Sunday, 22 February 2015

Who is Finnabair? - journal pages

Hi there my dear friends!
I hope you are having a great weekend, with some time to do the things you really love!
Myself, I'm doing my best to remember about creating something "just because" and as soon as I will be done with the super-confidential-projects i'm working on now I'll be happy to come back to my journal and canvas I've got still in progress somewhere in my studio.

Below you can see one of the journal pages I've made in the last weeks following the challenge on "Kawa i Nożyczki" (Coffee and Scissors) Art blog.  This time we were focusing on our names or nicknames - and the element we should include was the lettering.
I didn't really have to think twice - I knew I will be doing pages about my nickname (and now also  brand name) as I was trying to explain many times during my classes to my students - on some point of my life I started to feel Finnabair is my name. Somehow. It's unique, its pretty exotic... and it is me. Maybe because my real name - Anna is so popular among my crafty/artsy friends and we needed to make sure which Anna we are talking about? So here it goes!


How I got my name?
The story is pretty plain - it was just a coincidence. Years ago before I was doing any crafts I was in a desperate need of finding a good, not taken login to internet forums, services - and everything based on my name and surname was taken. Every. Single. Time. (If you name is John Smith you now what I'm trying to say, right?)
So in a moment of frustration I just picked a random female name from the book I was reading at that moment - and it was one of the best known Celtic legends called "Táin Bó Cúailnge" which translates to "The Cattle Raid of Cooley" - story of a war between Connacht and Ulster started with a small argument between the king and queen of Connacht... with a lot of pride, jealousy, family connections, friendship and complicated politics involved this story full o heroic duels and battles is considered now to be one of the most important in Irish Mythology . You can find information about it in many places, but I can't promise it will be an entertaining read (sorry!).


Finnabair was the daughter of the Queen Medb and King Ailill and she was one of the second-plan characters in the whole legend. I was sure her name wouldn't be taken by anyone yet - and I was so right! From this moment I kept using it whenever I needed to log in somewhere. I never had a clue it will stick to me like this, but hey, I'm not complaining!
Finnabair is one of the possible spellings of the name and the most possible meaning of it is White Spirit or Shadow... Fay or Ghost - and is connected tightly to the concepts of possibly supernatural nature of some of the ancient Celtic female figures. From this point my explanations would get really complicated and I don't think you are as mad about Celtic Mythology as I am, so please, let's stop here! You can check more here and don't blame me if it is a bit muddy water!


For this post it will be more than enough to word "finn" is old version and is tightly connected to the Irish word "fionn" which would be translated into English "fair, bright, blonde". It's also one of popular Irish names - for boys! (again - with the connection to Celtic hero...). Oh well.


Anyway - I did my best to show all these Celtic influences in my page: I used pages from book written in Gaelic (Irish language) as a art of my background and stamps with Celtic knots, very popular decorative element - which I stamped with my gesso. The text stamp I used - from my new Prima collection has something in common with it all too ;) Finally - white dots surrounding the photo are idea taken from old Irish manuscripts... am I slightly obsessed? Indeed.

In general all the textures of the page were build with Art Basics Heavy White Gesso, Modeling Paste (with combination with lovely TCW "Alhambra"stencil), sprays in shades of yellow, orange, pink and purple and touches done with watercolour pencils. I've also used Art Basics Clear Gesso over my photo to make it easier to paint and stamp - I love the beautiful matte effect it gave to it!


Here is the list of the products - all available in Mixed Media Place now:



I hope my blogpost answered for the questions many people wanted me to ask: Why Finnabair? Why Ireland? Well, the answer is: for the love of books and Celtic mythology. That's it.

Sending you warm hugs from this side


32 comments:

Elena said...

Anna, thanks for the story. I've always been interested in "Why Finnabair?" Now I know. And nice journal page, I must say.

Joanne said...

Hugs from the other side of the Irish Sea. Love the clear gesso on your photo. The ink 'bled' onto my photo at your class so I need some clear gesso so that doesn't happen again. Gorgeous art as always x

SusieScrapper said...

You are amazing and thank you for sharing how you came to be known as Finnabair! You are a true artist and I always look to you work for inspiration! ❤️

Helen said...

I always wondered why you are called Finnabair, it is good to know - and the page to celebrate "you" is gorgeous!

Tores- said...

I like your story - and your work too :)
It's so nice to share "Kawa i Nożyczki" challenge with you :)

Budaházi Brigitta said...

I.Love.It. Both your story and your journal.
As I have the name which has celtic origin, (and a name of an Irish saint), and since I'm a fanatic of Ireland, the culture, the country, their art and music - I love your story so much! :-)

Maura said...

Beautiful page, and lovely story! I love Celtic mythology so this was fun to read your inspiration. And now you live in Ireland!!

