’Her hair hung over her shoulder, tied up with a Black Velvet Band’.
To the left of the 5 the upright amber piece with a Celtic cross, represents an early band song ’Whiskey on a Sunday’.
Another signiature song, ’The Orange and the Green’, is shown in the numerals 50. Between them is ’Puff the Magic Dragon’, holding a pink crystal ball with the reflection reading Lily, ’Lily the Pink’.
Inside the numeral 0 are brothers George and Will Millar, playing their instruments and sitting on a toadstool. In ’The Irish Rovers’ TV series on CBC there was a Leprechaun skit, with the lads sitting on a toadstool of these colours. These heads are actually straight out of the Book of Kells and just happened to look like certain people….
Between the numerals are symbols representing World Expos that the band played at in Japan, Australia and Canada.
Below are pub signs. The lads owned several pubs across Canada, The Unicorn Pubs and The Rose and Crown Pubs.
Bottom left is the band?s Christmas hit, ’Grandma got run over by a Reindeer’.
Next to that in the coil of rope is Maddie, George?s old red setter and namesake of his publishing company Red Maddie, and the Rover Records label logo. She is wearing a grapefruit on her head, as in the hit song Tom Paxton wrote for the band, after a memorable night in their company, ’Wasn?t That A Party’. Nearby is the cat that was talking back in the same song.
Centre is ’The Drunken Sailor’ the band?s traditional show closing song, a recent internet hit with 11 million hits on YouTube, and title of the last album.
The band returned to the TV screen recently with two specials on PBS Television, represented by the small black and white spirals.
Bottom right is a great song by George Millar, the recent ’Whores and Hounds’, a current stage favourite. 
The story comes to the present day with a new piece of music George just wrote, the first two bars of ’Rovers Farewell’.

The original work shown above is currently not for sale, however it is available as a 24 x 24 inch limited edition giclee print on watercolour paper, signed and numbered, costing $150. Please contact us for details - email Hamish at hamish@mauiceltic.com.
Original commissioned works to your own concepts are available.

 


'THE UNICORN SPIRAL' © Hamish Burgess 2013

'UNICORN SPIRAL' by Hamish Burgess © 2012

'THE UNICORN SPIRAL' © Hamish Burgess 2013. Original Celtic art by Hamish Burgess, a piece commissioned by George Millar founder of the legendary Irish Rovers, for the booklet cover of the new triple CD "The Irish Rovers - 50 Years". Now available at The Irish Rovers online store.

He created the art as a nod, with permission from the band, to the distinctive artwork of their second album “The Unicorn” in 1967, but brought up to date with Hamish’s own Celtic style, to celebrate the iconic band’s 50th anniversary.

This Original work shown above is SOLD. The piece measures approx. 13 x 12.5 inches. Original commissioned works to your own concepts are available. Please contact us for details - email Hamish at hamish@mauiceltic.com

 


 

'HALSTEAD-SIEGEL TREE OF LIFE' © Hamish Burgess 2013

This original piece was a wedding gift for good friends, Siobhan Halstead & Matt Siegel, customized to feature the couple. Original Celtic art on watercolour paper by Hamish Burgess, with acrylic paint background and colours, and acrylic black ink outline.

It is a Celtic Tree of Life coming out of a traditional cauldron, with the seven creations of the ancient Celtic world - plants, humans, animals, birds, fish, reptiles and insects. Then of course the couple, Siobhan's queen bee, a parrot, and the Salmon of Knowledge (with water), and Matt's favourite dog, a black widow spider, and a chameleon.

This Original work shown above is in a private collection. Original commissioned works like this are available, customized to feature stylized likenesses of you and your loved ones, and pets or favorite animals. Please contact us for details - email Hamish at hamish@mauiceltic.com

 


 

'ANCIENT ANTRIM' © Hamish Burgess 2012 and 2013

'Ancient Antrim' by Hamish Burgess © 2013

Ancient style Celtic art by Hamish Burgess, hand painted with acrylics on canvas. Created as the background for the cover of the upcoming 'The Irish Rovers Songbook'. Hamish found an ancient Celtic art connection to the founding band members' home county of Antrim, Ireland.

The piece is based on an ancient stone in Co.Antrim, Northern Ireland, known as the Derrykeighan Stone, carved possibly about 200 BC on local stone, in the early La Tène style of Celtic art, with curvilinear shapes and spirals. It was discovered in 1977, an earlier stone built into ruined walls of St. Colman's Parish Church, Derrykeighan, near Bushmills. It had been placed there when the church was rebuilt in the 17th century. The old area was known as Daire Caechan or Ceachain, meaning "Oak wood of Ceachain''. The old Church and graveyard at Derrykeighan is a few miles out of Bushmills on the Ballymoney Road, and there is a replica of the ancient stone in the churchyard. An early Christian monastery was founded here in the 6th century.

Hamish filled and surrounded the original Derrykeighan Stone design with other early shapes in the style of the Turoe Stone of the same La Tène era.

This Original work shown above is available for $1200 (plus shipping), unframed. Acrylics on stretched canvas. The piece measures approx. 18 x 24 inches. Limited edition prints available on watercolour paper - approx. 12" x 16" $90 plus shipping - approx. 8" x 10.5" $60 plus shipping. Please contact us for details - email Hamish at hamish@mauiceltic.com

 


 

'BEL' © Hamish Burgess 2013

'BEL' the Celtic Sun God by Hamish Burgess © 2013

Original Celtic and folk art by Hamish Burgess, a piece for the cover of The Celtic Connection newspaper in Vancouver BC and Seattle, the May ‘13 issue.

The great wheel of the year turns again on the evening of April 30th, with ancient Celtic festival of Beltane, Beltaine, or Bealtaine in Irish, dedicated to the Sun God Bel, ‘the bright and shining one’. Also known as Belenos, Belinus, Beal, Bile, Belyn, and Beli, he was prayed to at times of sickness, for the healing power of the sun. In various Celtic cultures the god of fertility, healing, music, hunting and even death, he was associated with therapy, prophecy and healing springs. Over 30 inscriptions naming Belenos have been found by archaeologists, more than almost any other Celtic deity.
Shrines have been found to him all over Europe, from the British Isles and Ireland in the west, to the ancient kingdom of Noricum, a federation of twelve tribes in the Eastern Alps, in what is now Austria. The Serpent ring, animal and sun symbols depicted on his helmet are from the Hallstatt area of Austria. Bel is portrayed here, as he was in ancient carvings, as a flaming solar god with wings, wearing a serpent headed neck torc (representing healing and regeneration). 
The sun disc decoration is based on the carvings of a 1st century BC bronze mirror, found at Trelan Bahow, St.Keverne, in West Cornwall. The ancient name for West Cornwall (the Celtic region of south-west Britain) was Belerion, ‘the place of Bel’. Bel’s name survives to this day in the old London fishmarket of Billingsgate – Bile’s Gate. Also in William Shakespeare’s play Cymbeline, which was based on the Celtic king Cunobelinus (the Hound of Bel), who lived from the 1st century BC until the 40s AD.

Beltaine is first mentioned in the ancient Irish dictionary Cormac’s Glossary, written by Cormac Mac Chileannain, Bishop of Cashel and King of Munster, who died in 908. He derives the word from the name of a god Bel, or Bil, and the Old Irish word ‘tene’ or fire, so literally ‘the fires of Bel’.
This seasonal feast marks the end of the dark half of the year, and is about honouring life, and the coming of Summer. The Sun God is released from the captivity of Winter, and returns to visit the Earth Goddess, with a time of joyous celebrating.
People did everything in their power to ensure the return of the Sun God, with huge Bel fires being lit on a knoll, started with 9 different types of sacred wood  (shown here) collected by the Druids. The ever-burning household fires would only be extinguished at Beltane, so they could be re-lit from brands of the sacred fires, as a symbolic blessing. People passed, and animals were driven, between the two need-fires to bring luck and protection. It was thought that the purifying fires would cleanse the animals of winter sickness and disease, before going to summer grazing pastures.
St.Patrick famously lit his own fire at Beltane on the Hill of Slane, to announce the arrival of his new religion to Ireland, and challenge the Druids of King Laoghaire at nearby Tara.

Beltane is a fertility festival, with young folks full of the joys of Summer. An old custom of ‘greenwood marriages’ saw couples disappearing to the woods for the night, staying out to see the new May sunrise, and collecting boughs and flowers for May Day festivities. Many of the girls ended up with a child 9 months later at Imbolc, protected by the Goddess Brigit.
The ancient festival has become May Day in modern times, with it’s fertility dance around the Maypole, with young men and maidens circling the pole with coloured ribbons, weaving around each other, making a pattern on the pole. Boys traditionally held red ribbons for the Sun God, and girls held white ribbons for the Goddess.

Prints available on watercolour paper - limited edition - approx 8 x 10 inches $60 plus shipping - approx 11 x 14 inches $90 plus shipping. The original piece measures approx 8 x 10 inches.


 

'THE IRISH ROVERS SONGBOOK' © Hamish Burgess 2012

'THE IRISH ROVERS SONGBOOK' by Hamish Burgess © 2012

'THE IRISH ROVERS SONGBOOK' © Hamish Burgess 2012. Original Celtic and folk art by Hamish Burgess, a piece commissioned by George Millar founder of the legendary Irish Rovers, for the cover of the new songbook, their first since 1971. It is now available at The Irish Rovers online store.

For the background, 'Ancient Antrim' (see below), Hamish found an ancient Celtic art connection to the founding band members' home county of Antrim, Ireland.
The piece is based on an ancient stone in Co.Antrim, Northern Ireland, known as the Derrykeighan Stone, carved possibly about 200 BC on local stone, in the early La Tène style of Celtic art, with curvilinear shapes and spirals. It was discovered in 1977, an earlier stone built into ruined walls of St. Colman's Parish Church, Derrykeighan, near Bushmills. It had been placed there when the church was rebuilt in the 17th century. The old area was known as Daire Caechan or Ceachain, meaning "Oak wood of Ceachain''. The old Church and graveyard at Derrykeighan is a few miles out of Bushmills on the Ballymoney Road, and there is a replica of the ancient stone in the churchyard. An early Christian monastery was founded here in the 6th century.
Hamish filled and surrounded the original Derrykeighan Stone design with other early shapes in the style of the Turoe Stone of the same La Tène era.

The foreground is the band's 'Unicorn & Mandolin' logo (see below), a modern Celtic piece by Hamish, adapted from the original trademark with permission of The Irish Rovers Company Ltd. It contains a tribute to the band's landmark million selling single from 1967, 'The Unicorn', with a Celtic-style unicorn, who's mane and tail are entwined with a Mandolin, a trademark instrument of the group, featuring a Celtic knotwork border.

The combined styles of Celtic art span over 2000 years of tradition!

This Original work shown above is SOLD. The piece measures approx. 9 x 12 inches. Original commissioned works to your own concepts are available. Please contact us for details - email Hamish at hamish@mauiceltic.com

 


'CHEETHAM TREE OF LIFE' © Hamish Burgess 2012

'CHEETHAM TREE OF LIFE' by Hamish Burgess © 2012

This original piece was a commissioned by a friend as a gift for his great friends, customized to feature the couple. Original Celtic art on watercolour paper by Hamish Burgess, with acrylic paint background and colours, and acrylic black ink outline.

It is a Celtic Tree of Life coming out of a traditional cauldron, with the seven creations of the ancient Celtic world - plants, humans, animals, birds, fish, reptiles and insects. In this piece the tree has Thistles on the plant to represent the subject's Scottish heritage. Then of course the couple, their dog, a gecko, a dragonfly, a hummingbird, and a Hawaiian Trigger fish, or Humuhumunukunukuapua'a (with water).

