Wednesday 28 September 2022

Sanctuary Rework Day 20


I have done some more work to the detail on this painting

This is how it looked at the end of day 19.

I have been adjusting small details to the figures and scrollwork. I have added shadowing to emphasise the movement of the scrolls. 

I have adjusted the modelling on the blond angel's rear leg and foot. I have done more work to the red-haired angel's hair and face.

I also did a small amount of detail work to the abbey herb garden.

The painting now looks like this

Once a painting gets to this stage, I am spending more time living with it, looking at it and- occasionally- making small adjustments.

The painting is nearly finished and ( at some point) I will have to make the decision to stop tweaking it.

Then I'll have to leave it for six months before varnishing it...

Until next time


Saturday 24 September 2022

Roman immunity


I have now completed the Papal Dispensation document for my episcopal re-enactment persona.

This dispensation is from Pope Urban VI ( pope from 1378-1389 in opposition to Pope Clement VII in Avignon).

This is on a larger and finer piece of vellum than the previous document from Clement VI.

I was able to include more text and more detail in the heraldry.

I used oak gall ink and a mix of gold leaf and treasure gold for the illumination.

I used watercolour and a little white egg tempera for the colour.

I will post about the Pius II document later.

Until next time


Wednesday 21 September 2022

white briefs


Here is a coloured pencil drawing from my sketch book

Until next time


Saturday 17 September 2022

New Calligraphy


When I am re-enacting I play the part of a medieval bishop.

I have been playing this part for many years.

Whilst it was not that unusual for a bishop to armour up and take part in war, they were usual resticted to defending themselves with ( technically ) blunt weapons, such as maces and hammers.

The Benedictine Rule particularly forbad the use of swords.

However, by the Fourteenth Century, it was possible to obtain a dispensation for almost anything.

My character has been made an ecclesiastical knight and has been granted a dispensation to use a sword.

The Great Schism was in full flower during the Hundred Years war, with French Popes in Avignon in opposition to Italian Popes in Rome ( with occasional additional popes in Pisa and even Spain)

I had previously re-enacted Wars of the Roses, so my copy of the dispensation was from Pius II in 1458

I decided that it was time I had one from an earlier pope.

This is from Pope Clement VI( pope from 1342-1352)in Avignon.

It is countersigned by further Avignon popes.

This is written with oak gall ink on vellum and illuminated with watercolour and gold leaf.

I am currently working on a  larger document of the dispensation from Pope Urban VI (pope from 1378-89) in Rome.

Until next time


Wednesday 14 September 2022

Judge James


Here is a new drawing from my sketch book.

This was inspired by a found image from an online game.

Until next time


Saturday 10 September 2022

Sanctuary Rework Day 19


|Here is how the painting looked at the end of day eighteen

I have done more work to the black-hgaired angel's hair with dark glazes and more work to the detail using white.

The painting now looks like this.

As I have previously mentioned, by this stage of the rework, many of the changes are much more subtle and harder to spot by this stage.

The painting is now in that most difficult stage of being nearly finished. I will spend more time looking at it , trying to spot any areas that need more work.

I have just watched the Accession Council ( which has never previously be on television) and the Principal Proclamation by Garter King of Arms.

God rest her late majesty.

God Save The King

Until next time


Wednesday 7 September 2022



Last Sunday I did a one-day re-enactment show at Amersham.

I take a lot less with me for a one day show, but I still got the car packed the day before, as it would be an early start( for a Sunday)

I took the awning ,a table , a folding chair and the stool I usually sit on when arming.

There were only a few of us there and we only had the soldier's tent for the display of arms and armour.

I narrated the Arming of the Knight and then marshalled the Childrens' battle- keeping sixteen to twenty kids from actually damaging themselves with lengths of pipe lagging.

After lunch, I armoured up for the Fight Show. As I was still feeling the shoulder strain from last week a bit, I had brought my light harness, which had leather upper canons, vambraces, cuisse and greaves.

We planned to do three lots of set moves with arming sword, hand-and-a-half and sword and buckler and them have a few brief fights.

About halfway through the second set, the shoulder strain  suddenly made itself known and I stopped being able to raise my right arm above my shoulder.

We only had three full fighters and the marshal ( who was unarmoured and can't fight too much due to a bad back), so this could have been more of a problem.

Fortunately, we have all fought each other a lot and ( with my opponents working with me) I still managed to fight ( to a degree) twice.

There is another one day event next weekend- I am quite glad I had already told them I would not be doing it . 

I am a bit hypermobile, which means that my tendons/ ligaments take quite a bit of time to settle down once stained or inflammed. I did not go to fight practice yesterday and am trying my electro therapy elbow cuff on my shoulder. As it seem to rob my right biceps of power, I think its the connector between that muscle and my shoulder.

My two cats, Malfeasance and Bertie Mogster, had been MOST DISPLEASED with my going away for the three days of the Bank Holiday and were definitely PUT OUT when I then went away again on the following Sunday.

Betie decided that definite measures must be taken to stop me going away again.

As you can see, he opted to occupy the bag I used to transport my soft kit...

Until next time


Saturday 3 September 2022



I spent the August Bank Holiday taking part in a re-enactment at Hever Castle.

I gave my friend Sandy a lift (with her blue and white cone tent) on Friday afternoon and arrived at about 4PM.

We spent the rest of the afternoon and into the evening putting up the tents and awnings and getting some of the other set-up done.

Here are a couple of pictures of my tent and banners.

Saturday was quite hot, but not unbearably so when the clouds were over the sun. There was also a bit of wind.

As usual, we stayed in camp for most of the day, talking to the public. We did a dance show just before lunch , which had a larger audience than previous years.

I armoured up in full plate for the battle at 4PM . Unfortunately, the clouds decided to part for quite a bit of this and I chose discretion over valour, by fighting in two engagements and sitting out the final one.

We had a good meal ( prepared by our excellent cooks) and sat around the camp fire drinking ,talking and ( occasionally) singing until about midnight. I sang Old Macdonald in Latin and quite a bit of Tom Lehrer- and The March of The Sinister Ducks before realising how late it was (for me) and turning in.

Here is a picture of my tent display, including some of my vestments hanging off the cartwheel spokes.

I  vested on Sunday morning and sang a Mass.

I had a smaller congregation than last year and  and unfortunate gust of wind blew some of the host off the paten ( I was able to quickly replace and still had enough),but it otherwise went well.

It even had a small audience of Public...

I armoured up for the battle and, this time, the weather was favourable. I fought right through to the end and really enjoyed myself.

Unfortunately, I think I overdid it a little - especially, as this was the first event for three years that I fought in my my full steel harness- and  strained my right shoulder.

Consequently, I did not fight on Monday, but I did marshal a smaller fight in out camp's fight arena.

Here are some pictures I took of the encampment on Sunday morning, before everyone else was up.

I was able to close up the tent after lunch on Monday and start packing down what I could inside.

This gave me a bit of a head start, but I still did not get off site till after 7PM .

I got home to about 8.30, which was a little late for me to be eating( I'm hypoglycaemic), but not too bad.

All in all, a good and enjoyable show and there were no fight injuries.

Until next time