Time at the Harris Museum, Art Gallery and Library

Today my page is inspired by a trip to the “Harris Museum, Art Gallery and Library” in Preston. The building is very majestic and ornate, it tells a wonderful story of a time gone by and you can learn about local history in the museum and look at wonderful works of art in the Gallery. We had a lovely time exploring and looking around so I captured it on a journal page to recall the memories.

To portray the old building I wanted to create a vintage page with a grunge background, so I started by applying white gesso to the page with an old gift card and leaving it to dry. Once dried, I added Black Soot Distress Ink by applying the ink pad to an acrylic block and picking up the ink with the gift card and scraping the ink across the page. I used the same technique to add Peeled Paint Distress Ink which I diluted with some water on the acrylic block to tone down the colour a little. Next I created a collage on the page, using a collection of papers from Vintage design pads by Craft Sensations, which reminded me of the museum, art gallery and library that we visited. These papers included some lined paper which I stamped with a Script stamp and an Alphabet stamp, both by Kaisercraft, using black Archival Ink and then I stuck them to the bottom left-hand side of the page using a UHU Stic. Like all of the papers, I edged them with a Desert Spectrum Aqua marker and a black Derwent Graphik marker to give them more definition. I also fussy cut different paper images and layered them on the top right-hand side of the page and on one of these papers I stamped a clock image from a Steampunk stamp set by Docrafts using black Archival Ink. I used the same clock stamp for the top paper which details an open book and photos, and I added a vintage clock die-cut shape to the centre of the stamped image using double-sided foam tape. The photo images remind me of the art gallery and also the grandeur of the building as well as the lamp posts that we saw at its entrance. I stamped black circles alongside the clock using a cap from a spray bottle and black Archival Ink, and then inserted the black button letters to spell out the word “Time” which along with the clock images reminds me of the pendulum clock situated in the central hall/atrium. I mounted these elements onto white card and stuck them to the page using double-sided foam tape. Next I stamped the words “Once upon a time” onto another piece of paper using black Archival Ink and an Alphabet stamp set by Papermania; this applies to the library books, the museum history and the artworks in the gallery. Then I mounted it on white card, fussy cut the page out and distressed the edges using scissors. I edged it with black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker as well as the Desert Spectrum Aqua marker and stuck it to the page using double-sided foam tape. To finish, I added a pretty piece of antique looking ribbon and two vintage metal embellishments.

The Harris building dates back to 1893 and was built in an imposing neo-classical design. The main feature of the front of the building is the pediment which houses a sculpture representing “The School of Athens” and a number of griffins guarding the lamp of learning on the apex. Beneath the pediment is the inscription “To Literature, Arts and Science” which reflects the purpose of the building.

Rather than have a set of front steps leading directly into the building from what was the busy Market Square there are two entrances on either side of the building which lead to a covered entrance with beautiful lamp posts.

The main feature of the interior is the impressive central hall which rises through four storeys over 120 feet to the lantern tower.  The mosaic floors and columns also reflect classical influences from Ancient Greece and Egypt. As part of the design there are plaster copies of Classical and Renaissance sculpture to illustrate the “whole range and history of the world’s greatest achievements in art” and a number of these classical friezes can be found throughout the central atrium along with a 19th-century copy of the Baptistery doors from Florence.

The museum has a permanent history gallery called “Discover Preston” and features collections including archaeology, ethnography and local history. The museum houses the “Poulton Elk” which is very well-known around here as it was found under a bungalow in the 1970s! The skeleton is intact and has an arrowhead embedded in its leg, and as it is over 13,500 years old it’s the earliest evidence of people living in the Northwest of England. I was excited to see it, although I know this animal as a Moose from visiting America, apparently we call them Elk over here in the UK which surprised me (grin!).

The staircase is magnificent too, here is the view from the Gallery area with the beautiful Greek and Assyrian friezes, soft pink walls, amazing artwork, marble, sculptures and mosaic floors.

The gallery houses a number of contemporary and classical artworks as well as photographs.

This is the view from the Art Gallery floor down to the Museum floor and the Central Hall.  You can just make out the Foucault pendulum on the lower floor on the right-hand side of the picture. It hangs in the central foyer, through all the floors, over a butterfly-shaped plate marked with the hours of the day. As a result of the rotation of the Earth, this functions as a decorative and reasonably-accurate clock. It’s a spectacular view and was certainly a long way down (grin!).

As usual I also had fun creating a page that incorporates a number of blog challenges too; which I always enjoy as they are a fantastic source of inspiration.

I’m pleased to join Yvonne from Meggy’s Way who is hosting the “Colour in my World” challenge over at Art Journal Journey because at the library we were greeted with neutral and soft colours like you can find on my page.

Over at Try it on Tuesday their theme is “Time or Clocks” so I’m pleased to be able to join in their fun as I added references to both of them onto my page.

I’m also joining the “Anything Mixed Media Goes” challenge over at Mixed Media World with my library inspired page.