This Original work shown above is now SOLD. Original commissioned works like this are available, customized to feature stylized likenesses of you and your loved ones, and pets or favorite animals. Please contact us for details - email Hamish at hamish@mauiceltic.com

 


 

'THE IRISH ROVERS CHRISTMAS' DVD © Hamish Burgess 2012

'THE IRISH ROVERS CHRISTMAS' DVD by Hamish Burgess © 2012

'THE IRISH ROVERS CHRISTMAS' DVD © Hamish Burgess 2012. Original Celtic and folk art by Hamish Burgess, a piece commissioned by George Millar founder of the legendary Irish Rovers, for the cover of The Irish Rovers Christmas DVD. It contains fine traditional seasonal songs, as well as great new original songs from the pen of George Millar. The Irish singer commissioned Hamish after his previous artwork for the band's 'Gracehill Fair' CD, the Christmas album "Merry Merry Time of Year", and the recent 'Drunken Sailor' CD (see artwork for all below).

The design is based on Hamish's now well-known logo used by the band on their drum-head, "Home In Ireland" DVD, website and T-shirts (adapted from the original trademark with permission of The Irish Rovers Company Ltd.) ........but a seasonal version ! It contains a tribute to the band's landmark million selling single from 1967, 'The Unicorn', with a Celtic-style unicorn, who's mane and tail are entwined with a Mandolin, a trademark instrument of the group, featuring a hand-drawn traditional Celtic knotwork border. The unicorn is sporting a Santa hat with bells. tailing into Celtic knotwork. The knotwork corners are icicles, and the large falling snowflakes are Celtic knots, some original, some based on ancient designs.
Thanks to the lovely Jennifer Fahrni for her suggestions on the border.

The Irish Rovers Christmas DVD features their rollicking Christmas concert filmed in Chatham, Ontario, and footage in the mountains and pubs of Banff National Park, Alberta. They are joined onstage by old friends and guest musicians Gerry O’Connor, Patrick Davey, Morris Crum, and Irish tenor John McDermott with guitarist Jason Fowler, and on the ski slopes by legendary Olympic skier and Crazy Canuck, Dave Irwin. Two hours of music, fun and LOTS of Extras. It is now available at The Irish Rovers online store.

This Original work shown above is now SOLD. The original piece measures approx 8 x 10 inches. Original commissioned works to your own concepts are available. Please contact us for details - email Hamish at hamish@mauiceltic.com

 


 

'ST.PATRICK' © Hamish Burgess 2012

'ST.PATRICK' by Hamish Burgess © 2012

'ST.PATRICK' © Hamish Burgess 2012. Original Celtic and folk art by Hamish Burgess, a piece for the cover of The Celtic Connection newspaper in Vancouver BC and Seattle, the March issue.

The art shows St.Patrick in later life wearing clerical robes, with his famous bell in one hand, and his treasured staff or crozier and a shamrock in the other. He is depicted with a clerical tonsure, or shaved head, possibly referred to by his opponents the druids, who prophesied his converting the pagan folk of Ireland: “Across the sea will come Adze-head, crazed in the head, his cloak with hole for the head, his stick bent in the head. He will chant impieties from a table in the front of his house; all his people will answer: "so be it, so be it.""
Behind him is the Paschal fire he lit to challenge the High King of Ireland, and the cross represents an invisible circle of divine protection, that he invoked with a chant which is now called “St.Patrick’s Breastplate”. It changed his own party into deer to escape the pagan warriors, and became known as “The Deer’s Cry”.
In the air around him are the ‘serpents’ of Ireland, in tradition likely referring to paganism, and two dragon-like creatures he is said to have cast down, the Caoránach, and the Oilliphéist. Read on for details……

Saint Patrick is the most famous of the saints, celebrated the world over on March 17th as the patron saint of Ireland, but most information about him is open to speculation. The ancient traditions surrounding him, most taken from accounts of his life written many years after his death, are disputed by scholars. Even his birth and death dates vary in different sources. St.Patrick himself left two written texts, the Epistle to Coroticus, and the Confessio containing an account of his own life, in the ‘Book of Armagh’ now in Trinity College Library in Dublin. 

St. Patrick was born around 387-390 AD with the Celtic name Maewyn Succat, in a village called Bannavem Taburniæ in Western Britain, either Wales or Scotland, under Roman rule. His parents were Calpurnius (a deacon, son of Potitus, a priest), and Conchessa. He adopted the title Patricius, or Patrick, upon becoming a priest. He died at Saul, Downpatrick Ireland, on the 17th of March 460 or some say 492. All dates are the subject of some debate.
At the age of 16 he was kidnapped by Irish pirates under Niall of the Nine Hostages, and brought to pagan Ireland. Sold as a slave to Meliuc, a landowner in Antrim, he tended sheep on Slemish Mountain for six years. During this time he learnt to speak Irish and exposed to druidism, as his master was a druid high priest, but found solace in his Christian faith. In a dream a voice told him to escape, and he traveled south for 200 miles and found a ship leaving for Gaul. After landing on 28 day journey with his starving pagan shipmates, he was taunted to use his faith to find them food, and upon praying, a herd of pigs appeared – one of his first religious experiences helping to convert his companions.

He trained as a cleric in France, in monasteries at Tours and Lerins, and was ordained a priest by St. Germain, bishop of Auxerre, then sent to teach Christianity to the Irish. He was to assist Palladius, already there on a mission, but he died and Patrick was ordained bishop himself in 432.
According to the ‘Annals of Ulster’ he landed in Ireland at Strangford Lough, and his first convert under Dichiu gave him land at Saul, and a building for a church. He spent time on his mission at the Ulster capital of Emain Macha and Ard Macha (Armagh), at the court of King Daire.
Murchiú'sLife of Saint Patrick’ (‘Vita sancti Patricii’), one of the first accounts of the fifth-century saint, contains a supposed prophecy by druids showing how Patrick was seen by his opponents at the time:
“Across the sea will come Adze-head, crazed in the head,
his cloak with hole for the head, his stick bent in the head.
He will chant impieties from a table in the front of his house;
all his people will answer: "so be it, so be it."'

Patrick knew that he would have to convert King Laoghaire, the High King of Tara, to take his message around pagan Ireland. On the traditional start of spring all fires in Ireland were extinguished, to be ceremoniously lit from sacred druid fires. In legend, the night before Easter on March 25th 433, Patrick built a Paschal fire on the Hill of Slane, visible in the darkness from the Kings hall, which was strictly forbidden. King Laoghaire was infuriated and rode with his men to see who had challenged him.
According to tradition, he was challenged by the druid Lochru who abused his faith, and Patrick called upon divine retribution – Lochru was raised to a great height and dashed on the rocks below smashing his skull ! Patrick summoned heavy darkness and earthquakes, dispersing King Laoghaire’s host, leaving him with only 7 followers. He then incanted a lorica - a ‘Caim’ or chant to invoke an invisible circle of divine protection,  which is now called “St.Patrick’s Breastplate”. It changed his own party into deer to escape the pagan warriors, and became known as “The Deer’s Cry”.
The next day Patrick went to the court of King Laoghaire, and was challenged to various trials of power by the druid Lucetmael. In the final one, a hut was to be burnt, built with one half dry wood, and the other new green wood. The druid stood on the wet side wearing Patrick’s cloak, and a young follower of Patrick wore the druids cloak on the dry side. The hut was burnt, and miraculously the boy survived unscathed with the druid’s cloak destroyed - but the druid died, with Patrick’s cloak remaining intact ! This convinced many of the people of the power of the new Christian faith, although the king refused to convert, he allowed Patrick the freedom to preach his message.
Folktales say that Patrick used the shamrock with three leaves to explain the Trinity - the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  An easy conversion for people used to triple goddesses. In a comparatively short 30 years Patrick managed to convert much of Ireland to Christianity, and effectively destroy paganism.

Irish legends say Patrick dealt with two monsters. The eel-like lake dwelling Caoránach, was said to be the mother of demons and devils, and was banished by Patrick to Lough Derg, or Red Lake, so called after the dragon’s blood. The dragon-like Oilliphéist heard that Patrick had come to drive out it’s kind, and in a rage fled Ireland slamming it’s tail on the land and cutting the route of the River Shannon ! 
It is said that St. Patrick drove the snakes from Ireland, most likely a reference to paganism. On March 17th every year, thousands of pilgrims climb 2,500 feet to the top of Croagh Patrick in pilgrimage. According to legend, at lent one year Patrick was fasting on the mountain (originally called Cruachan Aigli, or Hill of the Eagles) near Westport, Co Mayo. He was attacked by a horde of demons and serpents, rang his holy bell to turn them away, and had to throw it at them in order to make them flee, banishing them to Log na Deamhan, the Hollow of the Demons.
The bell, with it’s elaborate bell shrine container of gold and silver, is now in the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin. The ancient simple bell is made of iron coated in bronze, and according to the ’Annals of Ulster’ is first mentioned in the Book of Cuanu in the year 552. The bell ‘Clogh Dubh Phadraig’ was one of the three ‘relics of Patrick’ taken from his tomb sixty years after his death by Colum Cille, to be used as religious relics. The others were Patrick's goblet and an ancient book, "The Angels Gospel".

St.Patrick’s Crozier, ‘An Bachall Iosa’ (The Staff of Jesus), was made of wood, and supposedly handed to him by Jesus on an island in the Mediterranean, before he began his mission in Ireland. The ancient books ‘The Annals of Ulster’ and ‘The Four Masters’ both say that it was a symbol of Patrick’s authority. Patrick held the staff in such high esteem that he had an elaborate casing made for it by his companion the goldsmith Assicus, or St.Tussach. Described by St. Bernard of Clairvaux it was ‘covered with gold and adorned with the most costly gems’. As a national relic, oaths and treaties were signed on it, and it survived storms and invasions. It was tragically destroyed during Henry VIII’s Reformation in the 1500s, burnt in front of Christchurch Cathedral in Dublin.

Limited edition prints available on watercolour paper  - approx 8 x 10 inches - $60 plus shipping. 11 x 14 inches - $90 plus shipping.   The original piece measures approx 8 x 10 inches. Original commissioned works to your own concepts are available. Please contact us for details - email Hamish at hamish@mauiceltic.com

 


 

'THE IRISH ROVERS - THE TITANIC' © Hamish Burgess 2012

'THE IRISH ROVERS - TITANIC' by Hamish Burgess © 2012

Original Folk and Celtic art by Hamish Burgess, a commissioned piece by George Millar founder of the legendary Irish Rovers, for the cover of the latest Irish Rovers single 'The Titanic', a more serious track from the pen of George Millar, featured on the fun upcoming 'Drunken Sailor' CD, available now at www.irishroversmusic.com. The album contains fine traditional sea shanties and nautical songs, as well as great new original songs such as this single.
The Irish singer commissioned Hamish after his previous artwork for the band's 'Gracehill Fair' CD, the Christmas album "Merry Merry Time of Year", and the recent 'Drunken Sailor' CD (see artwork for all below).

George Millar wrote the great new single 'The Titanic' as a centennial year tribute to the pride of Belfast, the folks who built her, and the legacy she leaves today. "Irish pride was at its highest, and the sinking devastated the shipyards, and its workers. To this day they say with a wry smile, "She was alright when she left here!" "
The sinking of the RMS Titanic is one of the largest peacetime maritime tragedies in history. The legend of this mighty ship has both intrigued and haunted Irish Rover, George Millar all these years. That may be because he shares his birthday of April 14th, with the date the ship met its icy end on her maiden voyage a century ago. "Being from Northern Ireland and born on April 14th, the legend of the Titanic has been with me all my life. It took the labour of fifteen thousand Irishmen to build her - she was the pride of Belfast" says Millar.
The song gives us a feeling of descending the ocean depths to meet the great ship at her resting place, then she quickly sweeps us away on a journey to her glory days, charging across the high seas.

