Monday, August 20, 2018

The Chapel Undone...........

You Might Not Remember....

I had to do a lot more Undoing, Dear Readers, in order to access the Chapel Ceiling which needed to be trimmed an eighth of an inch shorter in order for the Proscenium to attach flush with the walls. I had not noticed this discrepancy all those years ago when I was actively constructing the Chapel... it would have been easier to correct then! But fortunately, most of the Chapel is not yet glued in place, because the ceiling is not yet finished being painted....(by those suspiciously absent mini artists...) so I was not destroying anything. But it was hard to remember exactly how to access the ceiling after all those years!

Once I had removed all the furnishings 
and sent Father Alban on a Dream Vacation, 
I could begin to explore and reacquaint myself with
 the structure of this very complex part of the Castle.
The ornate pillars are all still loose so the ceiling can be worked on.
Once again, I cannot attach the ceiling until I have completed the paintings....

Here I have shined a light in so you can see the partly done work....
The empty quadrant on the left will show the Creation scenes...
The right quadrant is a partly finished Last Judgement scene.
Above the altar is God in Magesty
and at the front is Archangel Michael defeating the Devil and his demons....
(The Medieval models I am painting from were shown long ago
 in This post if you care to know them.)
Perhaps someone else knows why I have not yet completed these paintings...
 why I started on the Great Hall Ceiling before I finished this one....
But I have forgotten!
 The entire vaulted framework of the ceiling slides straight out...
 in order to pass the supports without snagging.

The arched vaulting pieces are notched on the ends to pass the floor support beam.....

 Here you can see it a couple of inches out...

The arched pieces of the ceiling are made from
 ordinary corrugated cardboard, curved to shape
 and covered with a thick watercolor paper for the painted surface.
They are fitted to cover the entire ceiling when in place,
 so they have to slide perfectly along the edges of the walls 
and not catch on the framework of the monk's cell in the corner.

The view from above as it slides out......

The ceiling removed.... the edge along the front
 will need to be trimmed by one eighth of an inch!

And with the ceiling out of the way 
you can see the structure of the interior walls.
 The stairs in the wall to the right lead from the Great Hall
 to the Lady's Solar on the next floor up.... 
and they pass over the Chapel entrance from the Great Hall.
 In the back corner is the Monk's Cell....

The Monk's Cell from above.... 
showing the structure of the piece of ceiling 
which does not slide out... is glued in place!

Here you can see the front wall to the Monk's Cell is still removable..... 
and the ceiling is not grand but is the unadorned brick
 (painted on the corrugated cardboard...)
and the furnishings are quite simple.

Here is a closer look... 
the cot with the woolen blankets, the candle on the ledge,
 a simple cross on the wall, a shuttered window with no glass...
 and a brass ring in the floor...?

Which opens a trap door....?

And if you shine a light in you will see stairs descending......!
Where do they go..... I hear you ask?

Well, Dear Readers, all good Castles must have
 a Postern Gate Somewhere!
This door leads out onto the cliffs above the Sea... 
and if the need arose, anyone trapped inside the Castle 
could escape this way!

You can imagine how reassuring it is to know this!
But for now we are more concerned with
 the completion of the Chapel structure....

The floor support beam also needed to be trimmed by a "whisker"... 
and you will be glad to know I did not have to
 remove the beam to accomplish this!
My goal at this point is to attach all the "Prosceniums"
 and the exterior doors to ensure that the basic
 Castle Structure is solidly assembled.

I managed to trim the ceiling section with my coping saw
 without doing the artwork any harm 
(although the edge of the painting also needed to be trimmed a tiny bit).
Then I screwed the proscenium and the doors in place!

Oh, I do Love it when the doors swing open!

As before, nothing is glued in place.... 
waiting for me to complete the paintings first!
But for now we are moving on to the Solar....

There were nowhere near as many adjustments needed here.... 
since the room is essentially unfinished.

The stairwell wall had been painted and needed a little trimming...
 but is still unattached.
(I apologize for the dark shots... no excuse!)
I really wanted to get the fronts all finished... 
so I pulled out my big saw and cut the
 final proscenium and doors for the Lady's Bed Chamber,
 the top room on this side of the Castle.
And again, this is where I encountered the warping of the plywood.

Both sides were fairly bent...

But they pulled back into shape with the screws and a little pressure!

 As you can see here!

More trimming needed to be done before the doors would fit...

It was getting late.... 
I chiseled away at that annoying "bump"
 in the top edge of the proscenium.... 
my sawing was clearly not very precise!

And I attached the doors!

The only part still to attach is the top roofs on both towers!
(And the crenelations.... and the exterior stairs.....)

It is actually starting to look like a Castle!

And before you ask.... 
yes, I completed lilac blossom number twenty-two!