As I added the metal embellishments, I’m pleased to join “Heavy Metal” challenge over at the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge.

I’m also entering my vintage inspired page in the “Vintage” Challenge over at The Mixed Media Challenge.

Thanks for joining me today! If you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you.

Here is a list of all the materials used to create this art journal page:

  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Black Soot, Peeled Paint)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Desert)
  • Derwent Graphik Line Marker (Black 0.05mm & 0.8mm)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Kaisercraft clear stamp (Script CS752, Alphabet CS887)
  • Docrafts Creativity Essentials A5 clear stamp set (Steampunk DCE907125)
  • Papermania Alphamania A-Z stamp set (Leftovers Alphabet PMA9071102)
  • Craft Sensations Design Pad (Authentic Vintage CRO730/R, Travel Memories 154898, Classic Vintage CRO707/TW7, Vintage Romance 154897)
  • White card
  • The Works M&C Boutique (Vintage Die Cut Shapes)
  • Poundworld Décotime (Vintage Metal Stickers 54748)
  • Poundworld Craft Corner (Adhesive Ribbon U-80933)
  • Home Bargains Love Letters (Self-Adhesive Button Letters 22738)
  • UHU Stic
  • The Range double-sided foam tape


32 thoughts on “Time at the Harris Museum, Art Gallery and Library

  1. That is a really cool vintage page. I like how you stacked those little cards. 🙂 That looks like a cool museum. I love the moose! And the moose elk story. I use that as an example in my classes at school about the confusion of using the words elk and moose.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks very much Erika! We had a wonderful time exploring this building, the museum and art gallery 😁. I didn’t know people confused Elk and Moose so I’m glad the story will help …lol 😉. Wishing you a happy weekend! J 😊


  2. How incredibly impressive. I’m simply overwhelmed by the architecture of the Harris Museum. It is gorgeous both outside and in. Your photos of the Harris were absolutely jaw dropping and brilliant. It gave me a genuine feel for the museum and incredible art gallery.

    That being said. I also fell in love with your beautiful journal page, too. You put so much into it, and I followed along seeing how you created this beautiful work of art. It is truly fabulous.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It looks like a wonderful place to visit Jo, but where’s the cafe?! Lol! That elk is huge, and beautiful artifacts and mosaic flooring.
    I love your vintage style page!
    Hope you have a fab weekend, and the sun shines for you.
    Alison xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • So funny, you know me too well – the café was closed for refurbishment …lol 😉. We stopped off at my favourite restaurant though on the way home though, which may make a journal page if I find the time …lol 😁. I loved your Metallic piece, so inspirational! Thanks so much and wishing you a Happy Friday and Weekend! J 😊


  4. This is a fabulous page Jo. I love all the layers of vintage style papers and the time related details you added. The page has lovely soft antique colour shades which reflect that wonderful museum you visited. Great photos it was good to see where your inspiration came from for your journal page.
    Thank you for joining us all over at Try it on Tuesdays and of course at Art Journal Journey, your support means a lot to me.
    Have a good weekend.
    Yvonne xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much Yvonne! I loved the soft muted colours at the Harris building and wanted to capture them on my page, which was fun and seemed perfect for your AJJ theme 😁. By the way I really enjoyed the theme this month and as always you are such an amazing host, thank you! Wishing you a lovely weekend! J 😊


  5. Oh, this would be a spectacular place to visit. And your page captured a great memory. I love looking down through all the floors. There’s a Foucault pendulum at the Boston Museum of Science.. As a kid, I liked standing by it to watch the pendulum knock down a peg at the hour elapsed. So mesmerizing to watch

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow, another wonderful museum and inspiring journal page to admire! What an amazing place, looks like you had a great time (despite the cafe being closed lol). Ah well, no doubt the meal will have made up for it :o). A wonderful post once more, thanks so much for all the details!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You made a really amazing page to showcase this wonderful architectural treasure – your layering and all those details are stunning Jo! Such a masterfully crafted page again !
    I am in awe of your design with all thos vintage papers and so happy to see it linked to Try It On Tuesday and to Art Journal Journey! Thank you very much for all the support this month again Jo – and for your always lovely words for me on my blog!
    I wish you a very happy weekend!
    Our weather is lovely and we are getting guests – so I am a bit late commenting today – sorry!
    oxo Susi

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hope you are having a lovely time with your guests and we took advantage of the nice weather we had last week which include going to Preston and visiting this fabulous place 😁. The architecture was stunning and I was in heaven just exploring the building …lol 😉. I seem to have quite a few vintage design pads, I think I must be attracted to vintage craft papers …lol 😀. Wishing you a very happy weekend too! J 😊


    • Thanks so much for stopping by and your lovely comments! We had a wonderful day at the museum and it was lovely to capture those memories on this page 😁. It’s nice to meet you at the Mixed Media World and wishing you a happy week! J 😊


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