Hand-painted Miniature Medieval Bestiary Paintings

I generally try to make something for my closest friends and family over the holidays. It’s really nice to get hand-made gifts – to know that someone made you something with their hands and devoted their time and care to doing so. Of course, time is a rare commodity for any teacher but I somehow make time to do this because it’s important that my loved ones get something from me – be it a card or a gift – that says “I may be busy but I think about you often and will always make time for you!”

For a couple of years I’ve been making Christmas cards and candy. In holidays past I’ve made scarves, embroidered pins, soap, calendars  etc. – it is getting harder and harder to come up with things over the years. I actually did a linoleum print card this year after being inspired by some amazing cards by an artist friend. Mine were… so, so… I really detest linoleum block prints. I must remember this in the future!

I also painted miniature paintings.


I must say the paintings are perhaps the best thing I’ve made (at least from my point of view) in a long time. Each one – with the exception of two – are all based on medieval illustrations of animals in illuminated manuscripts. I’ve had a soft spot for bestiaries for many years (going on a decade of slow but steady accumulation of imagery) and it was high time the interest manifested somehow.

Rooster Dragon
Rooster Dragon
Eagle Pheonix
Winged Deer talking to Bird
Wise Owl teaching Disciples
Wise Owl teaching Disciples
Majestic Enlightened Bird
Majestic Enlightened Bird
Enlightened Crane
Enlightened Crane
Caterpillar Mole
Caterpillar Mole
Fox Eating Bird
Golden Goose with Horseshoe
Golden Goose with Horseshoe
Man Eating Crocodile
Man-Eating Crocodile

I changed somethings here and there but for the most part they’re fairly close to the originals. I had so much fun painting them I have the strong desire to do more for the heck of it. It may have had something to do with the fact that I created these little works fireside though… just maybe


Happy Holidays to all!


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