For a brilliant video of the single, opening with the above image then with great archival photos, created by Maui Celtic's Jennifer Fahrni, please visit A Behind the Scenes Video by JJ Fahrni.

Hamish created this original piece after hearing the epic song, with the Celtic decorated porthole as a tribute to the grand ship's home of Belfast in Northern Ireland. The knotwork on the porthole is based on 7th century art from one of the ancient illuminated books, with bolts in-between, and surrounded by grey steel with rivets.
The Titanic image is based on photographs and paintings, with the actual colours researched. The funnel's are the correct colour for the White Star Line, and notice no smoke coming from the back one - only three of the funnels expelled smoke and waste gasses - the fourth was a dummy, added to make the ship look more powerful.
The bow-wave contains the The Irish Rovers name, and all the lettering is ettering is Art Nouveau style to reflect the era.

The RMS Titanic was built in Belfast by the shipbuilding company Harland and Wolff, owned by Lord Pirrie, a friend of the managing director of the White Star Line, Bruce Ismay. Construction of the ship began in 1909, and she was launched in 1911, with the next ten months spent completing the interior of the ship. The total cost of the RMS Titanic was $7.5 million, a lot of money in 1912.

This Original work shown above is now SOLD. The piece measures approx 8.5 x 8.5 inches. Original commissioned works like this are available, specific to your concept. Please contact us for details - email Hamish at hamish@mauiceltic.com

 


'MAUI CELTIC ISLANDS' © Hamish Burgess 2012

'MAUI CELTIC ISLANDS' by Hamish Burgess © 2012

Original modern Celtic art created by Hamish Burgess for his company Maui Celtic in 2012, as the latest T-shirt of the Maui Celtic logowear range, which become a big hit on green shirts on St.Patrick's Day, and on black shirts at the Hawaiian Scottish Festival.
The Maui Celtic Compass logo is a new take on the classic company logo. The Celtic knots represent the inhabited islands of the Hawaiian chain, and can fit exactly into maps of the individual islands. From top left: Ni'ihau, Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, Kaho'olawe, Maui, Hawaii. The old style cartography script 'Pacific Celts' is there to include all island residents.

Available on black T-shirts soon at the Maui Celtic Online Store. Until then contact us for details - email Hamish at hamish@mauiceltic.com

 


 

'BRIGID' © Hamish Burgess 2012

'BRIGID' by Hamish Burgess © 2012

'BRIGID' © Hamish Burgess 2012. Original Celtic and folk art by Hamish Burgess, a piece for the cover of The Celtic Connection newspaper in Vancouver BC and Seattle, the February Imbolc/St.Brigit's Day issue.

Imbolc - the coming of Spring – a time to honour the feminine aspect of the divine. The great wheel of the year turns again on February 1st, with the ancient sacred day of the Celtic goddess Brigid - Mother Goddess of Ireland and daughter of The Morrigan and the Daghda. She was also called Brigit, Bride, Brighid, Brig, and Brigantia. The root of her name means 'bright' or 'exalted', and possibly 'firebrand'. Tradition has it that she walks the earth Imbolc eve, and the portrait shows Bride with her white wand and open mouth said to “breathe life into the mouth of dead Winter, and bring him to open his eyes to the tears and smiles, the sighs and laughter of Spring” (Carmina Gadelica Vol.1).
She is goddess of the home and hearth, and associated with sacred flames, representing the return of the sun and warmth, coming with the lengthening days. Legend has it that the fire goddess was born at sunrise, in a house that burst into flames, and a pillar of fire was said to have risen from her head when she took the veil. Her 3 fires are the hearth, the forge and inspiration.

Brigid is the triple goddess of Smithcraft (with Celtic warriors invoking her protection before battle) represented here by the hammer and tongs; Healing represented by the serpent (still seen on the medical staff of today); and Poetry and the Arts represented by the smoke coming from the fire of inspiration on her head.  The early La Tène style Celtic art of the smoke is based on the Turoe Stone in Bullaun, Co.Galway, Ireland, with connections to Brigid as a fertility stone. As patroness of Druids and Bards, she ruled over inspiration, poetry, and divination – tradition has it that she curled her palm and ‘looking through it’s pipe’ could see the future.

She is also goddess of Weaving, shown here by her tartan cloak, which in legend she could throw over Ireland for protection, and was famously said to have hung it up to dry on a ray of the sun.
Along with healing, she is the goddess of Childbirth, with the ancient fertility symbol of the Sheelagh na Gig on her right cloak. Her season Imbolc, also spelled Imbolg, has one translation as 'in the belly’.

Our goddess was to cross from the old world into the new - in the later Celtic Christian Church, an extraordinary woman was to become a famous abbess, who after her death in 523AD, became Brigit's counterpart as Saint Brigit. Imbolc is celebrated today as St.Brigit's Day - her sanctuary at Kildare, or Cill-dara (Church of the Oak), was likely continued worship on an older Druidic site to the goddess. The saint had a sacred flame tended by nuns, which was kept alight for about a thousand years. The following church day is Candlemass, a continuation of the sacred fire tradition.
The wickerwork St.Brigit's Cross, a popular talisman since the 17th century, is thought to have origins in the ancient symbol for the sun, a stylized version seen here on her left cloak.

Another symbol of Brigid is the Serpent, who at this time of year was said to come out of her hole, like the badger, to see if the warming weather will affect her winter sleep. A fine frosty day forbode more winter ahead, but a cloudy day meant the quick end of winter. This tradition continued in the Americas, with European settlers seeing this habit from a new animal, and is now Groundhog Day.

Limited edition prints available on watercolour paper  - approx 8 x 10 inches - $60 plus shipping. 11 x 14 inches - $90 plus shipping.   The original piece measures approx 8 x 10 inches. Original commissioned works to your own concepts are available. Please contact us for details - email Hamish at hamish@mauiceltic.com

 


 

'IRISH ROVERS WHORES AND HOUNDS' © Hamish Burgess 2011

'IRISH ROVERS WHORES AND HOUNDS' by Hamish Burgess ©2011

Original Folk and Celtic art by Hamish Burgess, a commissioned piece by George Millar founder of the legendary Irish Rovers, for the cover of the latest Irish Rovers single 'Whores and Hounds' (whores is pronounced 'hoors' in this case), from the upcoming 'Drunken Sailor' CD, available soon at www.irishroversmusic.com. It contains fine traditional sea shanties and nautical songs, as well as great new original songs such as this single, from the pen of George Millar.

The Irish singer commissioned Hamish after his previous artwork for the band's 'Gracehill Fair' CD, the Christmas album "Merry Merry Time of Year", and the upcoming 'Drunken Sailor' CD (see artwork for all below).

The piece shows an old fashioned dockside sunset scene in Ireland, with sailors from the ship anchored offshore enjoying their shore-leave as the sun goes down, visiting the town ale houses, and having a good time with the local 'ladies' ! One 'lady of the night' is beckoning to the young lad to come up for a visit. The dogs on the left are Irish Red Setters, the top one being a nod to the band's own record label Rovers Records. The dog on the bottom right is an Irish Wolfhound. The dogs ears and tail become traditional Celtic knotwork.

This Original work shown above is now SOLD. The piece measures approx 8.5 x 8.5 inches. Original commissioned works like this are available, customized to feature stylized likenesses or animals, specific to your concept. Please contact us for details - email Hamish at hamish@mauiceltic.com

 


 

'IRISH ROVERS MERRY MERRY TIME OF YEAR' © Hamish Burgess 2011

The Irish Rovers "Merry Merry Time of Year" Christmas CD cover by Hamish Burgess

Original Folk and Celtic art by Hamish Burgess, a commissioned piece by George Millar founder of the legendary Irish Rovers, for the cover of the latest Irish Rovers Christmas CD 'Merry Merry Time of Year', available now at www.irishroversmusic.com. It contains fine traditional seasonal songs, as well as great new original songs from the pen of George Millar.

The Irish singer commissioned Hamish after his previous artwork for the band's 'Gracehill Fair' CD and the upcoming 'Drunken Sailor' CD (see below).

The piece shows an old fashioned Yuletide or Christmas scene, with traditional musicians playing for dancers at a snowy village crossroads after the sun has gone down, the street-light glowing on the snow-covered thatched roofs of the houses. The musicians are backing the singer with a flute, lute, fiddle, concertina and an old pipe.
The Christmas wreath is Holly and Ivy knotwork, and based on a tree of life in the ‘Book of Kells’. The Celtic knotwork corners are icicles.
Notice the wee 'character' at the back of the village, a nod to the band's landmark million selling single from 1967, 'The Unicorn'.

This Original work shown above is now SOLD. The piece measures approx 8.5 x 8.5 inches. Original commissioned works to your own concepts are available. Please contact us for details - email Hamish at hamish@mauiceltic.com

 

'IRISH ROVERS YULE TREE' © Hamish Burgess 2011

'IRISH ROVERS YULE TREE' by Hamish Burgess 2011

A second original by Hamish Burgess, commissioned by George Millar of the Irish Rovers, for the liner notes booklet of the latest Irish Rovers Christmas CD, 'Merry Merry Time of Year'. The new album for The Irish Rovers' 46th year of touring, is out now and available at www.irishroversmusic.com. It contains fine traditional seasonal songs, as well as great new original songs from the pen of George Millar.

The design is a modern Celtic knot in the shape of a Yule or Christmas Tree, decorated with lights and music notes, with presents under the tree including the instruments of original members - George Millar's guitar, and Wilcil McDowell's accordion. There is a seasonal tribute to the band's landmark million selling single from 1967, 'The Unicorn', with the animals from the world-famous song amongst the branches of the Tree. As the song said - "There were green alligators and long-necked geese, Some humpty backed camels and some chimpanzees, Some cats and rats and elephants, but sure as you're born, The loveliest of all was the unicorn" (Shel Silverstein).

This Original work shown above is now SOLD. The piece measures approx 8.5 x 8.5 inches. Original commissioned works like this are available, customized to feature stylized likenesses or animals, specific to your concept. Please contact us for details - email Hamish at hamish@mauiceltic.com

 


 

'MILLAR TREE OF LIFE' © Hamish Burgess 2011

'MILLAR TREE OF LIFE' by Hamish Burgess © 2011

This original piece was a 1st anniversary gift for some great friends, Anne & George Millar, customized to feature the happy couple. Original Celtic art on watercolour paper by Hamish Burgess, with watercolour background, acrylic paint colours, and acrylic black ink outline.

It is a Celtic Tree of Life coming out of a traditional cauldron, with the seven creations of the ancient Celtic world - plants, humans, animals, birds, fish, reptiles and insects. In this piece the tree has traditional medieval leaves as in the ‘Book of Kells’ on George’s side to represent Ireland, and Maple leaves on Anne’s side to represent Canada. Then of course the couple, George's red setter dog, a gecko, a dragonfly, a rooster, and a salmon (with water).

Original commissioned works like this are available, customized to feature stylized likenesses of you and your loved ones, and pets or favorite animals. Please contact us for details - email Hamish at hamish@mauiceltic.com

 


 

“LUGHNASADH” © Hamish Burgess 2011

LUGHNASADH by HAmish Douglas Burgess © 2011

'LUGHNASADH' © Hamish Burgess 2011. Original Celtic and folk art by Hamish Burgess, a piece for the cover of The Celtic Connection newspaper in Vancouver BC and Seattle, the July/August 2011 issue. The last of a series of four seasonal works.

