Tuesday, 10 January 2017

A story from history

Hi Everybody!

Last week I made this collage. The background was an underlay page, and is somewhere between A4 and A3 size. It already had smudges of green and blue paint on  it, which gave me my colour scheme. There were also various stamps on the BG which I had been trying out. I once again used my (try)-to-clear-the-table-technique, and piled on as much as I could.

Then I decided to divide it into squares and oblongs
with a thick marker.

It still didn't look quite right, so I decided to sew over all of the
lines. I went over three of the squares with diluted gesso to knock them
back a bit, and then added some Hebrew alphas. I left the threads on the sides hanging, as the Hebrew texts and alphas reminded me of a
Tallith, the prayer shawl worn by men:

I am linking to Art Journal Journey
Erika's lovely theme of 'tell me a story' - 
there are lots of stories woven into this piece, and to 

I was most interested to see the models of Kaiserswerth
in the town museum in Düsseldorf.

This is what our castle ruins used to look like:

And this painting shows a political event from about 1000 years ago.
The report is from Wikipedia:
'About the year 700 the monk Saint Suitbert founded a Benedictine abbey on a  werth, a river island that formed an important crossing point of the Rhine. The abbey was destroyed 88 years later. On that area there is now the "Erzbischöfliches Suitbertus-Gymnasium", an archiepiscopal secondary school with the old chapel and parts of the abbey. The former monastery garden is a meeting point for the upper school between lesson times.
The Kaiserpfalz which is a general term for a temporary seat of the Holy Roman Emperor was built at an unknown date but before the year 1016. In 1062, the archbishop of CologneAnno II, kidnapped the underage German King Heinrich IV from here and in this way obtained the unofficial regency of the Holy Roman Empire. At this time the island's name was changed from Werth to Kaiserswerth - emperor's island. In 1174, Friederick I Barbarossa moved the Rhine customs collection to Kaiserswerth. The eastern branch of the Rhine around the island silted up connecting Kaiserswerth to the east bank of the river. In 1273, the emperor pledged Kaiserswerth to the Archbishop of Cologne forming a de facto enclave within the Duchy of Jülich-Berg. In 1591, Friedrich Spee von Langenfeld was born in Kaiserswerth.

Due to its strategic position the town changed regularly. The town was captured in 1586 during the Cologne War, and then occupied by the Spanish from 1589 to 1592. In 1636 the town was captured again by the forces of Hesse. When in 1688 the Elector of Cologne made an alliance with Louis XIV during the War of the Grand Alliance he gave the French access to the Rhine crossing at Kaiserswerth. This caused the Dutch and Brandenburg to lay siege to the town in the June 1689. The French garrison surrendered at the end of the month when their supplies were destroyed by fire. The French reoccupied Kaiserswerth in 1701 during the War of the Spanish Succession and the Allies laid siege to it again in 1702. After a long and hard struggle the town surrendered and the Alliance decided to demolish the fortifications.'
And that's why we only have the castle ruins today!

 I also found this installation really good. When the vaulted cellar
under the tower where  the Shipping museum now is
was  cleared, they found rubbishfrom ancient times
up to modern ones. The artist built the installation
using the found pieces and showing them in their layers:

I hope today's 'history lesson' didn't bore you all to tears!

Have a great day, take care,
and thanks a lot for coming by!


  1. I found your piece on the castle ruins very interesting - far from boring.

    The Rhine Castles changed my life: I drew three of them in 1980 and sold prints of them for charity - so popular did they become that I was forced to draw Dutch castles and the Schloss Neuschwanstein (http://gatepostpicture.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/meanwhile-back-in-germany.html) ... which are still selling today

  2. Love your journal page with the sewing and all the details to see and enjoy. And I very much enjoyed the history of Kaiserswerth, and it looks such a peaceful place now - times change! Have a nice evening, hugs, Sarah

  3. Eine tolle Papiercollagennähseite und schöne Bilder von der Geschichte Deines Stadtchens!
    Liebe Grüße

  4. Stunning journal page and the sewing makes it so special.

    What an interesting find the pieces about your own town and it has so much history. I imagine the connection with the Rhine made it an important place. Fantastic to read all about it Valerie

    Love Chrissie xx

  5. Oh I love this collage and the idea of how you made it. The colours and pieces all go together beautifully. How inspiring, I'd love to try this technique although my table is completely empty and the hovering bits fairy has gone on holiday. But there are bits elsewhere. Rushes off to look .... ..............................

    1. I would gladly send you a large envelope full of mixed UFOs from my table!

  6. This is brilliant! What a super way to use all those bits and pieces, the stitching makes for the perfect finishing touch!

