Triquetra- Celtic Knot

by Mindy on August 16, 2012

in 52/52 Challenge, Insect Art, Workshops

Painting #28 of #Paint52

Trinity knot Painting Mlighthipe ©2012

Painting # 28 comes from my class with Val Webb. We learned how to do some simple Celtic Knot designs. I liked the simplicity of the Trinity Knot and decided to challenge myself with doing a complicated beetle design. I have always been super fond of beetles and I thought it would be challenging to work with Iridescence and bright colors. It was a bit tricky at first to create the "triquetra" because I had to make sure it was big enough for me to be able to squeeze in all the detail I wanted. I also didn't want it to be too big. I finally settled on a 6" x 6" square. I then started to draw in the beetles and where the strand went under the other I had to figure what part of the beetle would begin to disappear. It reminded me of the work of  MC Esher. I have always adored his amazing work. The detail and the way he worked with perspective in my opinion has never been so successfully rendered.

Here is a little bit of history regarding The Celtic Trinity Knot, or the triquetra knot. The word Triquetra comes from Latin, and means "three-cornered."
When I think of the word "Trinity" it immediately reminds me of the word Christians use for the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In doing some reading on the subject I found out that the Celts created this symbol  way before Christianity. The pagan school of thought sees the trinity knot as the drawing of the three inherent feminine powers: Maiden, Mother, and Crone (Older Woman). It is used in the practice of Wiccans and Neopagans.

Here are more meanings that I found:
    •    spirit, mind, body
    •    mother, father, child
    •    past, present, future
    •    power, intellect, love
    •    creator, destroyer, sustainer
    •    creation, preservation, destruction
    •    thought, feeling, emotion
    •    earth, air, and water
    •    life, death, and rebirth

My dad was an English teacher and his interest in language and folklore has always been present in my art. It is interesting to find the meanings behind symbols and words. For me, beetles are a symbol of the past, present and future. They are the largest group of animals on the planet, (350,000- 450,000 different ties of beetles on earth today.)with the greatest variety in textures and color patterns. They are found in the past. The scarab beetle signified creation and I am sure that they will out live us in the future!

Do you have a favorite symbol that you have worked with? I would love to hear your thoughts about what kind of symbols fascinate you!

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Alena Lang Phillips August 16, 2012 at 11:42 am

Beautiful work, really like this!

Mindy August 16, 2012 at 11:44 am

Thanks Alena. I really had fun designing it and painting it.

Cathy Johnson (Kate) August 16, 2012 at 1:03 pm

Mindy, this is just gorgeous.  I love the bit of background, too.  Would you mind if I linked to this post in my next newsletter?

Mindy August 16, 2012 at 1:11 pm

Thank you so much Cathy! I would be honored for you to have you link this to your newsletter. Please make sure that you send me a copy! I am not sure if I am on your mailing list. My email address is:

Cathy Johnson (Kate) August 16, 2012 at 2:00 pm

Thank you, Mindy!  If you don't mind, I'll add you to the mailing list now, so I don't forget–it will probably be next month before I send out another one.  Then if you want to unsubscribe after that, you can!

Janine Mitchell August 16, 2012 at 2:47 pm

Wonderful work – I am a calligraphy and have also studied botanical art…so I was delighted to see the combination of bugs and knot work – I have loved painting bugs myself – but still find the iridescence challenging…I love the gorgeous purple flower in your headline too – pity that is not on etsy!

Mindy August 16, 2012 at 3:11 pm

Cathy(Kate) It doesn’t appear that I will want to be off your list. I really admire your work and am delighted to be part of the loop!

Laura August 16, 2012 at 4:27 pm

this is so much fun Mindy.  I have been working with celtic knots lately….find them so lovely :)  I've just designed a tag for my irish terrier Ben, with a celtic heart knot :)  This is really fun…thanks so much for sharing :)  xox Laura  ps: Val's course is great thank you for spreading the word ♥

Mindy August 22, 2012 at 8:26 am

Laura~ I would love to see what you have done with your Celtic knots. I had a blast doing this one. Where can I see them?

Mindy September 11, 2012 at 11:24 am

Thanks Janine. I just found your comment. I found your work on the internet and it is beautiful!!! Your calligraphy is masterful. I am sprucing up my Etsy shop so you may just find that Purple Tulip there!

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