Archive for the ‘Architecture’ Category


Recently I’ve taken a fancy to Norman architecture.  This Romanesque style became entrenched in Normandy in around 950 A.D., and it was transported to England with the Norman Conquest (Battle of Hastings, 1066, if my memory of grade school days is correct).  The Norman Conquest resulted in the fact that many Britishers have French names (I know, that’s a “DUH”—please forgive me!), and a plethora of medieval castles and cathedrals resulted from the Romanesque/Norman influence.  These aged structures were built by highly skilled tradesmen, and a number of them have been preserved in Britain.

The painting pictured below depicts a Norman style cathedral at St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy in Delafield, Wisconsin—just a few minutes from my home.  The Academy was formed in 1888, and the cathedral was built around the turn of the century.  Most of the campus buildings reflect Norman architecture, also called English Gothic.

There are reasons for my attachment to the St. John’s campus, its architecture, and especially the cathedral.   Our granddaughter, Leah, was married there in 2004.   The bell tower at the church issues forth beautiful music every Sunday before the morning services.  The bells also ring on Christmas Eve, at approximately 9:00 and 11:30 p.m.  In the summer, I sit outside and listen to the bells before going to my own church—but even in winter their magnificent resonance permeates our walls and windows.  We can hear the caroling bells indoors, as well as outside. 

The other reason for relishing this church is that I am making a “My Town” series of sketches and paintings, depicting sites around the quaint old part of Delafield—abstract renderings with a touch of realism.  In some of these paintings, the cathedral at St. John’s will be a prominent feature.  Pictured below is one of the Delafield series.

What an exciting adventure, to set off on a local tour—armed with my camera.*  As well as featuring Norman style architecture, the old part of Delafield sprawls alongside picturesque Lake Nagawicka.  The “My Town” series will have to include some of the sailboat races that take place regularly during summer weekends.  Memories are involved, as our family sailed that lake for many years.

Perhaps the friendliest photos and paintings will focus on the winding streets and charming homes in Delafield.  There are Cape Cods, bungalows, Edwardian farmhouses, and Victorian era pseudo-Gothics.  Until one hits the subdivisions which have mushroomed on the outer limits of “my town”, there are no two homes alike! 

Margaret L. Been, ©2012

*Our photo shoot jaunts also include lunch!  🙂

Read Full Post »