Cecilia said...

Love the page and even more - the story! Nice to finally hear the story behind. ��
Miss you girl, hope life is handing you roses and smiles! ❤️ Hugs

NorthernShy said...

Thanks, that was an interesting read! Lovin' the colours on your page.

MARCH said...

it has brought you luck :-)

I know the history of finnabair

Kathy Bradley said...

Thanks for sharing the background on your name - beautiful history. Even though born in the U.S. - my maternal grandparents came over from Ireland and, thus, I have always read anything I could about Ireland, its myths, legends, etc. Back to your gorgeous journal page - the colors and layout are wonderful - as always - your art is fantastic. Thanks for sharing.

britgirl58 said...

The story as you tell it is extremely interesting - thank you for sharing. I think it is always so much easier to become interested in a story when someone that loves that story is telling. I thought the name sounded Irish, but wasn't always aware of your background.
I, too, must remember to create for its own sake, not for a result. Thank you for sharing yours - Julie

Corrie Herriman said...

I wondered and now I know ! Thanks ! Lovely pages by the way !
Corrie x

butterfly said...

So great to find out how and why you "became" Finnabair - and the page tells a wonderful story too - beautiful work as always, and thank you for sharing your love of Celtic myth as well as all the inspiration with us.
Alison xx

janine stegman said...

I love the insight to your name. I love the story but I still just call you friend! xoxo

LucianaW said...

Beautiful project!

Ilana Polakiewicz said...

Finnabair is a great name. Very strong. I love it. And the page is intense, enigmatic, interesting.

Helen Tilbury said...

I love this explanation - thank you! I was wondering about the pronunciation as once I heard someone say it like "Fin - a - bear" then another time someone said it is pronounced "Fin-a-Var" and I thought yikes, maybe that is Polish pronunciation?! But now I see it is not Polish word at all! Having a strong and recognizable name is a great thing and sometimes we grow more into a name we are given rather than the name we were given!!

Helen Tilbury said...

I mean a name we have chosen!

massofhair said...

An interesting way to find a nick name and one that suits you and your style.

Glorious page, love everything! :-) xxx

Colleen said...

Anna,
What a beautiful story, the name suits you well. These pages are beautiful as well.

finnabair said...

Helen, actually the pronunciation closer to the original one will the the one with v - but it's very confusing. According to Irish sources it should be something like Fin-nu-ur ;) but then then you find pronunciation like this and you are totally confused. http://www.forvo.com/word/finnabair/
I'll stay with Finn-a-var ;)

finnabair said...

I believe -as this is the ancient version of the name it will be closer to this one - Fionnabhair, which is pronounced like this: http://www.forvo.com/word/fionnabhair/

Linda D said...

Thanks so much for the explanation. I recognized the name from my reading experience, but had never heard it pronounced. The link you provided really helped. I'm a faithful follower of your blog, love your art, just wish I could find your products locally!

Sandra C. said...

Thanks for telling us how your nickname came about. Interesting info about the name, Beautiful pages!

famillemarleau said...

I really enjoyed reading about the story of your name. It's very inspiring. Thanks for sharing it with us. Johanne Lacombe

Sarah Lynch said...

So interesting...a few generations ago my family were all in Ireland. I sadly do not know as much as I should about the history and mythology. Now I am dying to find out more. My daughters got their names from Ireland via America (Shannon and Teagan Siobhan)

mina juveler said...

piękny wpis. uwielbiam te przejścia między kolorami. a Twoje imię zawsze kojarzyło mi się z książkami o Wiedźminie, które są częściowo oparte na celtyckich legendach i widzę, że byłam blisko :)

Paper Doll Art said...

Love your art journal pages. Thank´s for sharing the story behind your name! I have a lot of friends who are dancers and I know their struggle to find a good stage name - some change their name up to 3 times...

A Magical Whimsy said...

Aye...your explanation of Finnabair is lovely and enchanting. As I am Scotts-Irish, I can feel the Celtic vibes. And I love your blog and your videos as I just discovered them, which is so wonderful about the internet...there is always something new to find everyday, even though thou hast been around for longer than yesterday.
warm wishes
Teresa in California
http://amagicalwhimsy.blogspot.com/

Barbara Rankin said...

Hi Anna, I just came across this post and I, like everyone else, was curious as to how you got your nickname. I love the story and enjoyed reading it. TFS I took your classes when you were here in the U.S. at Queen's Ink, and I must say, I learned more from than from any class I ever took. Again, TFS your creative talents with us.

Scrapalicious Delight said...

Wow what an awesome and quite inspiring story about how you found your name! "Necessity is the mother of invention" and just look what it brought you to amassing good luck and continued success to you!!xx