Puzzle: Apple Picking by Betty Wittwe

Betty Wittwe - Apple Picking, med

Size:  1000 pieces
Dimensions: 73 cm x 48.57 cm
Artist: Betty Wittwe – Born in Metz, France in 1959, Wittwe graduated from the School of Beaux Arts and majored in Plastic Arts in 1979. Her strong inclination for performing art has influenced her first canvases featuring musical and dance performances, circus …

Although Wittwe is still adept at painting musicians scenes and ballerinas, she also developed great skills for subjects such as landscapes, garden views, interior scenes,… Inspired by the peaceful atmosphere of her farmhouse in Provence, she uses spontaneous brushwork. Light is provided by the choice of her bright and vivid colors.

She masters her technique and focuses her effects on expressing emotions. Her vivid colors and strong brush work give life and vitality to her paintings. She gives us the possibility to dream and to escape. Recipient of best of show place awards in Paris French Fine Art Exhibition, her reputation crossed the Atlantic in 1997 when she started to exhibit at a major Madison Avenue gallery in New York and Beverly Hills. [Pejman Gallery site]

Producer: Sure-Lox, The Canadian Group, Celebration of Women series,  2009, #40888PAL

Notes: This series celebrates all women with bright colorful images of days gone by, sweet memories and priceless friendships. Our featured artists capture great moments of women – mothers, sisters, daughters and friends. It celebrates the qualities they possess – their graces, inner strength, love, forgiveness, endurance and constant perseverance. [Puzzle box]

Puzzle: The bright colours of women’s dresses and the dark of the tree trunks are logical regions to begin assembly. After that, the sky, the building near horizon, and the apple box are distinct areas. The rest of the puzzle consists of a blend of green, blue, and yellow colours, presenting a bit more of a challenge.

Puzzle: Wine Cellar Château Cantenac-Brown, France

Wine Cellar Chateau Cantenac-Brown, France, med

Size:  500 pieces
Dimensions: 46 cm x 61 cm
Producer: The Lafayette Puzzle Factory, Colorluxe, 2012, #3091

Notes: This puzzle is a pleasure to do – the most complicated area is the flowers, but having placed everything else, that only leaves about 2-3 rows of pieces. I have started with the sky and the building top, followed by the pillars, the trees, grass, gate and the ground in front of it, the building, and finished with the flowers. Sat down to puzzle for half an hour, got up about 2 hours later with the puzzle completed. This is a relaxing one.

Château Cantenac-Brown: Château Cantenac-Brown is a winery in the Margaux appellation of the Bordeaux region of France. The wine produced here was classified as one of fourteen Troisièmes Crus (Third Growths) in the historic Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855. The Chateau has 104 acres (0.42 km2) planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. The Chateau produces a second wine labeled as Brio de Cantenac-Brown. [Wiki]

Puzzle: White Dove by Kim Wiggins

Kim Wiggins - White Dove, med

Size:  500 pieces
Dimensions: 48.26 cm x 35.56 cm
Producer: Sure-Lox, The Canadian Group, 2009, #44888PAL
Kim Wiggins – Growing up in Southern New Mexico, Kim Wiggins began his art career sculpting miniatures of the wildlife around him. In 1989, Wiggins deliberately leapt from an impressionist style to the dynamic, dramatic expressionist style for which he is known today, populating his canvases with ribbons of color, bulbous clouds, anthropomorphic mountains, sinewy trees and distorted houses. [Puzzle box]

Painting: http://www.greenwichworkshop.com/details/default.asp?p=2455&a=264&t=4&page=1&detailtype=artist

Notes: The Mission San Xavier del Bac, built circa 1783 south of Tucson, Arizona, is affectionately called “The White Dove of the Desert.” This most famous of the missions founded by Father Eusebio Francisco Kino still ministers to the Papago Indians. Wiggins says, “I tried to capture the spirit of the mission by representing Father Kino passing a dove to a Papago Indian boy. The dove represents the peaceful nature of this tribe. Storm clouds swirl above as a reminder of the struggles these gentle people faced. Not only did they battle nature, but the mission became their only refuge against the constant attacks by the fierce Apache Indians. The mission, home to statues draped in real clothing and brightly painted carvings, is open to the public every day as well as those on pilgrimage.” [Greenwich Workshop site]

Puzzle: Steam Engine

Steam Engine, med

Size: 750 pieces
Dimensions: 59.69 cm x 39.37 cm
Producer:  The Canadian Group, Sure-Lox, All Aboard series, 2012, #40562-2
Artist: Ron Niebrugge

Puzzle: I found it easiest to start from the water and the clear line between the water and the rocks to define a horizontal guide. From that point on, the railroad, the black locomotive, the carriages, and various green and rocky regions are equally logical to do, since not many of them provide an easily-delineated coloured region. This puzzle benefits from good lighting.

