Celtic greyhound knotwork art plus gifts for greyhound lovers, greyhound-design fabrics and loads more…
I, myself, used to own a rescue greyhound and I still consider myself a greyhound lover, so I was keen to create a Celtic artwork and have a go at intertwining knotwork around those lovely long legs and tail. The greyhound is such an elegant dog that perfectly suits the Celtic knotwork style...
Some Celtic Greyhound Facts!
It’s thought that the word ‘greyhound’ does not refer to the colour of the hound but means ‘fair dog’. The proto-Indo-European root word ‘g’her’ meaning ‘shine’ or ‘twinkle’ has been suggested as the original meaning of the Celtic greyhound.
The Celtic hound is a common motif in Celtic artwork and there are many Celtic myths involving the ‘Celtic Hound’ which was a slim, fast dog with a long muzzle, likely to be something similar to (or an ancestor of) our modern greyhound or deer hound and used for hunting.
It’s thought the first Celtic greyhound was from Eastern Europe or Eurasia and was known as the ‘vertragus’ (a Latin word from Celtic origin) – although it’s believed that Britain did not have these greyhound-like dogs until the Roman occupation.
A Romano-Celtic shrine at Lydney in Gloucestershire was dedicated to the healing god Nodens and effigies of dogs were discovered there, including a bronze hound very similar to the one shown above – a greyhound or deer hound – thought to be representative of healing qualities in the dog, perhaps from its lick, which was known to be healing and therapeutic.
Celtic hunter-gods also had hounds - and Celtic hounds were also seen as protectors – the goddess of the North Sea, Nehalennia, has a protective hound with her – and other Celtic mother-goddess figures are often depicted with a hound in its protective aspect.
In Celtic myths, hounds were often a symbol of the ‘Otherworld’ – something fey and magical...
In the Welsh tales of the Mabinogi, the god of the Underworld, Arawn, has a pack of magical hounds, white with red ears…
And the legend of the ‘Wild Hunt’ describes a pack of supernatural hounds, who fly through the air to pursue their quarry.
King Arthur’s trusty hound was called Cabal - and the legendary Irish warrior hero Fionn mac Cumhaill’s (Finn MacCool’s) two nephews, Bran and Sceolan, were turned into hounds and accompanied their uncle in his adventures.
The Celtic greyhound certainly seems to have been valued and respected – both for its practical usefulness in hunting and its value in healing and protection – as well as its potentially supernatural or magical associations.
I created greyhound drawings and then painstakingly designed Celtic knotwork around the greyhound figures, basing my knotworks on traditional Celtic designs and then allowing the knots to get a little more swirly and fanciful…
I scan the completed drawings into the computer and import them into Adobe Illustrator where I can complete the composition digitally by bringing the separate drawings together - and also tweak the colours to provide several colour options...
Click on the images below to see them larger...
Apologies for reflections showing on photos of the computer screens (very difficult to capture well!)...
I think my Celtic Greyhound artworks have a beautiful art nouveau look to them in the softer colours and a stronger Celtic or Viking vibe in the bolder colours – which do you prefer…?
My Celtic Greyhound designs are available as art prints, fabrics, wallpapers, phonecases, throws, wall tapestries, face masks, T-shirts, tops, silky scarves, journals and a whole lot more – loads of great gift ideas for greyhound lovers with colours to suit your style…
Browse greyhound gifts and products here...
Looking for Celtic Greyhound design fabrics?
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Or take a look at a few greyhound lover gift ideas below, just to get you started - there are hundred of different products and colour options you can try...
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