TRAVEL bug…wishing it were so

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”
― Augustine of Hippo

I used to love to travel before my old bones started protesting and airlines starting charging so much just to pack enough clothes for a week, before direct flights from my small city became a thing of the past. When I was a bit younger, I drove everywhere I could, never minding 14 hour days on the road, loving the freedom to reach my destination by the most out of the way and indirect route. Nowadays…I don’t travel much and if I do it’s vicariously much of the time.

For example, I have friends who just returned from a 10 day trip to England. Personally, 10 days in the UK would never be enough for me. My mother and I once spent three weeks and have bemoaned the fact that we saw so little of what we’d have loved to see. We weren’t on “tour.” We were driving around setting only daily destinations as they struck us, stopping in out of the way places, eating in local pubs and except for a few “mandatory” tourist spots like Canterbury or the Tower of London, we found ourselves on narrow little country rounds and fell in love with Cotswold villages and forgotten ruins like the castle in Astley.

Worse than too short a trip – they took a similar short hop to France a couple of years ago – is the fact that my friends spent seven of the ten days on a ship going over! I’d have hated losing that time confined to a ship no matter how elegant. On an arranged tour, they missed this gorgeous little village in France called Loubressac. Considered one of the most beautiful medieval villages in all of France, it’s also one of the many “villages fleuris” or villages in bloom scattered throughout the countryside. This is the kind of place that deserves whatever time it takes to explore without having to settle for an hour’s stop on a tour bus.

I must admit I still get the travel bug something fierce and I’m longing to go back to Scotland to see much I missed and ferry over to Ireland. Perhaps…when I’ve rehabilitated my titanium hips enough to bear the flight over!!

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You can browse my entire portfolio and purchase a print at:

http://lianne-schneider.artistwebsites.com

Village de Fleuris digital painting by Lianne Schneider buy

GOTHIC– not just a lifestyle

“The principle of the Gothic architecture is infinity made imaginable.”

Samuel Tayler Coleridge

 

Today, if you mention Goth, people are likely to think of young people dressed all in black, wearing black makeup and heavy jewelry. But most of us are aware that originally the term referred to a Germanic tribe of people, considered barbarians and to a kind of architecture which was initially considered crude and rather ugly. But, in time, Gothic architecture dominated European construction for several centuries during the Middle Ages. The Gothic style church or cathedral was an engineering marvel. The creative addition of “flying buttresses” allowed for the grand cathedrals to be built taller and taller. Characteristic of Gothic style were the vaulted ceilings within and the peaked or pointed arches for doors and windows. Churches especially became more and more elaborate. Ultimately, thanks in good part to the engineering achievements of Gothic architects, styles turned to more ornate and decorative looks found in the Baroque and Rococo periods.

Here in the States, for a long period, simplicity of line, the lower, more humble wooden churches with the pointed steeples were the dominant features of churches – reflecting the Puritan and Pilgrim ethic that found Gothic and Baroque architecture sinfully elaborate and a reminder of “papism.” So until the influx of large Catholic populations of immigrants in the early to mid-1800s, one would have had to search a long while to find a Gothic or Baroque style church. Now, some of our most beautiful treasures are the Gothic style churches and cathedrals prevalent in large cities across the country. Even the non-denominational National Cathedral is a gorgeous example of beautifully engineered Gothic style churches.

In the early 1900s there was a resurgence of interest in this type of architecture during the “neo-gothic” period. Smaller, less ambitious or dramatic examples of Gothic style churches were built in small towns and city suburbs. Pictured here is one of the loveliest examples of that trend…Baker Memorial United Methodist Church in East Aurora, NY. The congregation originated in 1822, moved to its present location in 1878 but replaced that wooden structure with this beautiful stone church done in a simplified Gothic style – without gargoyles or elaborate ornamentation. Aside from its simple, elegant lines, Baker Memorial boasts these inviting arched doorways with their artistically carved doors but its crowning glory is the 17 stained glass windows handcrafted by Louis Tiffany, created from the metallic looking, richly colored glass for which he is most famous. Each depicts a biblical scene rather than being purely decorative. The Church conducts tours by appointment just to view the windows.

Clearly, Gothic isn’t about lifestyle only – nor is it dark and brooding. In fact, this entry is a truly warm invitation.

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View my portfolio at http://http://lianne-schneider.artistwebsites.com/

Lianne’s Loft – Fine Art

A Warm Invitation

A Warm Invitation