The great wheel of the year turns again on the evening of July 31st, with the Celtic festival of LUGHNASADH, as the last in the cycle of the four seasons of the Celtic world. Here the Sun Wheel, with a maze of ‘key pattern’ based on ancient Pictish art, frames scenes from ages old tradition.
This feast marks the beginning of Autumn or Fall, and the harvesting season - crops were harvested in August, fruit in September, and meat in October. The ‘first fruits’ of the harvest were crops, and are shown (left) with the cornucopia of breads, grain and fruits, accompanied by a honey bee.
The Christian church also started a feast day, where loaves of bread were baked from the first of the harvested grain, and placed on the church altar on the first Sunday of August – it was called Lammas, from an Anglo-Saxon word ‘hlaef-mas’, which meant ‘loaf mass’.
Keeping a watchful eye on her land is Macha, one side of the Triple Goddess, in the form of a crow. Top left is a traditional ‘corn dolly' - the spirit of the cut corn is kept in her winter home until ploughed into the first furrow of the next season.

Lughnasadh is named after the Celtic Sun God Lugh (shown right), ‘The Bright or Shining One’, God of the Harvest, who also presides over the arts and sciences, as he was called Lugh the Il-Dana, ‘Master of All Crafts’, or Samildanach, 'he of the many gifts'. He was expert smith, craftsman, harpist, poet, sorcerer, physician, chess player and warrior. Also called Lugh Lámhfhada 'the long-handed', as tradition has it that he carried the magical Spear of Goirias (the Gáe Assail or Lightning Spear), one of the four treasures of the Tuatha De Danann – shown here flaming in Lugh’s hand, and channelling lightning. Thunderstorms provided respite from the fierce summer heat that the threatened crops under Lugh’s care. Celtic tribes across Europe revered this deity also known as Lug, Lugaidh, Lleu, Llew Llaw Gyffes ‘of the skillful hand’, and Llud - many places and tribes bear a version of his name. Lunasa in modern Irish is the name of the month of August.

In Irish history, Lugh's mother was Eithne, Fomorian daughter of Balor, and his father was Cian of the Tuatha De Danann. In legend it was foretold that he would kill his grandfather, so afraid for his life his mother fostered him to Tailtiu, Queen of the Fir Bolg, and later to the Sidh of the Sea God, Manannán mac Lir, on the Isle of Man. He became a famous warrior of the Tuatha De Danann, and fulfilling the prophecy he killed his grandfather, Balor of the Evil Eye, at the Battle of Moy Tura, winning the day for the Tuatha.

Lughnasadh has been translated as 'the binding duty of Lugh', referring to funeral games, Áenach Tailteann (shown center), that he held in honour of his foster-mother Tailtiu, a goddess of agriculture (shown bottom right). It is said that she died from exhaustion after clearing a great forest so that the land could be cultivated, and on her death-bed she told the men of Ireland to hold funeral games in her honour - she prophesied that as long as they were held, Ireland would not be without song. Here she plays an ancient harp, the music is actually the opening of “She Moves Thro’ The Fair”.
It is said that she is buried under the hill where her Tailteann Games were held for nearly 2000 years until the 12th century. The line of chariots and carts (shown bottom) approaching the Games was said to stretch for miles. Shown among the bright tents are folks dancing to a drummer and horn player, with the Games outside – spear throwing, sword-fighting and tug-of-war just some of the athletics practised. From this tradition come the come many summer fairs, festivals and highland games that are held worldwide at this time of year.
The Tailteann Games now lend their name to the village of Teltown, near the Blackwater River (tributary of the River Boyne) not far from Kells, in County Meath. It became famous for ‘Teltown marriages’, where couples at the fair held hands through a hole in a wooden gate, without seeing who their new partner was, and were married for a year and a day. If the trial union failed, they could stand back to back at the next fair and walk away from each other, legally ending the hand fasting. The practise continued locally until the 16th century. Shown (right) by three standing stones, are two small figures at a hand-fasting ceremony officiated by a druid.
Lughnasadh has had another translation - the ‘wedding of Lugh’ - he was said to have married the beautiful Goddess Eriu, the sovereignty of Ireland. The ancient Celtic sun kings were expected to ceremoniously marry the land, and look after her and the people.

Lugh’s foster father, the Celtic Sea God, Manannán mac Lir, watches over the scene from the waves (bottom left), wearing his ‘cloak of mists’, and on his horse ‘Enbarr of the Flowing Mane’, who could travel over water as easily as on land. He gave Lugh (shown right) the use of his sword Freagartach, ‘The Answerer’, and his corrbolg or ‘crane bag’ filled with magical treasures.
Also shown (bottom) are horse races through water, another old tradition associated with the time of year, likely from ancient cleansing rites, and related  to the summer  months of the Celtic horse goddess Epona.

The Sunday nearest Lughnasadh  is called Bilberry Sunday, when folks gathered the black berries, for garlands or bracelets, or to take home to eat. The tradition continues to this day. Top right shows bilberries and flowers linked to Lughnasadh - sunflowers, poppies, dandelions and marigolds.

Also shown are of course the elements of Earth, Air, Fire and Water.

Prints available approx 12 x 12 inches on watercolour paper - limited edition - $90 plus shipping. The original piece measures approx 8.5 x 8.5 inches, and the colours are more vivid. Original commissioned works to your own concepts are available. Please contact us for details - email Hamish at hamish@mauiceltic.com

 


 

IRISH ROVERS 'HOME IN IRELAND' DVD COVER © Hamish Burgess 2011

IRISH ROVERS 'HOME IN IRELAND' DVD COVER by Hamish Burgess © 2011

Original Folk and Celtic art by Hamish Burgess, a commissioned piece by George Millar founder of the legendary Irish Rovers, for the cover of the latest special edition of the Irish Rovers DVD "Home In Ireland", showing June 7th 2011 on Detroit Public Television. The design is based on an older logo used by the band during their 40th anniversary, brought by Hamish into the Celtic art world (adapted from the original trademark with permission of The Irish Rovers Company Ltd.). It contains a tribute to the band's landmark million selling single from 1967, 'The Unicorn', with a Celtic-style unicorn, who's mane and tail are entwined with a Mandolin, a trademark instrument of the group, featuring a hand-drawn traditional Celtic knotwork border. Please visit the Irish Rovers website for the 1st edition of the DVD.

This Original work shown above is now SOLD. The piece measures approx 7.2 x 5.12 inches. Original commissioned works like this are available, customized to feature stylized likenesses or animals, specific to your concept. Please contact us for details - email Hamish at hamish@mauiceltic.com

 


 

“BELTAINE” © Hamish Burgess 2011

“BELTAINE” by Hamish Burgess © 2011

'BELTAINE' © Hamish Burgess 2011. Original Celtic and folk art by Hamish Burgess, a piece for the cover of The Celtic Connection newspaper in Vancouver BC and Seattle, the May issue. The third of a series of four seasonal works.

The old Celtic name for May Day is Beltane, ‘bright fire’, and the coming of Summer. The great wheel of the year turns again on the evening of April 30th, with ancient Celtic festival of Beltane, Beltaine, or Bealtaine in Irish, dedicated to the Sun God Bel, ‘the bright and shining one’. This seasonal feast marks the end of the dark half of the year, and is about honouring life. The Sun God is released from the captivity of Winter, and returns to visit the Earth Goddess, with a time of joyous celebrating.

The center of the piece shows a sacred tree of ancient Ireland, the Bile Tree, one of 5 said to have grown from a tree branch with apples, nuts, acorns and berries all growing on it - brought by a giant man arriving at King Conaing’s hall at Tara. The Bile Tree was at the heart of the clan, the Irish Tree of Life, connecting the three worlds shown inside the leafy triscele of the Mother Goddess (also hiding a Green Man). Top is the Skyworld of the heavens, showing the Sun God Bel.
Right is the Middleworld of us humans - the Bile has gone, but the tradition survives as the Maypole, with it’s fertility dance of young men and maidens circling the pole with coloured ribbons, weaving around each other, making a pattern on the pole. Boys traditionally held red ribbons for the Sun God, and girls held white ribbons for the Goddess. In Padstow, Cornwall, the May Day character the Obby Oss does a fertility dance with white clad Mayers, around the town to music, sometimes capturing a maiden under his costume for good luck with marriage and children.
Left is the Otherworld of the spirits and the sidhe, or faery-folk, showing here the old Beltaine traditions of long ago. People did everything in their power to ensure the return of the Sun God, with huge Bel fires being lit on a knoll, started with 9 different types of sacred wood collected by the Druids. People and animals passed between the two need-fires to bring luck and protection, and purify the cattle before going to summer grazing pastures.

Beltane is a fertility festival, with young folks full of the joys of Summer. An old custom of ‘greenwood marriages’ saw couples disappearing to the woods for the night, staying out to see the new May sunrise, and collecting boughs and flowers for May Day festivities. Many of the girls ended up with a child 9 months later at Imbolc, protected by the Goddess Brigit. Shown either side of Bel, to honour the handfasting of the Goddess and Sun God, the Flower Maiden is ready to meet her consort, Cernunnos, the forest god, or the Green Man.
In Welsh mythology of ‘The Mabinogion’, a maiden Blodeuedd was made from flowers as a bride for Lleu. She fell in love with another, and plotted to kill Lleu, who escaped as a wounded eagle, later to return for revenge and transform Blodeuedd into an owl (top left), flying only by night and spurned by other birds.
Top right shows a ship - according to the ancient ‘Lebor Gabala’, the ‘Book of Invasions’, several invasions of Ireland took place at Beltane. The Partholons, the Tuatha de Danaan, arriving ‘through the air in a mist’, and finally the Milesians, ancestors of the Gaels, arrived this night.
Bottom right shows the May Morning Dew - another old May Day custom was to wash your face in the dew before dawn for luck, or to ensure maidens beauty - here a sidhe maiden looks into the dew drop.
Bottom left shows a hearth and window - household fires would be extinguished only at Beltane, so they could be re-lit from brands of the sacred fires, as a symbolic blessing. A traditional bannock sits on the hearth, a cake that would be broken and pieces thrown into the Bel fires with invocations, or left for on doorsteps as an offering to the wee folk.
In olden days, rowan branches would be hung at doors and windows for protection against mischievous spirits, because at Beltane the veil between our world and the Otherworld is at it’s thinnest, as at Samhain, the counterpart at the dark start of the year.
The two small figures below the Tree are the Faery Queen and Thomas the Rhymer. Legend has it that if you sit beneath a tree on Beltane night, you may hear the Faery Queen, or the sound of her white horse’s bells, as she rides through the night looking for folks to take to her realm. If you hide your face, she will pass by, but if you look at her, she may take you with her, as in the Scottish ballad of ‘Thomas the Rhymer’, who left with the Queen and has never been seen since.

The knotwork flower garland is based on a tree of life in the ‘Book of Kells’, and shows flowers linked to Beltane, hawthorn and marigolds.
Also shown are of course the elements of Earth, Air, Fire and Water.

Prints available approx 12 x 12 inches on watercolour paper - limited edition - $90 plus shipping. The original piece measures approx 8.5 x 8.5 inches, and the colours are more vivid. Original commissioned works to your own concepts are available. Please contact us for details - email Hamish at hamish@mauiceltic.com

 


 

'IRISH ROVERS DRUNKEN SAILOR' © Hamish Burgess 2011

'IRISH ROVERS DRUNKEN SAILOR' by Hamish Burgess © 2011

Original Folk and Celtic art by Hamish Burgess, a commissioned piece by George Millar founder of the legendary Irish Rovers, for the cover of the latest Irish Rovers CD. The Irish singer commissioned Hamish after his previous artwork for the band's 'Gracehill Fair' CD (see below). The new album will be the 'Drunken Sailor', due out in a couple of months, and named after the band's signiature concert closing song. A traditional sea shanty, the group made it a classic performing it for the last 46 years ! Their YouTube version (with still image posted by a fan) has nearly 3 million hits, and their offficial recent Belfast Waterfront Hall version is the one to see. CD available soon at www.irishroversmusic.com.

