Thursday, December 11, 2008

"Muncaster Castle Day Two" 9-9-08

Today was my second day at Muncaster Castle. I've uploaded a video for you to listen to at the end of this post, don't miss it!

I was invited by Patrick Gordon-Duff-Pennington to visit he and his wife Philida for coffee in the morning at the castle, they are the couple who own the stately castle. How wonderful does that sound? I was also invited to bring my sketch book and my prints to share with them. Patrick had to meet with the woodsman who oversees the property so Philida, a wonderful person to share time with, and I sat on a silk covered couch in the library and enjoyed hot tea. We chatted about my artwork and the castle. The picture below shows some of the library, it was filled with wonderful paintings, antiquities and memorabilia. I like the miniature chairs on the table. Since it was before the general public was allowed in, I was left to wander freely about the library on the 'other' side of the rope! I wish I had a whole week to spend wandering around and drawing the interior of the castle.
Below is a little painting I did while up on the balcony of the library. The library is round and if you look up you'll see there is a balcony with iron railings that goes all around it way up above. Well I was given a big old ancient key and told that I could use it to unlock the door to the balcony at my leisure! I did go up there and it was a little scary, you had to watch your step, the floor boards were old and the ramp around was quite narrow! But I'm adventurous...I wanted to explore! About the little painting, I had my painting kit on my waist, my small field palette, little bottle of water, small brushes and held the sketchbook while I worked. I set some things on the window sill and looked out over the valley through the very old and very drafty windows. It was blowing up a gale and very chilly outside, so I was glad to be in. This is a cherub statue with more antiquities and wonderful stained glass. I was walking down the stairs, a wide expanse of marble...and tourists were milling about with wonder in their eyes, and appeared Patrick. Patrick is a talented poet bard...and not shy. He stood on the stairs of their castle and recited one of his wonderful poems to all the visitors. He is genuinely interested in all who visit his castle!
Another view out a window in the great hall, everywhere you turned there were beautiful things to look at.

Then I picked a window just outside the billiard room to draw. I was in a narrow hall way outside it, so people were walking by, but I stood up as I drew this with my charcoal pencils, a stiff brush and tortillion. It was so chilly, but one of the ladies that worked at the castle, Candy, brought me hot tea! How nice was that? Very nice!! The perspective on this window was tricky, you have to remember when drawing NOT to draw what you think, but what you SEE, in the end it will (or should) come together. It's funny how when you stop to draw other people stop and look, wondering at what is so interesting! I like the way the blustery clouds came out through the window.
This last photo is from the Tapestry room and shows a Tudor carved fireplace, it commemorates the victory over the Spanish Armada. I just loved looking at all the carvings throughout the castle. I really do wish I had more time to draw what I saw, but relied on taking photos to use later for drawing.
This is a video clip taken at my window sill which overlooked the owl yard...every morning I was greeted by the song of a European Robin singing.

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