Category Archives: Art

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St. Alban's Psalter

One of my favorite styles of manuscript…. Anglo Saxon Art

One of my favorite styles of manuscript…. Anglo Saxon Art

The blog A Clerk of Oxford posted today about one of my favorite style of manuscript.  The manuscript is the Benedictional of St. Æthelwold, one of the last surviving Winchester-style manuscripts of 10th-century Anglo-Saxon mastery.  St. Æthelwold ‘s is one of the earliest of this style of manuscript.

St. AEthelwold

Image from the Benediction of St. AEthelwold

The Gospel Book known as MS M.708 held in the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York is another such example. The so-called Grimbald Gospel at the British Library has a few good full-page illuminations, too.

Morgan MS M708

Image from Morgan MS M708

One of my favorites is the Arundel Psalter, also at the British Library.  I used this image as the basis for Mistress Hertha of Froggestowe’s peerage scroll, long long ago. More recently, I based the Cross of Calontir scroll for H.L. Johann Steinarrson on this page, as well.

Arundel Psalter

Initial B from the Arundel Psalter

Calon Cross

Cross of Calontir Scroll done for HL Johann Steinarrson by Aidan Cocrinn, OL. Photo (c) Holly Cochran 2017.

Other favorites from the era include the Hunterian Psalter dating to approximately 1170 CE and the St. Alban’s Psalter, from about 1130 CE.



Hunterian Psalter.

Initial B from the Hunterian Psalter. Notice the similarities – and differences to the one previous.

St. Alban's Psalter

St Alban’s Psalter B – again, differences and similarities, but still the same time period. Also, a good view of the style of calligraphy during the time period.

Certainly there are more from this era, mainly fragments and parcels due to their age. However, my SCA persona being 10th – 11th Century Irish, I can’t help but feel a soft spot for these treasures.

I hope you have enjoyed looking at the pretty pictures. I also hope you give the Clerk of Oxford blog a visit.




If you are interested in some awesome books that include more details about illuminated books and manuscripts of this era, here are some suggestions.



Ridiculously Detailed QR Code Carpet Drawings – OUTLET SALE – Shop Now!


From the OMG WOW BEAUTIFUL files, we bring you these drawings.


joe and nathan

QR Code Carpet by Joe and Nathan

Created by art director Jonathan Bréchignac, of Joe and Nathan  design studio in Paris, these amazing carpet drawings were all drawn by hand with Bic pencils and pens. They reflect the size and designs of Muslim prayer carpets. Each is richly decorated with detail and patterns, and are inspired by different styles of art. There are even camouflage and animal patterned drawings. 

joe and nathan

The Blue Carpet

Bréchignac combines the genres and patterns, breathing new life and meaning into each while creating something utterly unique.

Look more closely and you see a hand drawn QR code in each of the four carpet corners. Each code connects with its own page on On that site, the detail connects the physical form of the carpet with an abstract, interactive virtual form.

joe and nathan

QR Code Corner

Buy Personalized Gifts, Collectibles, Memorabilia and Photography from America’s Premier Newspaper – The New York Times


St. John’s Bible Exhibit – Rockhurst College

The St. John’s Bible was commissioned by Saint John’s Abbey and University. It was created by Donald Jackson, Senior Scribe to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s Crown Office, along with a collaborative team of artists and scribes.

St. John's Bible

The Aaronic Blessing

This is the first illuminated, handwritten Bible of monumental size to be commissioned by a Benedictine monastery in over 500 years. All 73 books of the Old and New Testaments, using the New Revised Standard Version, are presented in seven volumes totaling approximately 1150 pages.

The work of the St. John’s Bible was done in a scriptorium in Wales. Now completed, the Bible’s home is Saint John’s University in Collegeville, MN.

St. John's Bible

Genesis – Creation

The St. John’s Bible was made using traditional materials such as vellum, ancient inks, gold and silver leaf, and platinum. It was written with quill pens fashioned from goose, turkey and swan feathers.

The Heritage Edition of the St. John’s Bible is the only full-size, limited, signed and numbered fine art edition that will ever be produced. 299 fine art editions were created and placed around the world in religious, arts, academic, healing and literary institutions.

St. John's Bible

Ancient Eve in the Garden of Eden

Bound in Italian leather and printed on 100 percent cotton paper using printing technologies invented for this project, the Heritage edition features the exquisite calligraphy, vibrant imagery and stunning gold and silver illumination inspired by the original.

My puny attempts at photography do not do this exhibition justice. All seven books are on display at Rockhurst College’s Greenlease Library, 51st and Troost, KCMO, through the end of September. Two books will remain at the library through the end of 2013.

