Art, Creativity, Photography, Travel, Writing

Posts tagged ‘Architecture’

Travel theme: doorways

Are you too, like Ailsa, a fan of the door/doorway in all its forms? I can never resist them. With a bit of imagination they can take you for a magic carpet ride anywhere ….

Strasbourg, France


Bristol, UK

Deal, UK


Cheong Fatt Tze mansion, Penang

out and about in Northern Cyprus

Much of Northern Cyprus is taken up by a mountain range and the flat plain forming the coastal strip is fairly narrow. The main road runs parallel to the coast so you are never very far from the sea.


The coastline is rocky for the most part with a few sandy beaches used by the nesting turtles but the rocks provide some interesting formations both on the beaches and in the cliffs.


A new coastal footpath us currently under construction, providing a walk-with-a-view, accessible to all. Eventually it will run much further than its present couple of kilometres and is supposed to include a sea bridge at some point.


Inland, in the villages there are a number of old Greek churches, sadly abandoned although mercifully not completely vandalised. The cool, whitewashed interiors are devoid of furniture and decoration and only the pigeons and sparrows sing songs there.


the chapel of St Evlalios at Alsancak

the monastery in the occupied zone at Alsancak

interesting lighting, it looks as if it’s spilling down over the mountains

poinsettia in full bloom

a belated sharing with Travel Photo Mondays

Daily Post: achievement in Sri Lanka

One of the sites that I really wanted to visit when we went to Sri Lanka was Sigiyria, home of the famous cloud maiden frescoes.

Appropriately enough, this is the home of the Cloud Maidens


The approach is innocent enough

but then you have to climb the cliff

don’t look down

better still, don’t look up either because this is what you are climbing up

so far so good, here are the cloud maidens but you haven’t reached the summit yet



a rare photo of the two of us

you have to go down a section of rickety-looking staircase to get to the next section

past the mirror wall

with the rock face towering above you

then out on to the plateau of the lions paws

before the final ascent

with spectacular views, albeit a bit misty, from the top

it’s hard to imagine that people actually lived at the top and had to carry all their supplies up

I have to say that the climb was daunting – not for the faint-hearted or the infirm and my husband declined to accompany me all the way to the top. However, I’m glad I made it.

What form did your achievement take?

Travel photo Monday: postcards of my summer travels

So where I have been the last couple of months, you might ask. Well, I was, of course, travelling; a few days, a few days there as you will see: France, UK, Luxembourg and Austria.

H and C exhibition
A friend of mine, Heather Carroll, and I had a joint art exhibition, held in wine cellars in Ahn on the Moselle. I exhibited some of my textured photos and she exhibited some of her woven wall hangings inspired by the spirit of the sea

Photos from 20140807-Marie-Noelle Fontan exhibition
We visited an exhibition by Marie-Noelle Fontan who incorporates leaves, seeds, seed heads and twigs into her woven wall hangings

Photos from 20140724-France
In France nuits romanes were being celebrated in the Poitou Charente and the sunflowers were at their best

Photos from 2014_08_16-Milton Abbas-Okeford  Fitzpaine-2BA
Dorset is home to the beautiful Milton Abbey with its fabulous stained glass window, featuring a tree of Jesse, by Pugin

Photos from 2014_08_17-Clifton walk-2BA
Walking with my sister and her husband, over from the US, around Clifton Wood, Bristol, brought back memories of our childhood spent there

Photos from 2014_08_19-Salisbury-Mompesson
We drove down to Salisbury to visit Mompesson House where the Victorian artist Barbara Thompson lived and painted. There was an exhibition of contemporary works there which included a dress covered in leaves and butterflies exquisitely executed by Jane Hall.

Photos from 2014_08_19-Salisbury-cathedral
Salisbury cathedral rises above the beautiful cathedral close. The ‘walking Madonna’ is by Elizabeth Frink

Photos from 2014_08_20-Bath-2BA(1)
a few glimpses of Bath and its abbey

Photos from 20140809-Lux-street-art-animation
Luxembourg held its annual street art/animation festival where street performers from far afield come for a weekend to entertain thousands of visitors

Photos from 20140828-Wachau
Last, but not least, we visited friends in Austria, starting in the wine lands of Wachau

Photos from 20140829-Schafberg
followed by a train ride up to the Schafberspitze, from where you can see 7 lakes

Photos from 20140830-Hangar-7-Salzburg
Hangar 7, Salzburg, is home to the private collection of aeroplanes and racing cars belonging to the man who invented the Red Bull drink

Photos from 20140830-Salzburg
Salzburg in the rain – what better argument did we need to seek cover in the Stiegl brewery after looking round the castle and then demolishing a huge slice of Sachertorte in the famous Cafe Sacher. The fence on both sides of the bridge across the river had been adorned with thousands of padlocks, like votive offerings they are signs of love in modern times.

