Around this time of year, early February, is the festive day of Saint Brigid of Ireland. She had unusual political and spiritual power for a woman in her days; some histories claim she was even a bishop. She is also connected with blacksmithing. A friend of mine commissioned this icon of Saint Brigid. The Irish saint, depicted with a bright crimson cloak, holds blacksmithing tongs over an anvil and sacred fire. She is heating a heart of iron, symbolizing her power to bring the devotee spiritual fervor. Mythologically, Brigid is the old Celtic goddess of the Forge, transformed into the Irish Christian saint. In the background is an authentic grey and green Irish landscape, and the green border has Celtic designs from the Book of Kells. The saint holds a Celtic crook staff, symbol of a bishop's office.
Brigid Icon is acrylic on Masonite hardboard, 11" x 14", summer 1994. Click on the image for a larger view.