'My interpretation of a Banshee' Acrylic on Board
"Banshee or 'Bean-sidhe' is Irish for faerie woman - ban (bean), meaning a woman, and shee (sidhe), meaning faerie. The banshee can appear in one of three guises: a young woman, a stately matron or a raddled old hag. These represent the triple aspects of the Celtic goddess of war and death, namely Badhbh, Macha and Mor-Rioghain.
She usually wears either a grey, hooded cloak or the winding sheet or grave robe of the unshriven dead. She may also appear as a washer-woman, and is seen apparently washing the blood stained clothes of those who are about to die. In this guise she is known as the bean-nighe or washing woman.
The wail of a banshee pierces the night, it's notes rising and falling like the waves of the sea, it always announces a mortal's death.
The banshee can only cry for five major Irish families: the O'Neills, the O'Briens, the O'Connors, the O'Gradys and the Kavanaghs. Each Banshee has her own mortal family and out of love she follows the old race across the ocean to distant lands. Her wails or keen can be heard in America and England, wherever the true Irish have settled"