The piece shows an old fashioned shoreline scene, with tall ships in the bay, one heading out to sea. The Drunken Sailor is snoozing against an anchor after a wee session on the grog - the dog seems to have joined in ! The spilled ale becomes a traditional knot, as does the anchor rope.

This Original work shown above is now SOLD. The piece measures approx 8.5 x 8.5 inches. Original commissioned works to your own concepts are available. Please contact us for details - email Hamish at hamish@mauiceltic.com

 

'IRISH ROVERS UNICORN SHIP TATTOO' © Hamish Burgess 2011

'IRISH ROVERS UNICORN SHIP TATTOO'  by Hamish Burgess © 2011

A second original by Hamish Burgess, commissioned by George Millar of the Irish Rovers, for the liner notes booklet of the latest Irish Rovers CD, 'Drunken Sailor'. 'The Irish Rovers Unicorn Ship Tattoo' is a traditional style sailors tattoo, with an anchor and ship, but with Celtic knotwork for the ocean waves and the stormy clouds. The design contains a tribute to the band's landmark million selling single from 1967, 'The Unicorn', with a Celtic-style unicorn as the ship's figure-head.

The new album for The Irish Rovers' 46th year of touring, "Drunken Sailor" will be released in a couple of months. It contains fine traditional tunes, sea shanties and drinking songs, as well as great new original songs. Watch this space for details on when to get it at the Irish Rovers website.

This Original work shown above is now SOLD. The piece measures approx 8.5 x 8.5 inches. Original commissioned works like this are available, customized to feature stylized likenesses or animals, specific to your concept. Please contact us for details - email Hamish at hamish@mauiceltic.com

 


 

“MOLLY'S REVENGE - AGED 10 YEARS” © Hamish Burgess 2011

“MOLLY'S REVENGE - AGED 10 YEARS” by Hamish Burgess © 2011

Original folk art by Hamish Douglas Burgess, a commissioned piece by traditional Celtic music band Molly's Revenge, for the cover of their latest CD, "Aged 10 Years". Hamish has known the band for years, since he and Jennifer produced a successful concert series for them on Maui in 2004. Singer Pete Haworth contacted Hamish about working on their 10th album cover, which is aslo the band's 10th anniversary. Of several ideas, this was the band's own concept of a 10 Year Old Whisky bottle label, which Hamish developed after studying (and sampling) many Scotch whiskies ! He changed the traditional wording on whisky labels to suit the theme of the band's music, and the instruments actually depict the band members own ones. He included a nostalgic nod to the group's old logo, featured behind the figure '10'. The latest Molly's Revenge CD "Aged 10 Years" is available at www.mollysrevenge.com.

This Original work shown above is now SOLD. The piece measures approx 8.5 x 8.5 inches. Original commissioned works to your own concepts are available. Please contact us for details - email Hamish at hamish@mauiceltic.com


 

“IMBOLC” © Hamish Burgess 2011

“IMBOLC” © Hamish Burgess 2011

Imbolc - the coming of Spring - the great wheel of the year turns again on February 1st, with the ancient sacred day of the Celtic goddess Brigid - Mother Goddess of Ireland - also called Brigit, Bride, Brighid, and Brigantia. The root of her name means 'bright' or 'exalted', and possibly 'firebrand'. Tradition has it that she walks the earth Imbolc eve, and Bride with her white wand (top left) is said to “breathe life into the mouth of dead Winter, and bring him to open his eyes to the tears and smiles, the sighs and laughter of Spring” (Carmina Gadelica Vol.1). She is goddess of the home and hearth (centre), and associated with sacred flames, representing the return of the sun and warmth, coming with the lengthening days. Her 3 fires are the hearth, the forge and inspiration.
In the later Celtic Christian Church, an extraordinary woman was to become a famous abbess, who after her death in 523AD, became Brigit's counterpart as Saint Brigit, with Imbolc celebrated today as St.Brigit's Day - her sanctuary at Kildare, or Cill-dara (Church of the Oak), was likely continued worship on an older Druidic site to the goddess. The saint had a sacred flame tended by nuns, which was kept alight for about a thousand years. The following church day is Candlemass, a continuation of the sacred fire tradition.
The wickerwork cross (centre) has been a popular talisman since the 17th century, known as St.Brigit's Cross, but is thought to have origins in the ancient symbol for the sun. According to folklore, the young woman destined to be St.Brigit was fed on the milk of a Red-Eared Cow (bottom right).
Pictured above the goddess Brigid are her legendary “Oxen of Dil, Fea and Feama, Red and Black”.
She is associated with many holy springs and healing wells, and legend has it that the old goddess of winter, the Cailleach (bottom left), drinks from a sacred well and transforms into Brigid and the spring.
Bottom right - Brigid is the triple goddess of Smithcraft (with Celtic warriors invoking her protection before battle), Healing (represented by the cauldron), and Poetry and the Arts (the Ogham stone, reading 'Imbolc' in the ancient markings from the bottom upwards). Patroness of Druids and Bards, she ruled over inspiration, poetry, and divination. She is goddess of Weaving (shown by the tartans), and of Ale-making. Around the islands of Britain and Ireland, standing stones (shown on the hill-top) are sometimes called Bridestones, named after the goddess Bride. 
Along with healing, she is the goddess of Childbirth. The expectant mother (top right), prays to Brigid among the snowdrops, a sign of new life flowering through the cold snow. Ravens start to build nests for their young at this time of year. The entrance to a burial mound on the Hill of Tara aligns to the sunrise on Imbolc morning.
Imbolc, also spelled Imbolg (translated as 'in the belly'), and Oimelc ('ewes milk') is a time of the renewal of life, with lactating ewes (bottom left) ready for their young. The milk is a sign of life, shown here as white interlacing knotwork and flows into the earth. In folklore, people pour a small amount of milk on the ground this morning, to thank the Mother for feeding them for the last year.
A symbol of Brigid (and that of healing, still seen on the physician's staff of today) is the Serpent, who at this time of year was said to come out of it's hole, like the badger, to see if the warming weather will affect her winter sleep. A fine frosty day forbode more winter ahead, but a cloudy day meant the quick end of winter. This tradition continued in the Americas, with European settlers seeing this habit from a new animal, and is now Groundhog Day.
Also shown are of course the elements of Earth, Air, Fire and Water.

Prints available approx 12 x 12 inches on watercolour paper - limited edition - $90 plus shipping. The original piece measures approx 8.5 x 8.5 inches. Original commissioned works to your own concepts are available. Please contact us for details - email Hamish at hamish@mauiceltic.com

 


 

'SAMHAIN' © Hamish Burgess 2010

'Samhain' by Hamish Douglas Burgess © 2010

Original Celtic art by Hamish Burgess, a piece for the cover of The Celtic Connection newspaper in Vancouver BC and Seattle, the November issue. The first of a series of four seasonal works.
Samhain – the Celtic New Year - the great wheel of the year turns, and starts the new cycle with the Feast to the Dying Sun, or the Celtic Feast of the Dead, marked by the rising of the Pleiades stars (right). Top - The Old Crone side of the Triple Goddess, the Cailleach, begins her reign as goddess of winter, by striking the earth with her staff, turning it hard and icy cold. Bottom - The Horned God, Cernunnos, Guardian of the Gateway to the Underworld, is ruler of the natural kingdom, in all it’s aspects of life, death, and rebirth. As Lord of Nature, he oversees the ‘Wild Hunt’, in which spirits of the dead are carried to the Otherworld. He carries a kingly torc, and the ram-headed serpent, symbol of Otherworld knowledge. The serpent and his antlers both shed in a cycle of renewal. On this night when the veil between our world and the Otherworld are at their thinnest, it is said that Spirits (right), ancestors, and the Sidhe or wee-folk (left) can freely roam the two worlds. Center - The Morrigan, warrior queen and Goddess of Death, is said to give up her campaign season, and on the evening of Samhain, she mates with the ‘Good God’ Daghda, god of fertility and abundance. He is the Celtic father-god and Chief of the Tuatha de Danann, who are now the Sidhe or faerie folk, said to have long ago gone to live in the Otherworld. He has a magic club of destruction, and at the other end, healing, as well as a cauldron of healing and plenty. This symbolic union of the god of light and the goddess of death, represents the preparing of the land for germination and the darkness of winter.
The Oak King ends his reign (bottom), and gives sovereignty to the Holly King, with his green leaves and bright berries (top) a reminder of the new life to come, after the dark half of the year.
Also shown are of course the elements of Earth, Air, Fire and Water.

Prints available approx 12 x 12 inches on watercolour paper - limited edition - $90 plus shipping. The original piece measures approx 8.5 x 8.5 inches. Original commissioned works to your own concepts are available. Please contact us for details - email Hamish at hamish@mauiceltic.com

 


 

'IRISH ROVERS MUSIC TREE OF LIFE' © Hamish Burgess 2010

'Irish Rovers Music Tree of Life' by Hamish Douglas Burgess

Original Celtic art by Hamish Burgess, a commissioned piece by George Millar founder of the legendary Irish Rovers, as a piece for the band's upcoming new website www.theirishroversmusic.com, destined to be the bottom banner.
The traditional Tree of Life comes out of a cauldron, with the plant entwining round the band's instruments. The leaves are actually music notes that play (from left to the cauldron) the 1st guitar bar of the 'Unicorn Song', and then (above cauldron to the right) the 1st bar of the song's words - "A long time ago when the earth was green, there were more kinds of animals than......". The instruments are the band members' own ones - George Millar's guitar and Wilcil McDowell's accordion closest to the cauldron, as they are the original members. Then the rest of the band with bouzouki, tin whistle and banjo to the left, and mandolin and bodhran to the right. At the far ends are session instruments from the Irish Rovers album's, the Uileann pipes and fiddle.
An international piece - Hamish thought of it in Scotland, drew it first in Vancouver BC, worked on it in Ireland, and finished it in Maui, Hawaii !

The original work shown above is SOLD. The piece measures approx 30 x 6 inches. Original commissioned works to your own concepts are available. Please contact us for details - email Hamish at hamish@mauiceltic.com

 



'IRISH ROVERS UNICORN AND MANDOLIN' © Hamish Burgess 2010

'IRISH ROVERS UNICORN AND MANDOLIN' by Hamish Burgess 2010

Original Celtic art by Hamish Burgess, a commissioned piece by George Millar founder of the legendary Irish Rovers, as a new logo for the band, destined to be on logowear and a splash page for the new Irish Rovers website. The design is based on an older logo used by the band during their 40th anniversary, brought by Hamish into the Celtic art world (adapted from the original trademark with permission of The Irish Rovers Company Ltd.). It contains a tribute to the band's landmark million selling single from 1967, 'The Unicorn', with a Celtic-style unicorn, who's mane and tail are entwined with a Mandolin, a trademark instrument of the group, featuring a Celtic knotwork border.

'UNICORN AND MANDOLIN' © Hamish Burgess 2010

'UNICORN AND MANDOLIN' by Hamish Burgess 2010

The above design is the original 'Unicorn and Mandolin' logo commissioned by George Millar of the Irish Rovers, as a new logo for the band, destined to be on logowear soon to be available through the band's new website.

The original works shown above are now SOLD. The piece measures approx 8.5 x 11 inches. Original commissioned works to your own concepts are available. Please contact us for details - email Hamish at hamish@mauiceltic.com

 


 

'FINN McCOUL' © Hamish Burgess 2010

'FINN McCOUL' by Hamish Burgess © 2010

A commissioned original by Maui's local Celtic band Finn McCoul for the cover artwork to their first album "On the Shoulders of Giants".

