We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
"Little Gidding"
T S Eliot

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

GRACE: smoothness and elegance of movement .....

..... is just one of the many definitions.

The new Craft Barn Q&L challenge words are PEACEFUL and GRACE.

I've used a poem by John Gillispie Magee Jr called High Flight, which I have come across in the past.  I love the images and emotion it evokes.

John Gillispie Magee Jr was an American pilot with the Royal Canadian Air Force in the Second World War.  He came to Britain, flew in a Spitfire squadron, and was killed at the age of 19 on 11 December 1941 during a training flight from the airfield in Lincolnshire. Such a tragic end.

If you want to know more, see here.

Here is the complete poem -

High Flight
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth 
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings; 
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth 
Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things 
You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung 
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there, 
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung 
My eager craft through footless halls of air. 
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue 
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace 
Where never lark, or even eagle flew - 
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod 
The high untrespassed sanctity of space, 
Put out my hand and touched the face of God. 

I've used just one line on my page.  Decided to abandon my paints (for once!) and got out my Distress Inks.

I also went a bit abstract and cubist, though I'm not too sure I'm very happy with the result, but that is the beauty of  this challenge, trying stuff out, even if it doesn't work too well!

The background is created by sponging Distress Inks through randomly cut apertures.  I got the idea from Barbara Grey's blog (see here).  I wanted geometric shapes, so cut them rather than tearing.  At the last minute I also stamped some dandelion seed heads, to give some relief from all the hard edges, but maybe I shouldn't have .....

I cut an angular bird shaped aircraft from black and silver card, and wrote the words in white Sharpie pen. Looking at it, I think I've been watching too much Battlestar Galactica!!


  1. Fantastic inspiration from both the real and the sc-fi world. Battlestar Gallactica was a fantastic series so can see why you associated the shape with your words, also looks like a graceful bird peacefully playing on the thermals. thank you for the full poem, it is beautiful :-) xxx

  2. I think it's absolutely perfect. And the art fits the lyrics so well, too.

    I remember when I was a young girl (showing my age, here), I stayed with a friend who had a tv (my grandparents didn't allow a tv in the house while I was in school). One of the local stations wasn't on 24/7, so signed off each night. The station played that very piece when they signed off. I always thought it was beautiful and you brought back SO many wonderful memories from that time in my life. Thank you!

    1. I've put a reply on your blog, but just wanted to record here as well! I'm so pleased I've brought back some good memories. I think I've found what the TV station used to sign off with - it can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGj6deaINxM
      Fabulous rendition - it gave me goosebumps!

    2. I saw the clip and the comment left by the person who posted it. It just goes to show how backward we were (and still are) in Kansas, because it was in the late 70s when I saw it. I wasn't even in school in the late 60s. But yes, I'm sure it was the same film clip. Thanks for leaving the link and finding this wonderful piece.

  3. A very beautiful poem. I think the dandelion seeds are perfect, they show the movement you intended :D
    Thank you for your comment on my blog I'm so glad you like my piece :D

  4. Cannot believe how young he was when he wrote this poem. You have captured it so well. I see a metal bird soaring up through the sun split clouds.

  5. A beautiful poem and I think the dandelion clocks are just right for this. I love the technique of sponging through random shapes - I must give it a go.

  6. Love this. And think the dandelion clocks are perfect.

  7. Lovely page, the background is fun :) And the poem is beautiful

  8. Wow, that's a wonderful page, great idea.

  9. Such moving words beautifully illustrated by your artwork...
    the seeds add lovely movement to the page!
    This is my first time playing along with the Q&L Challenge.

  10. Great idea with the background and the plane shape is striking, good page!

  11. A wonderful page and a beautiful quote.
    Where we live in Gloucestershire a plane carrying Canadian crew came down not far from our home whilst on a training flight during the 40s killing all 5 crew members. So very sad.

  12. Oh it works so very well! This is such a beautiful piece to accompany this touching poem.

  13. Lovely page! I really like your bird and the dandelions, Great idea with the geometric shapes!

  14. A very creative page and a beautiful quote.