SAINTS AND SINNERS © Hamish Burgess 2019.
Signed and numbered Limited Edition Giclée print of 300 on water-colour paper. 20 x 17.5 inches, plus a white unprinted border.
Original illustration with Celtic art decoration, a piece commissioned by George Millar, founder of the legendary The Irish Rovers, for their 2020 release “Saints and Sinners“, as the cover of the CD, available now at The Irish Rovers online store.
Starting in the middle around the card table, from centre clockwise:
A Saint based on one in the Book of Kells (c.800 AD).
Red Maddie, the Rover Records label logo, and one of George Millar’s dogs.
George Millar, founding member and current singer and leader of The Irish Rovers.
A green alligator, one of the characters of the band’s famous hit “The Unicorn” in 1968.
A bishop with his mitre and crosier (staff).
A card dealer, or card shark with lots of cards hidden away for cheating.
A cat based on the artist Hamish and his partner Jennifer’s furry boy Larry.
A gnarly old Unicorn, fifty -four years on from “The Unicorn” song.
On the table the Irish whiskey bottles are the fictional ‘Seamuson’s’, ‘Burning Bush’, and ‘Milltown’ in honor of the Braidwater Mill in Ballymena, where the Millar family came from.
Left top: a somewhat traditional version of Heaven, with pilgrim souls heading up the stairway to heaven, with an organ player, and at the top St.Peter and the Pearly Gates. God and her husband are in the clouds! (back to them later).
Right top: another version of Heaven. An old tavern with period revelers and the distiller with his old pot still, then a winding road past an Irish distillery on a lovely river, past a thatched cottage to a bridge, leading to a thatched pub and the green hills beyond. A rambling musician is on his way, waving at a happy wee fairy girl on the road ahead.
Up in the Celtic knotwork clouds is an angel that represents the late Jimmy Ferguson, founding Irish rover, with a pint of “Goodness” in a glass.
Right bottom: From the album title track “Saints and Sinners”, the artist’s interpretation of “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions on the way”. The lady knight of the Temperance League is smashing up all the barrels of various spirits and beer, including ‘whisky, rum and porter’ as in the song, with the spirits spilling down into hell, where the artist’s hand is holding a glass to save some of the whisky! Hamish is a whisky enthusiast, and a co-founder of ‘Maui Malts’ whisky club.
Left bottom: a possibly un-traditional version of hell. Centre is a pitchfork. Left are happy wee folk dancing to red hot fiddle music by a handsome devil, or demon. A stream of music heading up to the heavens is actually the traditional tune ‘Devil in the Kitchen’. Fiery music notes head up to Heaven, all much appreciated by God and her husband, who are toasting the music, and She’s giving the thumbs up.
Left: a naughty monk is having a wee dram – based on an actual medieval image, and happens to look a lot like the other co-founder of ‘Maui Malts’ whisky club. Another monk on the stairs is also toasting.
The music stave, stairway and both roads all lead to, or come from, the centre, balancing the image.
All prints signed and numbered by the artist in pencil at the bottom.
The print you receive will not have the artist’s name across it, as in the photo. That is for internet viewing only.
Aloha and mahalo for looking.