 Count them if you don't believe me!

Well, Dear Readers, if you are like me, 
you might not even remember where we started....
 with the Chapel all Undone...!
So much still to do!


  1. The vaulted ceiling is MAGNIFICENT!!!! ❤️
    I Absoluetly LOVE the intense colours of the murals and the stonework, not to mention the staircase under the trap door of the monk's cell.
    Your various corrections long after the fact is a feat unto itself but your efforts are not only worth the extra time and efforts, but it introduces us to various portions of the castle which we don't always get the opportunity to see.
    Bravo Betsy!!!

    p.s. the photos were nicely lit, which made the details a lot easier to view so thank you for that too! 😀❤️

    1. Thank you, Elizabeth! I think one of the reasons I stopped painting the chapel was because I needed to get the doors attached to be able to also paint the murals on the opening wall... the ceiling blends into the walls in several places! Now I can go forward again! I also love the colors in this chapel... inspired by the Giotto chapel in Padua...:) It is also fun for me to see into the dark corners of this building! LOL!

  2. I absolutely love how you designed the staircase to the lady's salon with the door to the chapel running underneath! And I love Father Alban's cell and the trap door leading to the escape boat! You've thought of everything, and made it like an adventure just seeing the photos!
    I agree with Elizabeth about the murals, and I'll be excited to see the room and the whole castle when it's completed! At the rate you are getting things done, it won't be too long now!👍👍👍

    1. Hi Jodi! I do like a complex arrangement! I wanted to include all the extras and had to find a way! I love your optimism about how soon any of this will be done!!! I am staring at all the walls needing the stonework and all the windows I have to make... I used real glass in the two for the Great Hall and the painted ones in the chapel.... not to mention finishing the paintings! (Have you noticed yet that I am not fast at painting things???!) LOL! I am at least really happy with the added doors to all the rooms.... it makes such a difference to the whole effect! I am glad you are here to enjoy the progress! :):)

  3. You are working hard on the castle. It is a huge project, more with all the details you add, but I am sure it all will be very rewarding. By the way I love love love the monk´s cell. It´s wonderful.

    1. Hi Alex! Yes, it is a HUGE project! (Bigger even than I thought! LOL!) I have many details still to add... I need to make my lists so I can decide which things come before others... I am sure I will be working on it years from now! LOL! But it is really fun to see the way it looks now with the doors added! :)

  4. Votre chapelle Betsy est une merveille, j'adore les peintures aux couleurs si vives et la forme de la voûte. Je suis impatient de voir les futures scènes de la Création. Un petit coup-de-cœur pour la cellule du moine et son escalier secret.

    1. Thank you Jean-Claude! I love the colors too... and it is a place where I can indulge my love of Medieval Miniature paintings... they are so inspiring to me! I am hoping I will find time to work more on these paintings soon... the list of "to do's" is Long! :):)

  5. Oh Betsy, now I see your paintwork again in this, those murals and all the other paintings indoors are so magnificent, true artwork!! I am so happy that you're back working at this imposant building and yes, it truly looks like a castle of regard! The cell for the monch is as it always has been since ages, sober and simple. Love the detail of the trap door....mysterious and such a typical detail which can only be thought out by you, Betsy. You think of all this sort of details, it makes your work so special ;)!
    I hope we can see more of this impressive castle in the future, please, don't you tuck it away for many more years, dear friend ;O!
    And hey there, there is lilac blossom number twenty-two, hurray, well done!!
    Hugs, Ilona

    1. Thank you Ilona! I am loving having this Castle to Paint on! It allows me to visit my favorite Medieval Art and try to copy the styles of those paintings! And it is such a Huge building... I will be working on it for a looooong time! LOL!

  6. A bright chapel! the paintings are splendid!

    1. Thank you Claude! I love color! The Medieval style has always been my favorite! :)

  7. Hello Betsy,
    I always get lost in a dream when I look at your pictures. The chapel is amazing...even in it's unfinished state. I have no words to express how much I love the ceiling. I adore all the details, but the door in the floor that leads to the postern gate is such a great touch. I am glad you were able to make the necessary alterations without having to destroy anything. I really love the castle project.
    Big hug

    1. Thank you Giac! I have always loved Medieval Art.... and here I can make my own mini versions! It is a dream come true for me! I am so happy to be able to share those Dreams! :):)

  8. I'm in awe over that chapel and how detailed you've made everything, including the priest's hole escape. Wonderful!

    1. Thank you Sheila! I had not tried to open the trap door in a long time... it was almost stuck shut! So it is a good thing I had to undo everything! :) I really need to work on the paintings... there is so much detail still to be added... but that is the fun part! :)