Photos from 20140901-03-Vienna-Schonbrunn-Belvedere
Vienna’s Schonbrunn Palace was still beautiful in the rain. Hungry sparrows, starved for food because of the previous 2 days non-stop rain, hardly gave us a chance to eat our apple strudel in the cafe. The Upper Belvedere gave me the chance to see Klimt’s masterpiece “the kiss” in the flesh as it were. Unfortunately it was too wet to enjoy the gardens to the full although we did walk the length of them

Photos from 20140901-03-Vienna-city-visit
Inner Vienna – the only dry day we had – and a chance to see the inner city from the comfort of a horse-drawn carriage. The architect Loos, whose building the “Loos Haus” (now the Raiffeisen Bank) caused scandal in its time because of its simple lines, described the Viennese as being “pathologically addicted to ornament”. This was evident everywhere. Every facade had faces peeping from them and doors with colonnades on either side sported mythological creatures supporting them. Vienna was indeed a feast for the eyes for those with an interest in architecture.

As I write this the space available to me in my office diminishes daily as we pack up boxes and store them there in preparation for moving house. Breathing space is needed and a new adventure calls…..

Word a week: round

Each week Skinnywench allows her dictionary to fall open at a word and challenges us to illustrate it. This week’s word is ROUND.

window in the church of St Mathias, Budapest

mosaic ceiling in the entrance to Szechenyi baths, Budapest



Christmas decorations in Strasbourg

carousel at the Christmas market in Strasbourg

spiral staircase in Strasbourg

Cheong Fatt Tze mansion, Penang

Parc de Wesserling, Alsace, France

Did you find time to participate in this challenge?

travel theme: architecture

Ailsa’s travel theme this week is architecture.

Last week I visited the Mudam (Museum of modern art) in Luxembourg. The new building was designed and built by Ieoh Ming Pei, architect of the new Louvre in Paris. True to its calling the building is extremely modern in appearance. It was built behind the much older building known colloquially as the Three Acorns (now a museum as well), on the edge of what remains of one the forts constructed by Vauban. From the plateau you get a wonderful view across the valley to the city of Luxembourg.







Inside …



Su-Mei Tse and Jean Lou Majerus’ “Many spoken words” fountain where black ink not water flows

the “chapel”




the “stained glass” windows are x-rays of parts of the human body

Cee’s fun foto challenge: circles and curves

I missed part one, on angles and squares, of a series of four challenges Cee is featuring on her blog. So here is part two:

the leaning tower of Pisa


the interior of the cathedral in Pisa

feline curves

this is how silk worm cocoons are “farmed” in Luang Prabang, Laos





art journal March planner
an art journal page I made last year

the castle of Haut Koenigsburg

The château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg (German Hohkönigsburg) is located at Orschwiller, Alsace, France, in the Vosges mountains just west of Sélestat. The castle sits strategically on top of a hill overlooking the Alsatian plains.



approaching the castle from the car parking area the castle towers above you



model of the castle

drawing of the castle



view from the top

For the compulsive photographer of locks and doors that I am, this castle was Paradise for there were doors with intricate lock pieces everywhere you looked


as well as other architectural gems



Inside it has been decorated to satisfy predominantly Germanic tastes; the castle having changed ownership between the French and Germans several times during its history


mural depicting St George and the dragon

mural depicting St Hubert, the patron saint of hunting


detail of one of the ceramic-tiled heating stoves, forerunner of central heating




the garden outside the walls is a vegetable/herb garden, also used for growing medicinal plants


Although the castle has been extensively renovated it is still under renovation and there were parts of the castle that were closed off to the public. This photo shows the train that was used to bring building materials up to the castle and some of the workers, most of whom lived on site during the renovations in the early 1900’s.

Sunday Post: architecture

Jake helpfully provided some useful information for his chosen theme this week: Architecture – the practice of building design and its resulting products; customary usage refers only to those designs and structures that are culturally significant. Architecture is to building as literature is to the printed word. Vitruvius, a 1st-century BC Roman, wrote encyclopedically about architecture, and the English poet Sir Henry Wotton was quoting him in his charmingly phrased dictum: “Well building hath three conditions: Commoditie, Firmenes, and Delight.” More prosaically, one would say today that architecture must satisfy its intended uses, must be technically sound, and must convey aesthetic meaning. But the best buildings are often so well constructed that they outlast their original use. They then survive not only as beautiful objects, but as documents of the history of cultures, achievements in architecture that testify to the nature of the society that produced them. These achievements are never wholly the work of individuals. Architecture is a social art.

With Jake’s comments in mind, especially the last part about architecture being a social art, I’m sharing some photos of a friend’s home. The home in question is all that remains of London’s Christ Church – the tower. The footprint of the original church, bombed in the blitz, is now a garden open to anyone who wishes to take time out from the bustle of city life. It was originally designed and built by Sir Christoper Wren. Now, in the 20th century the inside of the tower has been completely remodeled by our friend and an architect and constitutes a very comfortable home on several levels, only a hop, skip and a jump away from St Paul’s Cathedral, another inspiring and inspired piece of architecture, also designed by Sir Christopher Wren.






spiral staircase leading from the ground floor to the first floor kitchen

St Paul’s cathedral at night

Photo Art Friday: lines

The 9 November challenge from Bonnie was to share photos or photo art featuring lines. I’ve had a busy week so I’m sharing photos straight out of the camera this week:

staircase in the home of a friend of ours

the museum of Islamic Art in Kuala Lumpur

Garden festival in France

scanned photo of one I took in India many years ago – I love the lines in this one

scanned photo of one I took in India many years ago

why not pop over to Bonnie’s blog to see what other lines people have chosen.