SPOILER ALERT: I mention more than one juicy tidbit about specific characters in this posting. I don’t want to ruin your first-time reading of the series, so be forewarned.
Today’s post is dedicated to all my Sister Sassenachs. I’ve made several new friends over the past eleven weeks – women (and some men, but mostly women) from all over the United States and the world, including England, Scotland, Wales, Spain, Italy, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Canada, Costa Rica, Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania, and some countries I don’t know due to anonymity.
We each became an honorary Sassenach at different times and for different reasons, but we’ve all come together to form a bond around a single brainchild: Outlander. Some of the women have been fans of the Outlander series of books by Diana Gabaldon since the first publication on June 1, 1991, while others joined the clan as ‘virgins’ – much like Jamie on his wedding night!
Long time veteran, virgin, newbie, oldie – it doesn’t matter. We are all hooked upon the first reading. More join the sisterhood every day and are welcomed with open arms.
As the sisterhood grows, the community becomes more than just a powder room for many. Oh, we all enjoy the social aspects of talking about the Outlander novels, the television show being produced by Ron D. Moore, and the stars of the show – especially Sam Heughan, Caitriona Balfe, Tobias Menzies, Steven Cree and Graham McTavish – to name just a few of the talented cast members.
But there is much more being discussed and experienced than the latest fan gossip. Some are learning to speak Gaelic. Many are planning trips to visit Scotland for the first, second, third or moreth time. And still others are sharing their artistic talents from writing, drawing, painting, photography, digital compositing, blogging, cooking, broadcasting to video editing.
I have been impressed and astounded by the many different works being created – each beautiful, entertaining, and/or hilarious in their own way. All display a personal connection to the novels, the author, the characters, and the show with a unique style. There are several wonderful facebook pages and blogs created by a number of fan groups and are listed in the Outlander Community Directory. I’d like to bring special attention to a few talented fans who’ve been noticed by many but deserve even greater recognition. These ladies represent a small number of gifted sassenachs in my corner of the Outlander world. I know there are many more out there with whom I am acquainted or have not yet met. Perhaps I’ll introduce you to them in part 2 to this posting.
First up is Great Scot! “An Outlandish Gàidhlig Glossary and other Gàidhlig bits” website. It’s an entertaining and informative blog created and maintained by Mandy (Màndaidh) Tidwell. She’s an Outlander fan from Atlanta, GA, and as stated, the blog mostly covers news on Gàidhlig, especially as it pertains to Outlander. Two of the main notables mentioned in her blog postings are Àdhamh Ó Broin and Bear McCreary.
Àdhamh Ó Broin is the dialect consultant and tutor on the Outlander series. He is also a Gaelic singer-songwriter born and raised in Glasgow with a passion for keeping the old language alive.
Bear McCreary is the composer for Outlander and is known for his work on other shows such as The Walking Dead, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, Da Vinci’s Demons, Black Sails, Battlestar Galactica, Europa Report, and Defiance. According to Mandy’s blog, Mr. McCreary recently tweeted:
SO very excited to hear the first tracks. Follow Màndaidh’s blog to keep up to date on all things Gàidhlig and Outlander music-related.
Next up is Kath Powell – an artist from West Midlands, UK. She shares her vision with the fans in a special way as can be seen from a few of her examples below. Look closely at the tiles in these pictures of Claire and Jamie to appreciate her talent for creating these amazing mosaics. They are presented here, for the first time, in high resolution for your viewing pleasure. Visit her twitter page to see even more of her stunning artwork.
And here we have Jenny Kay Jeffries. She’s from New Zealand and calls herself the Outrageous Outlander (and for good reason!). Our Kiwi fan is having a ball inserting herself into compromising positions with Jamie. Here’s just one of her many hilarious encounters with the King of Men:
Jenny also has a talented mind when it comes to #Pocketjamie. Here HE is in compromising positions with a few other leading ladies – unbeknownst to Claire, I’m sure.
For a look at her other hijinks adventures, visit her facebook page at Outrageous Outlander.
