Art, Myth & Symbol


Jen Delyth Artist/Author

Jen Delyth image

Celtic poet and playwright Fiona Macleod writes in 1901:
“For all Poetry is in a sense Memory; all Art indeed is a Gathering of the Innumerable
and Lost into the Found and U

The Celtic tradition has its own ancient roots back into the cultures of the Neolithic and Paleolithic peoples whocame before them. It continues to evolve and is - most important to many working today - a living tradition.

Artist Jen Delyth is part of this living tradition. She creates original Celtic paintings and illustrations which explorethe language of myth and symbol inspired by Celtic folklore and the spirit within nature. Her work is influencedby the folk motifs and symbols of the ancient Celts, but woven through her experience and vision as a woman
of the twenty-first century.

Born in the Welsh borderlands of the Wye valley, and raised in the industrial heartlands of south Wales, in Port
Talbot, and Penllergaer a small village on the edge of the Gower Penninsula, Jen Delyth was surrounded bylandscapes that have inspired poets and artists throughout the ages. Her childhood was spent exploring the lovelyWelsh hills and stunning coastal beaches and coves with her family. This early connection to the natural world hasplayed an integral role in her development as an artist.

Delyth recalls “I was fortunate that we explored many wonderful ancient places, full of history and resonance thatinspired and formed me as I was growing up. It often seemed as though the land itself was haunted by the long-agopeople, and I could sense the mythic quality of things even as a young child.”

Her first introduction to Celtic mythology was through her mother Mair, who shared the Welsh folk songs andtraditions that she had learned as a child, when she was closely connected with the Urdd, the Youth movementthat continues to promote Welsh language and culture today. Her father Fred was passionate about literature and journalism as a young man, although he later focused on his interest in psychology. He encouraged Delyth to write,and to travel — to learn from experience in addition to developing craft and technique.

Delyth studied philosophy at Southampton University before embarking on a lifelong self-education in art. “Eventhough I had dedicated many years to intensive academic study, I felt a tremendous urge to express what I was seeingand learning through a more visual medium,” she says. Delyth began her exploration of the world through art in1984, when she moved to the island of Korcula, near Split, Croatia. There she set up a darkroom in the corner of an old shed and began photographing the local landscapes and people. She returned to London a year later and begandoing freelance photography for London Alternative Magazine. As a freelance photographer, she traveled to Crete,Egypt and Jerusalem. It was on her last stop that she met her husband, jazz musician Scott Silverberg, and the two of them settled in Northern California. She founded Dryad Graphics in 1987 designing original Celtic art illustrations,and becoming one of the first people to create Celtic patterns using new computer technology.

“We felt very much like we were on the cutting edge,” Delyth recalls, “bringing the language of the ancients into the modern times.”

In 1998, Delyth began a personal study of painting after she met respected Welsh artist John Uzzell Edwards at Swansea University during an art show where each of their works were featured. She was struck by Edwards’ style, “he had these amazing paintings of miners and local people - the dark rhythms and energy of the Celtic form, butin a fine art modernist expression.” It was through Edwards’ encouragement that Delyth decided to take up paintingand after a brief period of working with oils, she moved on to working with natural pigments. She now paints withegg tempera - a medium that dates all the way back to the ancient Egyptians. Delyth has been working with naturalpigments, such as gem stones and minerals that she grinds up and mixes with the egg yolk emulsion to create whatshe describes as a “luminous and sensual” painting process.

Delyth continues to combine traditional techniques with contemporary digital mediums, integrating the visual motifsand language of Celtic patterning into original new designs. Jen Delyth finds the symmetry of form and symbolthat expresses living archetypes. Her work is stylistically contemporary, iconographic, and reflects the spiritualand philosophical roots which embody universal themes. These themes reflect her love of nature and of Celtic symbolism.

Jen Delyth’s original Celtic artwork has been widely published and exhibited internationally. Her work adorns the covers of several books including Celtic Way of Seeing by Frank MacEowen and Dictionary of Celtic Myth and Legend by Miranda Green. Delyth was also a featured artist in David James’ Celtic Crafts: The Living Tradition and New Visions in Celtic Art. The series of animated films she created for the interactive DVD “Beyond the Ninth Wave” has premiered at music events, workshops, and on television. Her work has been featured in magazines, music and theatre productions, and in festivals and museums across the country. She illustrated Amber Lotus Publishing’s best selling “Celtic Mandala” calendar, journals and greeting cards. Delyth and Silverberg also established a sucessful business called Keltic Designs that showcases her textiles, prints and paintings.

“Although I am not affiliated with any particular branch of Celtic spirituality, my work often focuses on an expression of my deep love and respect of nature and all its mystery. The Celtic tradition expresses a wealth of wisdom and understanding of the natural world — of plants and animals, and also the inner world of active imagination and our psyche. Working with the patterns, sacred images and myths of the ancient Celts renews my connection between the past and the present, the inside and outside, the seen and the unseen. Life in all its Mystery and interconnectedness, through art and story.”

She describes her latest project, Celtic Folk Soul, as “a collection of my artwork and designs, with essays and poetry which illustrate the philosophy and folklore behind them. The language of Celtic Art explored through myth and symbol.”


10" X 10" Hard Cover with Jacket
Full Color Art Book
216 Pages 137 + Color Illustrations




of Jen's Celtic Shaman Art & Animation "Beyond the Ninth Wave"!



Celtic Folk Soul, Art, Myth & Symbol, published in Spring 2008
is a beautifully presented coffee table art book by artist Jen Delyth.
This richly detailed full color book shows us through art and poetry, symbol and archetype, myth and history, the essence of the living tradition of the Celtic Folk Soul.

A 10” x 10” full color, hardbound art book, it features a vast collection of
Jen Delyth’s finest artwork created over the last twenty years.
Intricate spiral and interlacing patterns express the oneness of life within all form, the visible and the invisible, leading us intuitively into the Otherworldly realms of our psyches and to an ancient and organic wisdom that speaks to us today.

Celtic Folk Soul by Jen delyth

To Purchase Book, Greeting Cards or Fine Art Prints

Amber Lotus Publishing or Celtic Art Studio