Tony and I recently visited the City of Norwich, an ancient Cathedral City, which also has a castle, built by the Normans over 900 years ago. You would expect buildings as old as that to be a ruin; they are in fact remarkably intact. The castle actually looks like it could be a recreation made for a film set, it is so perfect and undamaged. Norwich is a truly beautiful city, so many treasures and so little time with just two days to pack in as much history, art, sight seeing and shopping as possible. We walked along the river, peered into gardens behind flint and stone walls, admired tapestries hung on castle walls and wandered around the cathedral and close. As you would expect, the cathedral houses many magnificent features built to impress kings; Norwich being second only to London in importance. Despite all its grandeur, the thing that I loved most were the carved stone ceiling bosses, over one thousand and each one different. They reflected the thoughts, imaginations and understandings of the medieval mind. You might expect to see biblical scenes and characters like Noah, but you can also see strange mythical creatures, dragons, green men, and acrobats, thieves compete for attention. The carvings show some of their original colours and gold decoration, faded now but still vibrant and lively.
Filled with enthusiasm and inspiration on my return I set to work embellishing my owl prints. I finished the painting some time ago, you may remember I wrote about it previously. I had the prints professionally printed and was astounded to see what the newest digital printers are capable of, the colours reproduce perfectly and the paper used is comparable to the original watercolour paper, in fact it is almost impossible to tell the original from the reproduction. Rather than offer the prints untouched I decided to add some hand finished details. I used gold leaf on the crescent moon and gold paint and ink on the border decorations. I like to think that the addition of gold leaf and paint gives the prints a human touch and makes a connection with the artisans of the past. You can see the finished print here in my Etsy shop.