Saturday, January 4, 2014

from there to here...

and back again

winnie-the-pooh would completely understand

i think you will too... perhaps...

a highlight for me, of our recent trip to the uk, was the history... history of art, of architecture, of us, of me

making sense of the world you live in is far easier when you can understand a little of what came before, what mattered then and how it might have led to what matters now

wandering through these venerated buildings gave me goosebumps, from sitting through even-song in the cathedral of carlisle, to wandering the ancient halls of yorkminster

to several happy hours spent both within and without salisbury cathedral

snatching fleeting memories from the corners of my mind... memories of western civilisation class in grade twelve, and wishing more than anything that i had paid a tiny bit more attention

the class was based on the bbc's thirteen part series by kenneth clark

the history of western european civilisation... art, architecture, music, the reformation and the restoration etc.

in salisbury, browsing through a wonderful independent book store i found this book...

i couldn't put it down... this wonderful book but i finally had to - i had spent my spending money and my suitcases were packed to the gunnels - marc was already carrying my scotch so there was no sympathy there... and he had already had to leave behind a book he dearly wanted... 

"finding the few"

you know the famous quote by churchill after the battle of britain, "never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few..."?

this book was about the search for the raf pilots that were shot down over britain that were never found 

so - as i said, no sympathy for my struggle on this one

come december, as we were discussing christmas and how our trip was really all the gift we needed, we decided to see if our books were available on amazon... we could then order them both and wrap the box when it came in - our gift to each other

and so they are ours after all

beautiful, beautiful pictures, inspiring me in all directions - colour, line, shading, mood - especially mood

and while i was looking through it i was reminded again of my high school class

five minutes later i was watching episode one on youtube

the internet is indeed a wonderful thing

i am enjoying looking at these programs again - finding i remember more than i thought - laughing over what i'd forgotten, amazed at how i remember some of the scenes as clearly as if i was still wandering the halls in my jeans and running shoes...

yesterday as i was organizing my silks and laces and linens, along with all the paraphernalia for my frost queen project, i stumbled upon some sketches i had made during that same high school class

they weren't for a project or assignment, rather, they were doodles that for some reason or other i decided to work on during the airing of each episode

 the architecture truly amazed me... not surprising, as i grew up in the youngest place in canada, and our oldest building was a log church that at the time was not yet 80 years old

these aren't great renditions, but i really can't draw well at all so to me they're pretty stunning

 i've decided that i'll work them into my john lewis ledger of inspiration, to keep them safe

and in the funny way the world works sometimes, after browsing through a book store for the better part of an hour this morning, finding nothing at all to tempt me, as i made my way to the door, i spied this

talk about a "how to" book!

but oh, the drawings...

 i was back in high school, back in england, back in my sewing room, back and forth and round-about, ideas, and images and inspiration flying from the pages and swirling white, round and round...

quilting designs, applique patterns, stitcheries, sketches

architecture as art, art as architecture

 a true treasure trove at 19.99

and somehow or other it's all coming together in the quilt i have lately begun - my diamond quilt

my very own diamond jubilee

 as i let the ideas percolate, i keep basting diamonds

i've done nearly 48 so far - plum-coloured and grey

time to think about the other colours - sage green, soft gold?

thinking about composition too



stained glass windows?

i'm not sure yet - for now i'll keep basting... tomorrow i start sketching and painting

then comes stitch sampling

because you know there will be embroidery

there is always embroidery... 


Sherry said...

I enjoyed my visit to your blog today. I have always wanted to take a trip like that, the buildings are amazing. I went back and read a few posts as I have not visited in a while. I love the Christmas stocking you made, the applique is perfect.

deanna7trees said...

i get the feeling that you would love delving into genealogy. have you explored your ancestral line and all that goes with that? you have mentioned some of that in the past...if i remember correctly.

Marj Talbot said...

I always marvel at the work that went into those old buildings and how little machinery was available at that time. I love that you both got your books - great idea for a perfect gift - not to mention the one you found in the book store. Looking forward to how your diamonds come together. Thanks tons for sharing your amazing writing and photos along with your work.

Louise Michie said...

Today's post is excellent. It truly touched my heart.
Many years ago I studied anthropology. I recall someone asking why should we study these people in far away places. The answer is that by studying others we learn about ourselves. Study their culture and you learn what works and why in your own culture. Look at the cathedrals and understand what they were trying to tell people.
Sometimes what you learn expresses itself in words, and sometimes by other means.

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

What a delightful post!

Constable is a favorite artist of ours.

I look forward to seeing this beautiful, wonderful quilt that you have started. It is going to be something else.

Enjoy each diamond and putting the whole thing together when the time comes for that.

Love and hugs ~ FlowerLady

Mosaic Magpie said...

Great post. Lots to think about. It is amazing how you found those drawings and how things come full circle. You did those drawings while doodling in class...your muse was speaking to you. Finding the book, after finding the drawings...all very interesting.

Suztats said...

Such an enjoyable post, Jillayne. And how wonderfully you express your feelings about it all. I know you'll spend many happy hours with both your new books.....i immediately thought of stained glass when I saw your diamonds. Have fun.

FredaB said...

It was amazing finding your drawings from high school and art imitated reality in your case. Wonderful.

I think you are in a great place with all this. Enjoy.


Createology said...

As I cannot draw at all I find your high school "doodle" drawings to be stunning. "How to build a cathedral" is fate for you to work into your amazing hand stitched creations. I am very intrigued with how your process evolves. Creative Blessings Dear...

Alisa Noble said...

Yes, the history and beauty of it all! When we were in Scotland (our last trip abroad) I could not get enough of the cathedrals and castles. What really got me the most though were all the castle ruins. All that ancient stone... sigh.

Dorthe said...

Jillayne, you are right,- in a way we can have the whole world through the internet !!
And both those books looks very beautiful, if interested in those fantastic cathedrals... I can understand you being totally amazed with them, after having visited the real ones.
Your "diamonds" are looking wonderful-and the grey and plum will look beautiful together, my dear.

karen said...

the diamond pieces are fabulous Jillayne, so many possibilities. I am so ''proud'' that you have so mnay wonderful memories of and fabulous things to say about my little is mine you know, I merely let everyone else stay.
and your comment today....I think you have seen that already but I will get it out again just for you .

Julie Maguda said...

It looks absolutely beautiful there. I would love the go there one day! Great pics!