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I originally intended to reference the Greek myth of Leda and the Swan with this artwork, but gradually the work became the Celtic goddess Brigid instead (whom the Catholic church “adopted” as St. Bridget). Since today is the Celtic festival of Imbolc , I think that is fitting.

Brigid, most probably originally a sun goddess, is a Celtic triple goddess representing healing, poetry and smithcraft. She’s also the goddess of abundance and is associated with the festival of Imbolc, which occurs at the beginning of February and celebrates the approaching spring.

While the white swan is Brigid’s symbol, I took some artistic liberties and made the swan black (as a nocturnal symbol). Imbolc is also known as the festival of lights so Brigid as the solar symbol is taming the dark of winter (i.e. the Black Swan)..

Swans themselves are used often in folklore to represent fidelity, love, creativity, intuition and purity. In fact, swans are the symbol of the Greek muses.

Artwork measures 12.5 × 19 inches approximately. Mixed media (oil pastels, colored pencils, liquid gold leaf, liquid copper leaf, black marker, metal foil collage) on Canson paper.


animal, art nouveau, bird, brigid, celtic, goddess, ireland, pagan, swan, woman

Having a great love animals, fairytales, and world mythology, Pennsylvania artist Lynnette Shelley fuses these influences into her strikingly unique illustrations. Her artwork strikes a primal chord in many viewers, with almost Jungian associations to the colors and shapes. Her artworks have been likened to images from an undiscovered ancient civilization or culture.

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  • © Karin  Taylor
    © Karin Taylorover 4 years ago

    this is so wonderful Lynnette, i love how it turned from one concept into another as the work evolved.. beautiful portrayal, i love your style :)

  • Thank you Karin!

    – Lynnette Shelley

  • genevievem
    genevievemover 4 years ago

    just gorgeous work and love the use of mixed media!

  • Thanks very much Genevievem

    – Lynnette Shelley

  • Bunny Clarke
    Bunny Clarkeover 4 years ago

    Magnificent work. Gorgeous creation and design.

  • Thanks Bunny :)

    – Lynnette Shelley

  • Deborah Glasgow
    Deborah Glasgowover 4 years ago

    Wonderfully done…….love the red hair

  • Thanks Deborah. Yes, I covet her red hair too lol

    – Lynnette Shelley

  • Rhinovangogh
    Rhinovangoghover 4 years ago

    Love the colors! You every new piece seems to be better than the last!

  • That is sweet of you to say Jerry

    – Lynnette Shelley

  • FayGaladriel
    FayGaladrielover 4 years ago

    Beautiful!! And a blessed Imbolc to you! xx

  • You too Fay

    – Lynnette Shelley

  • Michael Scholl
    Michael Schollover 4 years ago

    beautiful piece, Lynnette!

  • Thanks Michael

    – Lynnette Shelley

  • Ming  Myaskovsky
    Ming Myaskovskyover 4 years ago

    Always the best, another master piece ……Outstanding Lynnette! :)

  • I am honored you think so Ming

    – Lynnette Shelley

  • prettybird
    prettybirdover 4 years ago

    Outstanding and stunning work gorgeous xxxxxxxxxxx

  • Thank you Carlotta

    – Lynnette Shelley

  • madvlad
    madvladover 4 years ago

    all the myths stories are almost as interesting as your art, they sure add to the fantastic art

  • Thanks MV. I really do like reading the different stories myself, so I figure some of you would as well

    – Lynnette Shelley

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