The piece was inspired by an ancient 6th century brooch, appropriately with three surrounding panels, the sacred number often used in Celtic art representing the Celtic Mother Goddess. The centerpiece is the Celtic warrior Finn McCoul, leader of the Fianna, and in legends a giant (more below). The ridges on his helmet represent the 2 mountains of Maui (also giants), with the sun rising and setting. His eyes are like jewels in the ocean (the Hawaiian Islands), and the face tattoos represent waves.
The top panel reads 'Finn McCoul' in an original script inspired by a style of ancient studded knotwork, with the studs representing the eight band members.
The two bottom panels represent the band's journey to gain traditional Celtic music knowledge from those that have gone before, based on the album name "On the Shoulders of Giants", which is also a nod to their location on the slopes of the mountains of Maui.
The left panel shows the Salmon of Knowledge in the shape of a musical treble clef, representing the traditional music of the Celtic lands. Three drops of wisdom are falling on Finn's thumb, which he puts in his mouth gaining the tradition that flows into the next panel. The triangle borders are in respect of being in Polynesia, commonly seen in local art. In similar tribute, the small finger makes the hand show a 'shaka', a common greeting in modern Hawaii. Finn's hand is wearing a torc, the symbol of a chief or great warrior.
The right panel represents the acquired knowledge of music, which comes in out (from the band) as music on a bar, which is in the shape a maze or labyrinth, symbolizing a continuing learning process.
The pentagons and hexagons at each end of the music bar represent the Giants Causeway (Ireland) and it's counterpart Fingal's Cave (Scotland). That is based on the legends of Finn as a giant (see below), and a nod to two of the types of music the band play, Irish and Scottish, and the maze that connects them.

The great Celtic warrior, Fionn mac Cumhaill was leader of the Fianna, an elite fighting force who protected Ireland. He was also known as a giant, and appeared in the legends of Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man. The Irish legends come from the Fenian cycles of ancient texts, or Fiannaidheacht. His name means 'fair' or 'bright'.
Fionn (in very early texts Finn mac Cumhal) was son of Cumhal of the sons of Baiscne, and of Muirne daughter of Tadg who was son of legendary Nuada of the Tuatha de Danaan and Ethlinn, mother of Lugh of the Long Hand.
Finn was fostered by the druidess Bodhmall, and warrior woman Liath Luachra, who taught him the arts and battle skills.
Under his birth-name Deimne, he learnt poetry from the druid Finnéces (or Finnegas), meaning 'Finn the Seer', who had been hunting the Salmon of Knowledge for seven years on the banks of the River Boinn (Boyne). The legendary fish would give the world's wisdom to whomever first ate it. After catching the fish, Finnegas asked Finn to roast it, but not eat any of it. While doing so, Finn burnt his thumb with three drops of fish-oil while putting down a blister on the fish's skin, and upon quickly putting his thumb in his mouth to cool it, accidentally gained the knowledge from the salmon. On finding this out, the poet Finnegas realized Finn's identity as the prophesied receiver of the wisdom, and gave him the rest of the fish to eat. From that time Finn could find information and see the future by chewing on his thumb.
Some legends refer to Fionn as a giant, who built stepping stones between Ireland and Scotland to keep his feet dry - these being the unusual pentagonal and hexagonal basalt columns of the Giants Causeway in County Antrim, north-east Ireland, and it's counterpart Fingal's Cave, Staffa, in south-west Scotland. He is also said to have pulled up a huge lump of turf in Ireland to throw at a rival giant in Scotland, but it fell into the Irish Sea and became the Isle of Man. The hole left from the turf is said to be Lough Neagh, the largest lake in Ireland.
There are many more tales of the giant Finn, and also of the warrior Fionn, including his legendary pursuit of Diarmuid and Gráinne.

This Original work shown above is now SOLD. The piece measures approx 6.5 x 6.5 inches. Original commissioned works to your own concepts are available. Please contact us for details - email Hamish at hamish@mauiceltic.com

 


 

'GRACEHILL FAIR' © Hamish Burgess 2009

'Gracehill Fair' by Hamish Douglas Burgess, album cover of the new Irish Rovers CD Gracehill Fair © 2009

Original Folk and Celtic art by Hamish Burgess, a commissioned piece by George Millar founder of the legendary Irish Rovers, for the cover of the latest Irish Rovers CD. The Irish singer commissioned Hamish after seeing his Celtic artwork whilst on Maui earlier this year. The album cover is a piece of folk art entitled 'Gracehill Fair', that George thinks captured the spirit of the title track of the album. It features a traditional Celtic knotwork border and a fairground tent, with Irish musicians, dancers and spectators making merry, like you may see at an Irish country fair, any time in the last century or so.
Many thanks to Hamish's brother Dudley for suggestions and help on this piece. He's a great artist and tattooist, and owner of DNA Tattoo Studio in Cornwall, UK.

This Original work shown above is now SOLD. The piece measures approx 8.5 x 8.5 inches. Original commissioned works to your own concepts are available. Please contact us for details - email Hamish at hamish@mauiceltic.com

 

'IRISH ROVERS TREE OF LIFE' © Hamish Burgess 2010

'Irish Rovers Tree of Life' by Hamish Burgess © 2010 for the New Irish Rovers CD 'Gracehill Fair'

A second original by Hamish Burgess, commissioned by George Millar of the Irish Rovers, for the liner notes booklet of the latest Irish Rovers CD, 'Gracehill Fair'. 'The Irish Rovers Tree of Life' has stalks and leaves curling to represent the 45 years that the legendary band have been on the road. The Celtic Tree of Life comes out of a traditional cauldron, and entwined are the seven creations of the ancient Celtic world as they saw it - plants, humans, animals, birds, fish, reptiles and insects. The design contains a tribute to the band's landmark million selling single from 1967, 'The Unicorn', with a Celtic-style unicorn, and from a line in the song, "there were green alligators and long-necked geese....", the reptile on the 4 is a green alligator, with a long-necked goose amongst the 5.

The landmark album for The Irish Rovers' 45th year of touring, "Gracehill Fair" was released on Feb 10th 2010. It contains fine traditional songs and tunes, and great new original songs. It is available on the Irish Rovers website.

This Original work shown above is now SOLD. The piece measures approx 8.5 x 8.5 inches. Original commissioned works like this are available, customized to feature stylized likenesses or animals, specific to your concept. Please contact us for details - email Hamish at hamish@mauiceltic.com

 


 

'LINDISFARNE SPIRALS' © Hamish Burgess 2009

'Lindisfarne Spirals' by HAmish Douglas Burgess

Traditional Celtic art by Hamish Burgess, hand painted with acrylics on ragpaper. This is a reproduction from the Lindisfarne Gospels and mixes spirals and shapes after the early Celtic La Tène style, and zoomorphic birds. The central oval of spirals is commonly seen in Celtic art reproductions (see the Original Celtic Chariot roof at the bottom of this page), but Hamish chose to copy the piece with it's surrounding border letter. Colours are similar to the original work, which is unbelievably less than 2 + 1/2 inches high. This copy of the illuminated letter 'O' is from the 'Novum Opus' page (folio 3) of the ancient book, containing decorated initials starting Saint Jerome's letter to Pope Damasus, explaining his Latin Vulgate translation of the Gospels. The Lindisfarne Gospels were created in the late 600s or early 700s AD, in the Lindisfarne monastery which was built on a tidal island (cut off from the mainland except at low tide) known as Holy Island, off the Northumberland coast of what is now north-east England. Historical writings state the amazing work was created by the hand of Bishop Eadfrith (628-721). The book is now in the British Library in London, where Hamish has studied it's intricate art first-hand.

This Original work shown above is available for $700 plus shipping. Acrylics on ragpaper. The piece measures approx 12 x 16.5 inches. Prints available approx 12 x 16.5 inches on watercolour paper - limited edition - $90 plus shipping. Please contact us for more details - email Hamish at hamish@mauiceltic.com


 

'ROSS-SHIRE ROSE' Hilton of Cadboll Stone © Hamish Burgess 2009

"Ross-shire Rose' painting based on the Hilton od Cadboll Stone, by Hamish Douglas Burgess, 2009

Ancient style Celtic art by Hamish Burgess, hand painted with acrylics on canvas. Created for an Upcountry Maui art show with a red theme, every color used in 'Ross-shire Rose' is a shade of red, running from the lightest pink, which looks white, to the black outline, actually with a slight red tint when used very thinly. Difficult to see in the photo, each spiral has 2 or 3 shades throughout. It features 32 triple spirals, 8 double spirals, and a stylized gemstone at the center. The piece is based on a carved spiral panel of an ancient Pictish standing stone (9th century) orignally in Ross-shire, Scotland, called the Hilton of Cadboll Stone. Also inspired by a line drawing recreating the broken panel, by the late great Celtic artist George Bain. Hamish studied the original stone which is now in the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh, and features part of the above spiral pattern, as well as Pictish symbols, a tree of life with zoomorphic birds, and a hunting scene seemingly led by a woman riding side-saddle.

This Original work shown above is available for $1200 (plus shipping), unframed. Acrylics on stretched canvas. The piece measures 24 x 24 inches. Prints available approx 12 x 12 inches on watercolour paper - limited edition - $90 plus shipping. Please contact us for details - email Hamish at hamish@mauiceltic.com

 


 

'MAUI CELTIC OCEAN' '09 © Hamish Burgess 2004 and 2009

'Maui Celtic Ocean' '09 by Hamish Douglas Burgess, Hawaiian Marine Life in a Celtic Style

Original modern Celtic art by Hamish Burgess, this is a re-work of a painting from 2004, spurred on by several requests to put it onto canvas and make prints. This is quite different to the earlier glass piece (below), with the whole image changed for a wider canvas, the animals moved, and different colours. The outlines are all in gold.

'Maui Celtic Ocean' '09 dolphin detail, by Hamish BurgessThe theme is Hawaiian marine life, painted in a Celtic style, inspired by Hamish's many years as a working scuba-diving instructor in the Caribbean, then Oahu and Maui, seeing these animals on a daily basis.

The piece depicts from the sky to the ocean floor, starting with the clouds and sun (featuring a triscele). Next is an Hawaiian spinner dolphin (Nai'a), jumping through the waves, and a humbpack whale (Kohola) with her calf.

The jellyfish is about to be pursued by a green sea turtle (Honu), with a manta ray (Hahalua) nearby, all made with Celtic knots. The reef features an octopus (He'e) interested in a pencil-slate urchin, a green moray eel (Puhi), a moorish idol (Kihikihi) and a trigger fish (Humuhumunukunukuapua'a) feeding on corals. Resting on the sand is a white-tipped reef shark (Mano). Even the Moorish Idol and the Triggerfish are made up of modern Celtic knots.

Reef detail

'Maui Celtic Ocean' top reef detail, by Hamish Burgess

All artwork © Hamish Burgess 2004/2009.

This Original work shown above (top) is now SOLD - unframed. Acrylics on stretched canvas. The piece measures approx 60 x 15 inches. Limited edition prints available on watercolour paper - large approx 30 x 7.5 inches at $90 - small approx 16 x 4 inches at $30 - plus shipping. Please contact us for details - email Hamish at hamish@mauiceltic.com

 


 

'OLD, WISE, WARRIOR' © Hamish Burgess 2005 and 2009

'OLD, WISE, WARRIOR' by Hamish Burgess 2009

Modern Celtic art by Hamish Burgess, hand painted with acrylics and watercolours on ragpaper. This original piece mixes shapes after the early Celtic La Tène style, and zoomorphic creatures. Drawn first by Hamish in 2005, and applied as a forearm tattoo for a good Irish friend, who now has this in his collection of my work. The green, white and orange Dragon symbolises the antiquity of Ireland, and from Irish mythology the fish is the Salmon of Knowledge, and the dog is the warrior Cú Chulainn. At the heart of the piece surrounded by white is a triscele, representing the ancient Celtic Mother Goddess, with her three aspects as Maiden, Mother and Crone. The curvilinear shapes containing the animals are on a background of faint trisceles and spirals.

