a few questions for zachary lynch...
Why is this your favorite illustration from The Life of St. Brigid?
My favorite illustration is St. Brigid laying the corner stone for her monastery at the foot of the oak tree. I really enjoy the vibrancy of this picture. Oak trees had a special place in ancient Irish culture. Oaks grow big and strong and can live for a very long time. For Christians this became a symbol of the Christian faith. In the St. Brigid book the oak tree is a symbol of the Church which is growing strong by St. Brigid's love and care.
When did you start drawing in a Celtic style?
I started dabbling in Celtic art in my early 20's (I'm 32 now). I was captivated by the wonderful flowing rhythm of what is known as "Celtic art." Celtic art was honed and brought to its highest form by Irish monks. They used it to illuminate the Scriptures. It was one of their ways to praise the Holy Trinity.
I know you’re a father of many little ones. Plus you’re going to seminary…how do you find time to paint?
Well, that is a good question! While working on the St. Brigid illustrations I just had to find time here and there--whenever I could. Most of the time it ended up being later in the evening after my kids were in bed. I think it would be best to have a set time, but my house is full of surprises!
Where do you paint—and do you have any strange habits you do when you’re creating the art?
Right now I paint in a little room off our kitchen. It is also where I have to do all my studying for seminary, and I share it with the washer and dryer. They sometimes get a bit noisy and never listen when I ask them to quite down.
The funniest thing I do when I paint is stick my tongue out just a little bit. I know it is funny because that is what my family tells me!
What did you like best about the story of St. Brigid?
What always struck me about St. Brigid was her unending love and care for other people--of course this is because she had an unending love for Jesus Christ. St. Brigid was so full of love for Christ she could not help but love others. One of my favorite stories is of St. Brigid helping the dying chieftain. At first he was so angry! But the love of Christ manifest in St. Brigid changed him completely.
What words of advice do you have for inspiring young artists?
Just keep painting! If you know of an artist or someone who likes to paint and draw, talk to them and ask for their advice. Always remember to ask Christ and the saints for help--painting is a work of our hands and can be done for the glory of God.