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

WONDERS in my own back yard

                    “The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting                                for our senses to grow sharper”

W.B Yeats

Mighty Niagara

                                                                Mighty Niagara

How often has it happened to you…you have a wondrous, magical, incredible tourist destination in your own back yard…and you almost never go there? Or you long to see some other place completely forgetting that there are a million beauties right at home that you’ve never really seen?

I live not very far from one of the wonders of the world – Niagara Falls – and seen from either side of the border, it’s a majestic sight indeed. Day or night, just the sound of the water thundering over the escarpment and on to the rocks below makes one’s heart beat a little faster. Standing on a lookout that sticks right out over the river or riding the Maid of the Mist to get close, you get drenched with the heavy mist. You have to photograph through a plastic bag or be constantly wiping your camera lens. It’s an inspiring and almost overwhelming experience.

And yet, in truth, I have only been to Niagara Falls a few times – and that is only when out of state company comes to visit and they want to see what I take for granted. Each time I go, I see this wonder through new eyes – theirs – and discover something new…a reminder to me not to overlook the magical and wondrous sights right in my own back yard.

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

http://lianne-schneider.artistwebsites.com

mightyniagarabuy

 

 

The PEACE of Country Living

“A quiet secluded life in the country…such is my idea of happiness.”    Leo Tolstoy

I’ve always been a country girl at heart even when I wasn’t living out here in the rolling hills and farmland of western New York. There’s a very special kind of peace about country life, close neighbors, cows in the barn and horses in the pasture. I was reminded in creating this piece of John Denver’s hit song “Thank God I’m a Country Boy.” Lyrics by John Martin Sommers.

Thank God I’m A Country Boy


Well, life on a farm is kinda laid back,
ain’t much an old country boy like me can’t hack.
It’s early to rise, early in the sack thank God I’m a country boy.
Well, a simple kind of life never did me no harm,
raising me a family and working on the farm.
My days are all filled with an easy country charm, thank God I’m a country boy…

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Browse my portfolio or purchase a print at:

http://lianne-schneider.artistwebsites.com/

Peace of Country Living fine art print by Lianne Schneider buy

DREAMER, Dream No More

I walked beside the evening sea

And dreamed a dream that could not be;

The waves that plunged along the shore

Said only: “Dreamer, dream no more!”

                       – – -George William Curtis

I’VE NEVER LIVED BESIDE THE SEA

I’ve never lived beside the sea 

though I feel as if I have

but the sea fascinates me.

Its power, its moods, its vastness…are somehow

an endless source of inspiration to me.

I think of an ocean in a raging storm and I’m reminded

of the storms that life can bring to us

and the deceptive calm that often precedes them.

I think of the ship of my life

occasionally adrift, no wind to lift the sail,

and at times, no landfall or welcoming shore in sight.

Some nights the stars wink out

and all seems black and endless,

my astrolabe of little use.

But now and then I see a lighthouse

and I know that there is somewhere –

in a friend’s heart, a lover’s touch –

a light to guide me through.

I think of the journey each of us is on…

our own personal quest for peace,

for truth, for wholeness…

the journey of self-discovery –

and it takes me to the sea.

© Lianne Schneider

 

This digital painting is from my “Sea Stories” collection and you can see the rest or purchase a print at http://lianne-schneider.artistwebsites.com/

Dreamer Dream No More digital painting by Lianne Schneider buy

Light in the Darkness

“Your true heart is not subject to chaos or limited by pain, fear and neuroses, but is joyful, creative and loving…It is the core, the essence of your being, a reservoir of joy, powerful love and infinite compassion that lies within you.”
I’ve been writing a lot in my other blog about living wholeheartedly and the only way one can do that is to begin to listen to the heart instead of the mind. In many ways, especially when we find ourselves in a dark time in our lives – that proverbial “dark night of the soul” – our hearts are our best guides, an eternal light in the darkness. You can read more in depth if you’d like at http://seasonsofsongandspirit.blogspot.com/2014/05/begin-to-listen-to-your-heart-how-to.html
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Light in the Darkness by Lianne Schneider digital painting buy

 

Purchase a print or giclee canvas of this image at http://lianne-schneider.artistwebsites.com/featured/light-in-the-darkness-lianne-schneider.html

First Night Design | The Best $50 I’ve Ever Spent (almost!)

I meant to reblog this to Lianne’s Picks – best of the blogs – instead of here but I know everyone here will love it too. It’s just a different sort of post for this blog!

Just love your designs – and this card is really fabulous. So glad I found you!

First Night Design

A week before my laptop went belly-up, I had engaged the services of Jason Cushman of Harsh Reality aka A Opinionated Man (yes, the lack of an ‘n’ is intentional, before anyone comments) to increase my followers. In just a few days, I had so many new followers, I didn’t know whether I was coming or going! A thousand thanks, Jason!

Equally, I’d like to thank all my new followers — you’ve made an opinionated lady very happy!

While Jason has recently posted that he’s taking a break from accepting more commissions and may or may not return to it, I hope he does, not least because I need to increase my following on Rogues & Vagabonds!

Please check out his blog. It may not be to everyone’s taste but I’m very fond of his kind of ‘harsh reality’.  He says it like it is…

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Posted in art

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