Medieval Inspiration

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.


"A Time to Dance"

The wedding I mentioned in my last post took place on a beautifully sunny day, thankfully the bride and groom where blessed with golden light as they took their wedding vows. The bride made her own bouquets and corsages out of buttons, silks, ribbons and beads, choosing purple and ivory as the theme. I shed a tear or two as she walked down the aisle on the arm of her father who was also the best man at our wedding. We all asked ourselves where those years had gone and how quickly!
The ceremony took place in a wonderful old Tudor Hall and afterwards the guests could wander through rose gardens and mazes and enjoy a perfectly heavenly day followed by feasting and festivities in the evening.
There was much excitement as the post man arrived with a huge parcel addressed to Ted, in case you don’t already know, Ted is our dog. We had agreed to take part in a trial of his favourite treat, how could we say no? Time will tell whether or not they make a difference to his health, he has always been a healthy, energetic dog despite having just celebrated his 12th birthday, but he is certainly enjoying wolfing back the goodies and his coat does look very shiny and his eyes sparkle.
Grandson George came to stay and we enjoying playing in the garden and doing “plantin” which is his word for gardening. He likes nothing better than watering the plants with a little watering can. We sat still and waited for the birds to take turns, drinking and bathing in the shallow bird bath. Simple pleasures but precious ones.
I had two lovely parcels in the post, one from Celeste Goulding containing an exquisitely wrapped necklace and one from LilyMoon filled with decorated badges and post cards. Both of these ladies have Etsy shops, Celeste can be found here and LilyMoon here
I also made some progress on a new painting but had to put it to one side in order to create new Christmas designs for a presentation. Just as the sun decides to make an appearance I am obliged to paint holly and robins. Such is life!