Zoomorphic creature detail

'Old, Wise, Warrior' detail by Hamish Douglas Burgess 2009

This Original work shown above is now SOLD. Acrylics and watercolour on ragpaper. The piece measures approx 16.5 x 12 inches. We hope to have prints available soon. Please contact us for more details - email Hamish at hamish@mauiceltic.com

 


 

'GUARDIAN OF THE GODDESS' © Hamish Burgess 2009

"Guardian of the Goddess" by Hamish Douglas Burgess

Modern Celtic art by Hamish Burgess, hand painted with acrylics on canvas. This original Celtic Dragon mixes several styles of Celtic art, the zoomorphic creature emanating from a tradtional knot (originally found on carved stones in Scotland). The wings are decorated after the earlier Celtic La Tène style, featuring curvilinear shapes on a background of cross-hatching. The body has scales. The front claw is holding a crystal ball containing a white triscele, representing the ancient Celtic Mother Goddess, with her three aspects as Maiden, Mother and Crone.

La Tène style wing detail

'Guardian of the Goddess' wing detail by Hamish Douglas Burgess

The balance of the old world was upset with the displacement of the White Goddess by the coming of the newer era of Christianity. The 'Guardian of the Goddess' is the red dragon of the Celtic people caring for the Goddess, safe a crystal ball, until it is time for Her return.

This Original work shown above is available for $1200 (plus shipping), unframed. Acrylics on stretched canvas. The piece measures approx 15 x 60 inches, with the canvas bigger around the image than shown above. Please contact us for more details - email Hamish at hamish@mauiceltic.com


 

'THE CELTIC CHARIOT' © Hamish Burgess 2008

SEPT 2008 MAUI CELTIC ARTIST HAMISH BURGESS CREATED HIS BIGGEST PIECE TO DATE....

Hamish Burgess Celtic art piece'Celtic Chariot'

HIS 'CELTIC CHARIOT' FEATURES ORIGINAL CELTIC DRAGONS ON THE SIDES, AND A KNOTWORK PANEL ON THE TAILGATE. 1990 Toyota Truck. Hand painted in enamels on metal, the original Celtic Dragon mixes several styles of Celtic art, the zoomorphic creature emanating from a tradtional knot (originally found on carved stones in Scotland). The wings are decorated after the early Celtic La Tène style, featuring curvilinear shapes on a background of cross-hatching. The body has scales.

Hamish Burgess' Celtic art piece "Celtic Chariot' tailgate

The tailgate features Hamish's company website in a Celtic font between two trisceles - the sacred triple spiral of the Celtic people. It is surrounded by a Celtic knotwork border in a traditional style. All artwork © Hamish Burgess 2008


 

'IRISH HALPENNY TREE OF LIFE' © Hamish Burgess 2005

'Irish Tree of Life' by Hamish Douglas Burgess

This original Watercolour piece by Hamish Burgess was a wedding gift for some great Irish friends, customized to feature the happy couple. It is a Celtic Tree of Life coming out of a traditional cauldron, with the seven creations of the ancient Celtic world - plants, humans, animals, birds, fish, reptiles and insects. In this case the tree, the couple, a dog, a bird, salmon (with water), a lizard, and a dragonfly.

Original commissioned works like this are available, customized to feature stylized likenesses of you and your loved ones, and pets or favorite animals. Please contact us for details - email Hamish at hamish@mauiceltic.com

 


 

'3rd JACK LEE MAUI BAGPIPE SCHOOL - 2005' © Hamish Burgess 2005

3rd Jack Lee Maui Bagpipe School T-shirt by Hamish Burgess © 2005

An original ink drawing with a copied border, by Hamish Burgess. A 2005 commemorative bagpipe school T-shirt, for the 3rd Maui Bagpipe School, featuring instructor World Champion Bagpiper JACK LEE. One of the world’s leading pipers returned from British Columbia to lead a workshop for the local bagpipe band, The Maui Celtic Pipes and Drums. Jack is the Pipe Sergeant and co-founder of the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band, which, in 2009, won its 6th World Championship. 
The drawing shows the school taking place with bagpipe creatures on the slopes of Mt. Haleakala, as it was held in Kula, Upcountry Maui. The solo instuctor creature is playing a tune, that rains down on the student creatures as a mass of music notes, which they have to learn and reform into a tune that flows down the lava river to the old pipe band logo. Drum creatures look on in wonder. The tune is the Breton slow air 'La Boum', featured in the class and the concert that year.

Original commissioned works like this are available, to your event specifications. Please contact us for details - email Hamish at hamish@mauiceltic.com

 


 

'MAUI CELTIC PIPES & DRUMS' LOGO © Hamish Burgess 2005

Maui Celtic Pipes and Drums Logo by Hamish Burgess © 2005

Bass drummer Colin Hanlon at Mulligans on the Blue, Wailea

Original graphic art in the style of a traditional Scottish Clan Badge, created by Hamish Burgess in 2005, for the local pipe band he co-founded with 4 other pipers several years before, the non-profit Maui Celtic Pipes & Drums.
The band name is around the outside, with the Hawaiian translation inside the belt. Where normally the clan arms is inside the belt showing allegiance to the clan chief, in this case the island of Maui and pipes and a drum are inside the belt, indicating band members commitment to their location and instruments.
The local pipeband is now renamed "The Isle of Maui Pipeband", but the story of the original band can be found on our Bagpiping page.

Original commissioned works like this are available, customized to feature your own organization. Please contact Hamish for details at hamish@mauiceltic.com.

 


'MAUI CELTIC OCEAN' ON GLASS © Hamish Burgess 2004

'Maui Celtic Ocean' by Hamish Burgess

Original modern Celtic art by Hamish Burgess, this piece is free-standing and designed to be front-lit, not back-lit like stained glass. Enamels on glass (outlined in gold paint), in a wood frame, with a custom made Oak base.

The theme is Hawaiian marine life, painted in a Celtic style, inspired by Hamish's years as a working scuba-diving instructor on Oahu and Maui, seeing these animals on a daily basis.

The piece depicts from the sky to the ocean floor, starting with the clouds and sun (featuring a triscele). Next is an Hawaiian spinner dolphin (Nai'a), jumping through the waves, and a humbpack whale (Kohola) with her calf.

Detail from 'Maui Celtic Ocean' by Hamish Burgess

The jellyfish is pursued by a green sea turtle (Honu), with a manta ray (Hahalua) nearby, all made with Celtic knots. The reef features an octopus (He'e) interested in a pencil-slate urchin, a green moray eel (Puhi), a moorish idol (Kihikihi) and a trigger fish (Humuhumunukunukuapua'a) feeding on corals. Resting on the sand is a white-tipped reef shark (Mano).

This Original work shown above is available for $5000 on Maui (plus special protective art shipping for other islands or the mainland). Approx 6 feet high x 1 foot wide. Please contact Hamish at hamish@mauiceltic.com for more details. All artwork © Hamish Burgess 2004.


 

'CELTIC TREE OF LIFE' © Hamish Burgess 2003

Celtic Tree of Life by Hamish Burgess

This original Watercolour piece by Hamish Burgess is a Celtic Tree of Life coming out of a traditional cauldron, with the seven creations of the ancient Celtic world - plants, humans, animals, birds, fish, reptiles and insects.

This Original work shown above is available for $1300 matted and framed (plus shipping), the art being on torn watercolor paper with rough edges. Designed to be mounted raised off the backing, the piece measures approx 30 x 6 1/2 inches. Please contact us for more details.

Digitally reproduced limited edition art prints on watercolor paper available. The colors on the prints are slightly muted. Rough-edged image above printed on (ie. has a surrounding border of) off-white watercolor paper. Large print (area approx 26 1/4 x 5 3/4 inches) $ 90 plus shipping. Small print (area approx 14 x 3 inches) $ 30 plus shipping.
Please email Hamish at hamish@mauiceltic.com


 

'DRUID HANDS' © Hamish Burgess 2003

'Druid Hands' by Hamish Douglas Burgess

 

'Druid Hands' Bookends by Hamish Douglas BurgessA pair of book-ends, these praying hands cried out to Hamish to become tattooed Druid Hands. They feature ancient Pictish designs based on stone carvings in Scotland, on the left a 'Crescent and V-rod', and right a 'Double-disc and Z-rod'. The Picts originally lived in what is now Scotland, given the name 'Pictii' by the Romans, which meant 'painted people' - they were heavily tattooed (for an article on this, go to the bottom of the Celtic Art page). The purple-edged crumpled sleeves show blue trisceles - the sacred triple spiral of the Celtic people.

This Original work shown above is available for $400 (plus shipping). Acrylics on cast resin hands, measuring approx 9"high x 4" across sleeve base. Please contact Hamish at hamish@mauiceltic.com for more details.


 

 

'KEOKEA TREE OF LIFE' © Hamish Burgess 2003

Keokea Tree of Life by Hamish Burgess

This original piece by Hamish Burgess was a commission for an Irish-Scots friend, customized to feature him and his wife, his dog and creatures seen in his garden in Keokea, Upcountry Maui. Watercolour. It is a Celtic Tree of Life coming out of a traditional cauldron, with the seven creations of the ancient Celtic world - plants, humans, animals, birds, fish, reptiles and insects. In this case the tree, the couple, their dog, a pheasant, koi fish (with water), a skink, and a dragonfly.

Original commissioned works like this are available, customized to feature stylized likenesses of you and your loved ones, and pets or favorite animals. Please contact us for details.

Digitally reproduced limited edition art prints on watercolor paper available in two sizes. Rough-edged image above printed on (ie. has a surrounding border of) off-white watercolor paper.
Large print (area approx 26 x 5 1/2 inches) $ 90 - Small print (area approx 14 1/2 x 3 inches) $ 30, plus shipping.
Plus shipping. Please email Hamish at hamish@mauiceltic.com


 

'SEA, LAND & AIR' © Hamish Burgess 2003

Sea, Land & Air by Hamish Burgess

This piece was first an original tattoo design, drawn by Hamish Burgess and applied on a friend who appreciates Celtic art, who then commissioned the above painting. Acrylics on a watercolour background. Featuring zoomorphic Celtic designs, with an original Dolphin, and a traditional Dog and Bird. In the tattoo (around his leg) the birds foot entwined with the dolphin's tail creating a continuous circle of life.

Digitally reproduced limited edition art prints on watercolor paper are available. The dog on the prints is maroon. The rough-edged image above is printed on (ie. has a surrounding border of) off-white watercolor paper.
Large print (area approx 23 x 5 1/2 inches) $ 90 - Small print (area approx 12 x 2 1/2 inches) $ 30, plus shipping.
Please email Hamish at hamish@mauiceltic.com


 

'SPIRAL LEG BAND' © Hamish Burgess 2001

Spiral Leg Band by Hamish Burgess © 2001

An original ink drawing by Hamish Burgess, for his own leg band tattoo. Including ancient Celtic images from Europe, Ireland, Scotland and Wales - inspired by the work of great Irish artist Aidan Meehan. The tattoo loops around the leg thigh, and re-joins where the images match. Applied on Hamish, by himself (where he could see and reach) and brother Dudley at DNA Tattoo Studio, Cornwall, UK. Dudley is one of the best Celtic tattoo artists in the UK.

Hamish and Dudley at DNA Tattoo, Cornwall UK

Hamish Burgess leg band tattoo by Dudley, DNA Tattoo Studio, Cornwall UK 2001

 

Original commissioned works like this are available, to your tattoo specifications. Please contact us for details - email Hamish at hamish@mauiceltic.com


 

'IMBAS FOROSNAI : Making Manifest the Great Illuminated Knowledge'

© Jim Douglas Burgess 2001

'Imbas Forosnai' by Jim Douglas Burgess

An original ink drawing by Jim Douglas Burgess, published as a frontispiece in 'Remembering Our Ancestors', a Dissertation by Paula Noel, Ph.D. in 2002. Commissioned by a friend writing her dissertation, who explained what she wanted for her book, not expecting an uncanny experience nothing short of mind-reading help from the Ancestors ! A clash of two cultures and religions, featuring a portrait in the old Celtic style, with a knotwork path through life protected by 'amakua', or guardian spirits, from the seal-people ancestors of Colonsay Island in the Scottish Hebrides.