Our next young artist is Isa whose place of origin is unknown to me, but her art is not. She is extremely talented, and I – for one – am grateful to have her gift added to the pool. Below are a few examples of her stunning work. Visit her twitter page to see more breathtaking pieces.
The first panel portrays Tobias Menzies in the two roles he’s playing in Outlander: Claire’s husband, Frank Randall and Frank’s great ancestor, Jonathan Randall. The standing stones can be seen in the background, waiting to whisk Claire away from Frank and thrust her into the clutches of Captain Black Jack Randall.
The second example of Isa’s work is a charming rendering with a photograph of Claire. Could this be the layout on Frank’s desk – perhaps after her disappearance? You decide.
Our next talented sassenach is from sunny Spain. Her name is Covadonga Vega, and she creates lovely postcard-like images for our enjoyment. Here are just two examples of her innovative designs. Please visit her twitter page to see all of her splendid creations.
The first piece is a collage of powerful images as she imagines the Battle of Culloden. Included is the opening chorus to the ballad Culloden Harvest – a contemporary composition written by Alastair MacDonald.
This second piece is one of my personal favorites and depicts a picture album of Jamie’s son, Willie. Beautiful.
German Sassenachs is a group of six lasses representing many and doing their country proud. They host a Facebook page not included in the Outlander Community Directory but are 341 members strong. You can meet and find them all here: Outlander Germany
Of the six lasses administering the Facebook site, three regularly create and share their wonderful artwork on twitter –Riet Petite, An Tje, and Susanne Fi. Here are two examples I’d like to share – artist not specified.
The first emotional piece includes the chorus to the song “Is Tu Fuil ‘o mo Chuislean [Music by Kevin Walsh and lyrics by Mike Gibb from the Outlander musical] Translation:
Ye are Blood of my Blood,
And Bone of my Bone,
I give ye my body,
That we Two might be one,
I give ye my Spirit,
Till our Life shall be Done,
Ye are Blood of my Blood,
And Bone of my Bone,
The second piece is one artist’s rendering of a familiar picture we all know and love. The aged treatment she gives it is superb.
The next two entries on my shamefully short list are part of the official Outlander Community Directory but have been overlooked by me – so here they are!
OutlanderItalianFans is a group of four ladies who shouldn’t be overlooked by any of us. This is the dreamy header to their twitter home page:
The ladies of OutlanderItalianFans host two informative and beautiful websites providing coverage of the books, show, and cast. If you’re looking for a one-stop place to visit, Outlander-italy is it. You’ll find everything from trailers and Gaelic video lessons to a fully-stocked picture gallery. You do not need to speak Italian to browse the site, but it helps to read the articles. [Or you can take the fun out of it, and hit the translate button at the top of the page.]
More goodies are available on their tumblr site here: outlanderitaly,tumblr. It includes motion screen grabs of trailers and interviews, running on repeat for your viewing pleasure. Watch Claire help Jamie with his various articles of clothing over and over again to your heart’s delight.
Not to be confused with their Italian friends above, I’d like to make mention of another group – Italian Outlanders. This is the dramatic header to their twitter home page:
Although three friends share twitter duty, only one woman runs the associated blog and tumblr page. She started her Outlander blog back in 2007, and it shows. The amount of information, videos, photographs, articles, and art posted on the site is inspiring. Her dedication shows very clearly. Here’s one beautiful example of the work from one of their group:
Like the other entertaining websites mentioned in my posting, Italian Outlanders provide fans with a number of video goodies, up-to-the-minute interviews with Ms. Gabaldon and the cast, more original artwork and featured fan art from other talented artists from the Outlander world. Check out her fantastic blog postings here: Outlanderworld
The tumblr site has a wider scope of coverage that includes more wonderful artwork, hilarious video grabs, behind the scenes pictures, videos – basically, pages and pages of memories going back 7 years. If it’s remotely related to Outlander and its stars, you’ll find it here: Italianoutlanders
And that leaves little ‘ol me. I’ve attempted to introduce pieces that tell short stories or evoke specific emotions with the way I composite the images and the words I write. This last piece was the inspiration for today’s posting. It’s dedicated to every one of my Sister Sassenachs – and Outmanders, for that matter – who share their love of all things Outlander.