St. John's Bible


My guide during this trip was the super-knowledgeable Ellen Spake. She took training at the St. John’s Abbey in Minnesota as part of the contract to bring the books to Rockhurst. Visitors are allowed to browse the books at their leisure, and Ms. Spake and her team of docents provide a wealth of information about the books. Any question about methods, materials, iconography, symbology and the makers is answered in great detail.

Thanks to my Mom for finding out about this exhibit and patiently accompanying me as I drooled all over the books and spent a couple of hours being amazed. I may have to return and drool some more, and listen to Ms. Spake tell the story of this amazing achievement.

I hope you enjoy the gallery of my photos, and I really hope you are able to see this exhibit at one of the 299 places around the world.

Monterey Bay

Colors of California – Monterey Bay Aquarium

Part 2 of my photo posts from my recent trip to California. All images are the sole property of Holly Cochran and  Unauthorized use or reproduction is explicitly prohibited.


Color Photos from the VERY amazing Monterey Bay Aquarium and surrounding beach areas. Highly recommended travel destination. Click on any image to embiggen it. You won’t be sorry!


I recently traveled to Central California, including the San Francisco Bay area, Monterey Bay, and Yosemite National Park. I took over 1000 photos, dozens of them actually in focus.  Below are some of my favorites, manipulated to black and white as an experiment in contrast and color. ALL photos are the exclusive property of and Holly Cochran. Unauthorized use or reproduction is explicitly not permitted. - Organic Home Goods, Natural Clothing & Everything Yoga! Click Here!

Starting with San Francisco Bay ~~~

Americas Cup

Americas Cup Sailboat in SF Bay

Gull and Buoy

SF Bay Buoy and Seagull

Golden Gate

Golden Gate Bridge



San Francisco Skyline from the Bay



Alcatraz Building



Alcatraz Blockhouse and Light House


Then traveling to Yosemite National Park ~~~

Bridal Veil Fall

Bridal Veil Fall – Not quite dried up this summer


El Capitan

El Capitan


Half Dome

Yosemite Vista Including Half Dome in the Far Distance


granite composition



Mountain Vista

Mountain Vista in Yosemite

granite 2

Granite Composition 2

Tuoleme LakeLake Showing Reduced Water Levels


Then to the Mariposa Grove of giant Sequoia trees, also in Yosemite ~~~

Mariposa Grove

Sequoia Perspective


Mariposa Grove

Carvings on a fallen Sequoia


Mariposa Grove

Giant Fallen Sequoia

Mariposa GroveSequoia with burn scar and evidence of new life

Mariposa Grove

Sequoia Grove


Finally, to Monterey Bay and the amazing Monterey Bay Aquarium ~~~

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Jellie Study


Monterey Bay Aquarium

Another jellie


Monterey Bay Aquarium



Monterey Bay

Monterey Bay Bird Hangout


Monterey Bay

Monterey Bay Tidal Pool


Monterey Bay

Monterey Bay Gulls


Check out my next post for Colors of California.


Color Photos From WW II

More of my favorite stuff – OLD PHOTOS, in color.

These gorgeous images, via Shorpy, remind us just how vivid that war was.

Originally shot by the War Department in gorgeous Kodachrome film, the saturated hues and crisp edges bring that era to life in a way that few other forms of media can. These photos document the trucks, planes, trains, and other various machines that were being prepared on the home front in anticipation of the conflagration sweeping the globe.

Check out the whole article at


Color Photos from WWI, courtesy of Jalopnik




amazing home decoration


Fans of Awesome Photography? Check this out! is an interesting and wonderful site to begin with. This particular post – “What is the most amazing photo you have ever taken?” blew me away. There are so many incredible and awesome shots here, I could not even get through the entire post. The pictures just keep coming. Best thing? NOT a slide show! Check this out.

Warning – photos are constantly being posted, voted up and so forth. You may get sucked in to this site, and this post in particular.

Quora Mario Cuneo

Quora Best Photo Post – Example of many great pictures. This one is by
Marie Cuneo



Trampled Snow Art from Simon Beck

This is so cool.  No pun intended.

Snow Art

Trampled snow art by Simon Beck, photo from

Since 2004 England-based Simon Beck has strapped on a pair of snowshoes and lumbered out into the the freshly fallen snow at the Les Arcs ski resort in France to trample out his distinctly geometric patterns, footprint by footprint. Each work takes the 54-year-old artist anywhere between 6 hours and two days to complete, an impressive physical feat aided from years of competitive orienteering.

See the full article at Colossal Art and Visual Integrity.

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