Original commissioned works like this are available. Please contact Hamish at hamish@mauiceltic.com for more details.


 

'CELTIC LIONS' WHEELCOVER © Hamish Burgess 1999

'Celtic Lions' Wheelcover by Hamish Douglas Burgess

An original design using acrylics on a leather wheelcover. Commissioned by a friend for his Jeep, this featured a zoomorphic image, based on a panel from the Book of Kells, using the sacred number of three. The Celtic Lions are in the traditional style of intertwined limbs and biting each others tails, to create a continuous unbroken circle.

Original commissioned works like this are available. Please contact Hamish at hamish@mauiceltic.com for more details.


 

'MAUI CELTIC WHALE' LOGO © Hamish Burgess 2004 & 2008

'Maui Celtic Whale' Logo by Hamish Douglas Burgess

This original modern Celtic Whale was created by Hamish for his 'Maui Celtic Ocean' piece, in 2004, then adapted as part of a Solstice/Christmas card later that year. In 2008, it was re-drawn and became part of the Maui Celtic logowear range, popular at last year's Hawaiian Scottish Festival.

Available on Navy T-shirts at the Maui Celtic Online Store


 

'MAUI CELTIC DOLPHIN' LOGO

© Dudley Burgess 1996 © Hamish Burgess 2003

'Maui Celtic Dolphin' Logo by Hamish Douglas Burgess

This original modern Celtic Dolphin was created by Dudley Burgess of DNA Tattoo Studio in Cornwall, UK in 1996, as part of a tattoo for his brother Hamish. This logo was an adaption of that dolphin, by Hamish for his company Maui Celtic, in 2003. Designed originally as part of a Solstice/Christmas card, it became part of the Maui Celtic logowear range, it has become popular in the Hawaiian Islands.

Available in two colours on T-shirts, Long-sleeves, and Tanks - for Men, Women, and Kids - at the Maui Celtic Online Store

 


 

'MAUI CELTIC TRISCELE' LOGO © Hamish Burgess 2002

Maui Celtic Triscele Logo by Hamish Douglas Burgess

An original logo created by Hamish for his company Maui Celtic, during a trip to Cornwall in 2002. Designed as a company T-shirt, it became a popular sight on Maui, and now worldwide. This is now the classic of the Maui Celtic logowear range. It features a triscele - the number three was sacred to the ancient Celts, because of their Triple Goddess, represented by the Triscele (Triskell) symbol, which has been found on the helmets of ancient warrior kings and queens. More recently some regard it as a Trinity symbol.

Available in several colours on T-shirts, Long-sleeves, and Tanks - for Men, Women, and Kids - at the Maui Celtic Online Store

 


 

'MAUI CELTIC LEI' LOGO © Hamish Burgess 2002

'Maui Celtic Lei' Logo by Hamish Douglas Burgess

An original logo created by Hamish for his company Maui Celtic, during a trip to Cornwall in 2002. The knotwork border is based on a traditional piece from the Book of Lindisfarne. Designed as a company T-shirt, it became a classic of the Maui Celtic logowear range.

Available in black on T-shirts at the Maui Celtic Online Store


 

THE ORIGINAL 'CELTIC CHARIOT' © Hamish Burgess 1999

'The Celtic Chariot' by HAmish Dpouglas Burgess

Hamish's biggest art piece until recently was his original 'Celtic Chariot', a Chevy Cavalier stationwagon covered in Celtic knotwork, spirals, and Pictish designs, which was a regular local sight on Maui for a few years. Hand painted in enamels on metal, the original car being blue. Both sides feature knotwork to fit the panels, and traditional Celtic Dragon heads at the front, with their tongues wrapping around the grille. The passenger side above shows the Scottish Rampant Lion, a traditional mandala with a double-headed creature, and a Pictish 'double-disc and Z-rod'.

'Celtic Chariot' by Hamish Douglas Burgess

The drivers side above shows the Flying Heart and Crown of the Douglas Clan Badge, from the tradition of Sir James Douglas carrying his friend King Robert Bruce's heart in a silver box around his neck into battle. Also a traditional spiral pattern from the Book of Kells, and a Pictish 'beast'.

'Celtic Chariot' by Hamish Douglas Burgess roof viewThe roof again featured traditional Celtic Dragon heads joined by their tongues, a knotwork border, and a spiral panel from the Book of Lindisfarne.

The tailgate showed bagpipes and a thistle, with "The destination is not important, it's the journey that matters" in Celtic script.

The hood featured a quote from John Barbour's epic poem The Bruce (originally The Brus), written in the 1370s.

"A noble heart may have none ease.......if freedom failye".

Unfortunately, this mobile artwork is no longer with us. After years of enjoyment, and way too much money on maintenance, long after the chariot should have been put to rest, Hamish sadly painted her black, and gave her to charity !

All artwork © Hamish Burgess 1999.

 


 

'CELTIC BEACH CRUISER' © Hamish Burgess 1996

'CELTIC BEACH CRUISER' by Hamish Burgess © 1996

Beach Cruiser bicycle covered in Celtic knotwork, spirals, and Pictish designs, which was a regular local sight in Manasquan, New Jersey for a season or two around Sept '96 - given to a friend when I left.
Bicycle hand painted in enamels on metal, both sides feature knotwork to fit the frame. The front stock had a Pictish 'beast', and the chain guard shows a black reverse of the 'White Horse of Uffington' (an ancient British chalk drawing on a Berkshire Downs hillside), a Pictish 'Double disc and Z-rod' and a Triscele.

'CELTIC BEACH CRUISER' by Hamish Burgess © 1996


Maui Celtic Knot

 

 

The following extract was written as a forward for renowned celtic artist Courtney Davis' latest 'Celtic Tattoo Workbook' Vol 2.

CELTIC TATTOO

BY HAMISH (JIM) DOUGLAS BURGESS

Following the ancient patterns of Celtic beliefs, tattooing in the Celtic Lands has gone through a long cycle of life, death, and rebirth. This continuous circle of life is represented by the unbroken interlacing knotwork designs of the early Celts, whose art had rested unnoticed for many years. Only comparatively recently, in the last century, has their art seen a revival by several artists around the world, foremost amongst whom is Courtney Davis, whose latest book we have the pleasure of introducing.

Many people mistake the origin of tattooing as being in Polynesia, the Pacific Islands. In fact, all over the world, since stone age times, many ancient cultures were practicing the art of tattoo. In the early 1990's the discovery of ancient frozen mummies (the 5000 year old tattooed "Iceman" in the Tyrolean Alps, and then the 2400 year old elaborately tattooed Pazyryk "Ice Maiden" and "Warrior" in Siberia) show the antiquity of the art. It is well documented that the Ancient Egyptians, Persians, Thracians, Scythians, Siberians, Arabs, Incas, Indians, Asians, North and South American Natives, Japanese, and Pacific Islanders were tattooed.

Our focus here though, is on the Ancient Celts. The Celts themselves had an oral tradition, and therefore no written historical records (although they did have an early system of marks known as Ogham), so the earliest observations of tattooed Celts were noted by their adversaries, the invadingRomans. Many Roman (and Greek) accounts were written of the 'painted barbarians', naming the Britons, Iberians, Gauls, Goths, Teutons, Picts and Scots (the 'Scotii' came from Ireland) as being tattooed, the Latin word for 'tattoo' being 'stigma'.

"The Britons incise on their bodies coloured pictures of animals, of which they are very proud" ( Herod of Antioch, 3rd century AD).

The Romans even named the fierce far northern tribes "Pictii", 'the painted ones', although those ancient warriors known as the Picts had their own name, the Cruithne, 'people of the shapes'. The Roman historian Claudian, noted that these warriors were tattooed:

"...the legion which had been left to guard far-distant Britain, which had kept the fierce Scots in check and gazed at the strange shapes tattooed on the faces of the dying Picts." (Claudian,416-18AD).

He distinguished the difference between the use of an iron needle ("ferro picta, ferro notatas", literally translated as 'iron-marked'), as opposed to body-painting with woad (blue dye), also an ancient practice. A later scribe uses more detail:

"The race of the Picts has a name derived from the appearance of their bodies. These are played upon by a needle working with small pricks and by the squeezed-out sap of a native plant, so that they bear the resultant marks according to the personal rank of the individual, their painted limbs being tattooed to show their high birth." (Isidore of Seville, 7th century AD).

The tattooed Celt seems to have disappeared with the successive waves of continental invaders, absorbing the ancient Britons, and occupying the remaining Celtic Lands of Ireland, Scotland, Man, Wales, Cornwall, Brittany and Galacia. Medieval Irish manuscripts, the "Lebor Gabala Erenn" (The Book of the Taking of Ireland) mention tattooing using the word 'rind'(tattoo) and 'rintaib'(tattoo-marks). Very little literature of the 1000 years from the Saxons arrival onwards, mentions the art. Perhaps surprisingly, there are references to Christian devotees bearing marks of their worship, such ideas traditionally frowned upon by the church, with tattooing being totally forbidden by Pope Hadrian 1st in 787 AD, no doubt contributing to the demise of tattoo in Europe.

Meanwhile, Celtic art continued to be carved on large memorial stones across the Celtic Lands, becoming increasingly more detailed and intricate over the centuries, culminating in the fabulous metalwork treasures and incredible illuminated manuscripts of the Celtic monks, which can be seen in the national museums.

A few early Celts had left the homelands adventuring, but with the great age of sea voyaging and exploring of the 16th to 18th centuries, with ships visiting the Americas and later the Pacific, sailors (many Celtic) brought back tales of tattooed 'savages', examples of Polynesian tattoos on themselves (beginning the tradition of the tattooed sailor), and even a tattooed Tahitian man, named Omai, who became quite a celebrity in London society in 1774. The word 'tattoo' comes from the Tahitian word 'Tatau', stemming from 'ta', meaning to hit or strike, referring to the ancient style of tattooing by tapping sharpened bone combs with mallets.

During this time of renewed interest in tattooing again in Britain (after a long period of inactivity), Celtic people were leaving their homes by the thousands to the Americas and beyond, some seeking adventure and opportunity, many in search of a better life, and some driven out by religious persecution. Millions of Irish left their homeland for America due to poverty and starvation of 'The Great Potato Famine' of the 1840s. Scots left by the tens of thousands for America and Canada reaching a peak during 'The Highland Clearances' of the 1760s. Welsh and Cornish miners seeking work left when the mining industries declined. All these Celts took with them around the world their art, languages and music. In most countries in the world you can now find emigrant Celts.

The revival of Tattoo also seems to have gone full circle from the Polynesians, back to the Celts, then with the continuing migration of Celtic people, returning to the Americas and the Pacific.

We are brothers Dudley and Jim (Hamish) Burgess, of Scottish origin, who adopted Cornwall as home over 20 years ago. We were first inspired by Courtney Davis' artwork in his first book, and have both been studying Celtic art since then. Our story also seems to have followed the ancient patterns, starting with Courtney's art, following our own Celtic art paths, and now returns full circle to this forward for Courtney's latest book.

We hope you will also be inspired by Courtney's art, and encourage you to tap into your heritage with a Celtic tattoo, and walk the path with your ancestors... May the road rise to meet you.


Hamish (Jim) Burgess,
Maui Celtic,
Maui, Hawaii
www.mauiceltic.com

Dudley Burgess,
DNA Tattoo Studio,
Newquay, Cornwall.
www.dnatattoo.co.uk