Steam Engine: A steam engine is a heat engine that performs mechanical work using steam as its working fluid.

Using boiling water to produce mechanical motion goes back about 2,000 years, but early devices were not practical. Since the late 1700s steam engines have become a major source of mechanical power. The first applications were removing water from mines. In 1781 Watt patented a steam engines that produced continuous rotative motion. Steam engines could also be applied to vehicles such as traction engines and the railway locomotives which are commonly just called steam engines ouside America. The stationary steam engine was an important component of the Industrial Revolution, overcoming the limitations imposed by shortage of sites suitable for water mill and allowing factories to locate where water power was unavailable. [Wiki]

Puzzle: Steam Locomotive

Steam Locomotive, med

Size: 750 pieces
Dimensions: 59.69 cm x 39.37 cm
Producer:  The Canadian Group, Sure-Lox, All Aboard series, 2012, #40562-3
Artist: Barrie Neil

Puzzle: The blue of the sky and the mountains are an easy starting point, followed by the black-and-red locomotive, the SW sign, and the repetitive-window carriages of the train, and the bottom branching of the rails with white regions. Green and beige slopes on the left are logical stand-alone regions, and the rest of the mountain, grassy right-bottom corner, and rails and wheels can be filled out afterwards. Overall a pleasant puzzle not requiring much effort.

Locomotive: A steam locomotive is a railway locomotive that produces its power through a steam engine. These locomotives are fueled by burning some combustible material, usually coal, wood or oil, to produce steam in a boiler, which drives the steam engine. Both fuel and water supplies are carried with the locomotive, either on the locomotive itself or in wagons pulled behind.

Steam locomotives were first developed in Britain and dominated railway transportation until the middle of the 20th century. From the early 1900s they were gradually superseded by electric and diesel locomotives. [Wiki]

Puzzle: Yosemite Falls in Sierra Nevada Park in California, USA

Yosemite Falls in Sierra Nevada Park, California, USA, med

Size:  500 pieces
Dimensions: 45.5 cm x 39.5 cm

Notes: I do not have a record of the producer of this puzzle as I do not have the box anymore. A clarification is welcome – if you have any clue as to the details regarding this puzzle, I would much appreciate that information.

Yosemite Falls: Yosemite Falls is the highest measured waterfall in North America. Located in Yosemite National Park in the Sierra Nevada of California, it is a major attraction in the park, especially in late spring when the water flow is at its peak.

At the base of falls was located the main village of the native people of Yosemite Valley – Ahwahneechee people.

The Ahwahneechee people called the waterfall “Cholock” (“the fall”) and believed that the plunge pool at its base was inhabited by the spirits of several witches, called the Poloti. An Ahwaneechee folktale describes a woman going to fetch a pail of water from the pool, and drawing it out full of snakes. Later that night, after the woman had trespassed into their territory, the spirits caused the woman’s house to be sucked into the pool by a powerful wind, taking the woman and her newborn baby with it. [Wiki]

Puzzle: Columbia River Gorge

: 500 pieces, 1 missing
Dimensions: 35.24cm x 50.48cm
Producer: MB Puzzle, Croxley series, 1996, #4611-14
Puzzle: The waterfall and the tree are the logical places to start, followed by highlighted grass and leaves, the flowers, and finally by branch and leaf regions. Pleasant and not trivial.

Gorge: A canyon, or gorge, is a deep ravine between cliffs often carved from the landscape by a river. Rivers have a natural tendency to reach a baseline elevation, which is the same elevation as the body of water it will eventually drain into. This forms a canyon.