  7. I enjoyed today's history lesson Valerie and was interested in seeing the way the layers from the dig were displayed.
    Your journal page is awesome especially as you showed us how it was made, So much work, I think you must have enjoyed creating this piece, the stitching and bold lines, really make me look at the details.
    Yvonne xx

  8. What a lovely art piece. I really enjoyed seeing your process, it looks great! I also enjoyed the exhibit and learning about it.

  9. I really love your art today Valerie. I think you brought it to the perfect place. The stitches make it look like fabric. Very beautiful. It reminds me a lot of some of the interesting door hangings at the assisted living where my mother is living. Some of the residents have these wonderful quilted pieces with Hebrew words on them, and they have all the blocks like your created on your piece. :) Interesting reading about the ruins too. It always amazing me how old some ruins are. We don't have such things here. Happy Wednesday. Hugs-Erika

  10. Love the quilted effect of your piece! I love to see the models of the town, thanks for the lesson.

  11. Fabulous work. Love your 'clear the table' technique... xx{aNNie}

  12. The piece is great. The edging really made it pop.
    I love history lessons. Thanks for this one.

  13. I absolutely adore your AJJ page today, and followed your technique, too (minus the sewing and sectioning, of course). I love all the hidden stories this page tells.

    I was completely mesmerized by the history lesson and the castle ruins. I enjoyed both the painting and the model, too. But the installation was fabulous. I'm always amazed at what we throw away, what is pitched, what is broken, and what ends up as trash. This was amazing, layer after layer. Have a great day, and thanks for being such a fantastic inspiration.

  14. Brilliant piece Valerie. I love the clear the table idea, I've been trying to use up bits and scraps in my cards as well. I love the models at the museum, how fun!

  15. You cleared all of those bits and used them brilliantly.
    It was fun to see the stages of your pages.
    The final stitching around the sections really ties it all together beautifully.
    And oh those layers of found artifacts are works of art all in themselves!
    Another great museum.

  16. This is so fascinating. I love learning about new places but even more so, the stories behind them. This one is really quite the story -- and a very good exhibit, it seems.

    Your piece really touches me. I can see how each element you added, the lines, the sewing, the text, all add to the depth and dimension. The colors really attract me. It's beautiful.

  17. Das erste Ergebnis gefiel mir schon sehr gut, aber was du zum Schluß draus gemacht hast ist außergewöhnlich und sieht richtig klasse aus. Super! Schön auch wieder der Report aus dem Museum, schade daß die schöne Burg zerstört wurde, sie sah so schön aus. In diesen Artefakten-Resten würde ich auch mal gerne buddeln, total interessant, was man da so findet.
    Alles Liebe und schönen Abend.

  18. What a piece, so rich and magical, as always your posts are brimming with so much art, colour and stories to tell.

  19. Thanks for sharing your creative process step by step. It was so interesting to see.

  20. Your pages are beautiful, in a quilted design. I looked through the photos but not so good at reading history. I hope you are doing well, xx

  21. The sewing definitely added a nice effect to your work. The colors and compilation looked very peaceful to me.

    Great history lessons and pictures. I learned a lot!

  22. I adore you 'clear your desk' page! The sewing really does make it very special! I love seeing the museum and reading the history of where you live! The installation is such a wonderful way to show those finds! Hugs, Chrisx

  23. Not bored at all! I always love your history lessons! Great remnant installation he created!
    Valerie, your spread is beautiful, glad you kept going with it and I love your clear the table technique! LOL you make me giggle!

  24. What a great mosaic collage page - and a fantastic way to use up leftovers! Thank you for sharing the history and your trip to the museum... that castle would look great in my mother's dollshouse museum!
    Alison x

  25. Eine herrliche Kollage und es ist schön, die Zwischeschritte zu sehen! Ein Herzlicher und sehr informativer Post! Danke schön!
    Liebe Grüße, Annette

  26. Well you have probably seen I am trying to catch up from missing last week... so glad I got to see this post Valerie. I really adore your AJJ artwork ( and your sewing skills ooh la la ) a stunning piece!
    Such an interesting post and I love the installation of the ancient rubbish.. brilliant and historically fascinating to see the objects.
    Gill xx

  27. Your collage is amazing! I agree, the stitching around the edges of the squares is the perfect touch putting everything together. Beautiful! Thanks for joining us on the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge.

    Cathie ♥

  28. I love this piece you created! What do you do with all your creations??
    Thanks for the history lesson! I thought it was very interesting!
    Big Hugs!


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