  9. This project is stunning! Your paintings on the ceiling and the way the ceiling is constructed is awe inspiring. What a huge project and so interesting to see it coming along. Sorry my English is not rich enough for praises but you deserve all.
    Hugs, Drora

    1. Dear Drora, your English does very well! :) It is a Huge project.... and I will be working on it for a long time! I don't want to rush too fast because I want to make it the best I can.... and that takes time. I am glad you enjoy it! :)

  10. I am really liking your vaulted ceilings ( sorry that you had to take a few steps back to move forward, but it seems well worth it) The murals are looking great! Keep up the good work - Troy

    1. Thanks Troy! The Medieval world was full of vaulted ceilings... so I decided I needed to make them here! Technically they are a bit shallow, but I don't have the space to make them really to scale... the Castle would have ended up much too tall with too much dead space between floors. So they will have to do! I am enjoying painting everything in the Medieval style! :)

  11. Certainly a lot of work still to be done on the castle!
    And of course all castles need a postern gate - for ingress as well as egress. How else would the occasional female visitor be entertained?

    1. This project keeps getting bigger! LOL! And you know I love details like the Postern Gate! :):)

  12. Oh, my....all that lovely painting work! That ceiling is a masterpiece already. :D The whole project is, really. What an undertaking, and you are doing such a fantastic job.

    1. Thank you Brae! :) I still have a long way to go... the paintings are only about half done... and the floor not at all.... and that is just in the Chapel! LOL! But I wouldn't want my Castle to end up not looking like a Castle! :):)

  13. I can only nod… yes, it looks for sure like a castle already! What a great project - in more than one meaning of the word "great". As always your paintwork takes my breath away - and the fact that this awesome ceiling is able to slide is stunning. But it's not only those obvious and apparent parts like this ceiling or the hinged (! *grin*) doors… it's also those hidden details that make it extra special. The monk's cell alone is fantastic… but the trap door blew me away. That's so you!!! And how convenient being able to send the inhabitants like in this case Father Alban on a Dream Vacation to have them out of the way… ;O)

    Birgit (who won't leave without welcoming No. 22!)

    1. Dear Birgit, you are right that it is a GREAT project! LOL! Now that it has doors to the rooms it has more "majesty"... by which I mean it looks solid and imposing... and very like a Castle! I am amazed at the difference a few "walls" make! (Even though they are hinged!) I still have so much to do on the paintings.... and now I have an entire fourth wall to paint too! The list is long and getting longer... so I hope you don't mind if I am still working on it years from now! LOL! Yes, the inhabitants are all enjoying their vacations... I will have to show you where they went! LOl! :):)

  14. Hi, Betsy - How I love those vaulted ceilings; your design is so clever - it boggles my mind! I also love the paintings and the rich colors that you've used, which make the ceiling glow like a treasure chest of jewels. The contrast between the glorious ceiling and the appropriate starkness of the Monk's cell delights me, as do the trap door and the spooky descending stairs. They make those cliffs above the sea seem very real! The Castle is looking just the way a castle should look. I'm excited about the crenelations to come. This whole project is exciting, and I'm eager to see more! And I don't want to forget to mention that 22nd lilac blossom - Hooray!

    1. Hi Marjorie! I am so glad you like this project! It is very dear to my heart..... which might be partly why I am taking so long to get it done! I don't want to leave anything out! The Monk's cell was a necessity as far as I am concerned... and the Postern Gate had to go somewhere! It was fun coming up with the original plans. The sliding ceiling was born of necessity... I have to be able to work on it outside of the Castle to do it justice... and then it needs to fit right when attached.... just think of it as a fancy drawer! LOL! There is still a long way to go on the paintings as well as the rest of the structure... I am re-learning how big this project is! LOL!

  15. I love the ceiling and the stairs and the monk's cell and the secret stairs to the outside. Such adventures appear in my mind! I hear the clashing of swords, the rustling of the lady's robe and her footsteps descending as she hurries to escape the fight....
    I love this project!!

    And welcome little blossom!



    1. Dear Veronique... you and me too!!! I can hear the clanging swords....!!! This Castle has always been the stuff of Dreams for me... it is a lot of fun to make them a "Little" more real! LOL! :):)

  16. Thank you for showing where the stair leads, the escape route and all the fantastic details behind the scenes. This truly is an amazing piece and I'm pleased to see that not all the rooms are completed and I can follow them from the start.

    1. Hi Irene! I am so glad you are enjoying the behind the scenes views! I forget how few of my readers were followers when I started this project in 2010.... before I even began this blog! More than half of the Castle still needs to be "completed" especially since I just added all those "fourth walls"! LOL! I am really enjoying the difference it makes in the appearance of the place.... it finally looks like a Castle!!! Lots more to come! :):)