Friday, November 30, 2012

girls on a road trip

I crawl out from under the heaps of apples and the much smaller heap of Nanowords to post a picture-studded side-trip. Specifically, a little about the Golden Swan event in October (this is apparently a non-chronological blog).
I've posted before about the Tournament of the Golden Swan. It's a persona-development SCA event, originally designed to encourage the more creative and less combative aspects of the Society for Creative Anachronism, or more pragmatically described, to give non-fighters something to do. This is done by testing how thoroughly entrants have researched and imagined the medieval person they present themselves as being.
Given that it's been going a fair few years, the contest has been stuck in several ways in a very SCA mindset, perhaps describable as a 1960s take on a romantic Victorian idea of the Middle Ages. As knowledge about medieval society and daily life has grown, and research within the SCA reached a higher standard, the better-researched your persona, the less likely you were to find a good fit with a contest that required an embroidered favour (an SCA tradition, not a medieval one) and expected entrants to inspire the lord who fought for them. Last year the outdated format was addressed once again, and actual changes were made.
Perhaps relatedly, there were three entrants this year, compared to none last year.

I leap ahead chronologically to show off a painting I did several years ago, for the Wild Women of Frozen Mountain. It's based on a German playing card, the Queen of Animals, and depicts a wild woman (covered in fur) with a unicorn.
It was hung up inside the hall, so I took the opportunity to get a digital pic of it.
Geez, guys, you could hem it sometime, you know? 

Anyway, Joan and Rosie and I drove out Friday morning--a beautiful clear Friday morning--from Port Moody. The plan was to have enough time to stop for scenery and wineries, and this worked out nicely.
Stop on the journey. Rosie surveys the Hope Slide. It must have been too cold for the chipmunks that Deirdre and I saw and fed, because they did not appear, though we made coaxing noises.

Stretching our legs in Manning Park. High altitude and shade meant lingering frost on the grass.We did not spot the derelict cabin this trip.

We did, though, encounter this cool tree-trunk,. Is it safe to turn your back, or will it lurch after you?

Despite wineries, we arrived in good time, and set up our tent alongside Alicia and Stephen's tent. Most people were sleeping inside the hall because of the cold, but we hardy medievalists were relying on wool and down (and straw mattresses) to shield us through the night. I have a photo of the frosty grass taken early the next morning, but perhaps the point was made above. It was cold. The stars were amazing, bright white in a black black sky. Until I set off the motion-sensitive light outside the hall.

Swans at bowls, on the field behind the hall. Most of the contest is indoors, sitting and chatting in close quarters, thus not appropriate for taking photos. Outdoors it's more relaxed, and I followed the gamesters about making quick sketches. This one they posed for.

Another shot from the bowls game that meandered all about the site. It started in the field beside the hall, wandered past the bandshell, behind the mock-frontier streetfront, through the seating for the fair bbq, past the animal pens, and around to the fighting field. (There was fighting going on, with HH Gemma exclaiming 'Man fall down!' at intervals.)

A game of 9 mans morris outside Alicia's tent. Entrants need to show competence in pastimes their character would have known, as well as skills in their craft or station.
Needless to say (but I will say it anyways) Alicia kicked butt in every category. Happily, all three entrants carried it off successfully and joined the Order of the Golden Swan.
We packed up as early as we could manage the next morning and set off, managing to stop at another couple of wineries on the way back, and take our pictures with the sasquatch.

A Garbage Gobbler, an icon of my childhood travels. Joan poses with it on our way out the gate.
Then I ran away with the sasquatch and was never seen again.


Terri-Lynne said...

Your artwork is beautiful! Such talent. Is there anything you're not good at, my dear?

I love the pic of you running off with Sasquatch. You should make it a christmas card!

batgirl said...

I had the advantage of working from a lovely clear piece of art (engraving). The technique I used is based on the chalk-on-coloured-paper sketches (cartoons) that Renaissance artists used to work out compositions. I love the effect, but it's tricky to keep from overdoing it - see the wild woman's left eye for what happens with just a little too much paint. The unicorn I'm very happy with.

Terri-Lynne said...

I never would have noticed had you not pointed it out!

batgirl said...

It's a rule that the painter can see all sorts of horrible errors that viewers never see. It's because of working with your nose up against the painting. When people in my painting on cloth class get discouraged I take their piece away and hold it up across the room from them. Always looks a lot better.