Reed's Celtic Computer 'Art' and 
					Knotwork Instruction

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Introduction and Background

I'm Reed Mihaloew (known in the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) as Rolin Thurmundsson, and available through e-mail at the address listed at the bottom of this page).   I've been interested in Insular Celtic-style art since the late 70's,having been introduced to it through the SCA.

My original work was all done by hand, but I started to experiment with computer drawn work in the early 80's; originally on a Mac.   I originally experimented using "drawing" type packages alone(e.g., MacDraw), trying to achieve the best control over the lines and bands in the knotwork.  I had some success, but found that some things were better done in a "painting" type program (e.g., PaintShop Pro).   I have, since the early 2000s, again used drawing programs (e.g, MS Visio) to construct the initial bands.   The resulting images are all still finished off using PSP.

My original aim was to generate Insular Celtic page templates that I could trace with a light table and fill in by hand using manual calligraphic and painting techniques.  Indeed, that is still what I often do.   As I was working on a piece, trying to get a colored version of the computer image in order to better visualize the finished product (see the file aoa9p1.jpg for an example), I was struck by how nice the computer version appeared.  Subsequently I discovered a tiled background that looked a bit like vellum (see the basic page background for an exampl (thanks to Valkyrie for the better vellum version currently used).   Using this technique seemed to provide a better prediction of the finished product to be done on parchment paper or vellum.  Finally, while trying to find a tiled Insular Celtic-style background for my PC window I looked at many of the examples on the Web and thought, "...I could do better than that!"  Not true, as the examples on these pages show :-) but I enjoyed building them nevertheless.  They have taught me a lot about the design and concepts behind some of the beautiful original works.

Despite the name of this page, I make no claims to "artistry" in these works--just that I like them.  I've been particularly fascinated with the ability of the computer to simulate (as seen in the following examples) the effects of writing and drawing on parchment, of carving in stone and wood, and even giving the effect of jewelry.

Tools and Techniques

All the images on these pages were generated using Paint Shop Pro--I've used everyversion from the original JASC shareware version 3 to the current Corel Paint Shop Photo Pro version X3 (13).   As mentioned above, I have also used MS Visio to "sketch out" some of the original spiral shapes and other knotwok and keywork outlines, then converted to PSP for display.  All images on this site were constructed, not scanned, with the exception of some modified scanned images to make the zoomorphic C and the A in the Celtic Art header at the top of the page.  

Acknowledgements

I consider myself heavily indebted to a number of talented people.  These include the real artists, both the original scribes and those modern authors who allowed me insight into how these wonderful images were created.  The Knotwork Class Bibliography lists these authors and their works.

In addition, I'd like to mention Bev Roden (known as Mistress Alexis MacAlister of Beverlay in the SCA) who asked me to give a class covering beginning Celtic knotwork construction (Introduction to Celtic Knotwork) during Pennsic War XXII (the week of 20 August 1993).  The Pennsic class notes formed the basis for the Knotwork Construction Class found on this site.

Technical Note

The header font used in these pages is "Kells". A TTF version of this font is available for download here.  Install this into your Fonts directory and re-start your browser to see the headers in a Celtic- style font...


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Copyright © 1997-2014, A. Reed Mihaloew
reed_mihaloew [at] verizon [dot] net
Most recent revision: 15 February 2014