Canyons are much more common in arid areas than in wet areas because physical weathering has a greater effect in arid zones. The wind and water from the river combine to erode and cut away less resistant materials such as shales. The freezing and expansion of water also serves to help form canyons. Water seeps into cracks between the rocks and freezes, pushing the rocks apart and eventually causing large chunks to break off the canyon walls, in a process known as frost wedging. Canyon walls are often formed of resistant sandstones or granite. Submarine canyons form underwater, generally at the mouths of rivers. [Wiki]

Puzzle: Milllies Kitchen

: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 73cm x 48.57cm
: Sure-Lox, The Canadian Group, Canvas Collection series, 2011, #44716-5
Artist: H. Hargrove

Puzzle: A rather detailed puzzle with many small regions of colour. White sink and plate, garlic and the orange objects behind it are probably the easiest place to start. The metal watering can, the light fixture, and the dark yellow/orange on the top shelf and the book in the lower left are several groups of colour that are easy to do. The tree and the red of the shed outside, followed by the window sill, leaves mostly dark regions to complete the puzzle. I found it quite an engaging one.

AsparagusAsparagus has been used as a vegetable and medicine, owing to its delicate flavour, diuretic properties, and more. It is pictured as an offering on an Egyptian frieze dating to 3000 BC. Still in ancient times, it was known in Syria and in Spain. Greeks and Romans ate it fresh when in season and dried the vegetable for use in winter; Romans would even freeze it high in the Alps, for the Feast of Epicurus. Emperor Augustus reserved the “Asparagus Fleet” for hauling the vegetable, and coined the expression “faster than cooking asparagus” for quick action. A recipe for cooking asparagus in the oldest surviving book of recipes, Apicius’s third-century AD De re coquinaria, Book III. [Wiki]

Puzzle: Autumn at seaside

: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 54.5cm x 70cm
Producer: Golden, Guild Puzzle, #4710-57
Puzzle: One of the logical ways of approaching this puzzle, is to put together the long white birch tree trunks first, giving a continuous vertical anchoring. The sea and the lighthouse are trivial to put together, and provide a line of horizon, so that the sky and top of the rocks fall into place. Orange and red leaves are the next logical choice, leaving the more uniform pieces of rocks and brush to the end. No name is provided on a box – it would have been nice to know where this photo was taken.

Birch tree: The bark of all birches is characteristically marked with long, horizontal lenticels, and often separates into thin, papery plates, especially upon the paper birch. It is resistant to decay, due to the resinous oil it contains. Its decided color gives the common names gray, white, black, silver and yellow birch to different species.

Birch trees are typically rather short-lived pioneer species widespread in the Northern Hemisphere particularly in northern temperate and boreal climates. [Wiki]

Puzzle: Nanette’s Cottage by Thomas Kinkade

: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 69cm x 51cm
Producer:  Ceaco, 2009, #3310-90
Artist: Thomas Kinkade

Notes:  Thomas has placed a total of 25 N’s within this painting in special commemoration and tribute to his wife Nanette, for her partnership in his 25 years as a published artist. The inspiration for this painting came about  from a cottage just like this, in which Thomas and Nanette lived in, in England when they were first married. Their wedding date is May 2, 1982. [Puzzle box]

Puzzle: River of Time by Michael Matherly

Size: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 45.72 x 60.96
: Karmin International, 2007, The art of Michael Matherly
Michael Matherly
Notes:  The works of artist-painter Michael Ross Matherly are collected throughout the world. An Indiana native, he lives on his farm with his wife Debbie and his son Tyler, where they raise horses and enjoy trail riding along the river. They also enjoy camping on the island of their pond along with fishing. Michael’s main sources of inspiration are from the vast beauty around us that God has created.

As a young boy, Michael showed outstanding talent. The achievements he holds are evidence of his love for and dedication to his art. With a multitude of interests, he works in acrylic, always striving to call forth a freshness in his works. He spends a great deal of time researching his subjects. That is obviously reflected in the details of his paintings.

Michael is one-quarter Cherokee/Shawnee and is very proud of his american indian heritage. He is concerned about the future of our planet and its environment. He hopes that in some way his art might allow the viewer to have greater respect and a deeper appreciation for nature and all living things that are upon our Mother Earth. [Puzzle box]

Puzzle: Thatched Cottage

Size: 750 pieces
Dimensions: 59.7 cm x 39.4 cm
Producer:  The Canadian Group, Sure-Lox, Photo Gallery 10 puzzle pack, #42510-57
Notes: The puzzle producer has not once again indicated the location of the cottage.

Although thatch is popular in Germany, The Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium and Ireland, there are more thatched roofs in the United Kingdom than in any other European country. Good quality straw thatch can last for more than 45–50 years when applied by a skilled thatcher.

Over 250 roofs in Southern England have base coats of thatch that were applied over 500 years ago, providing direct evidence of the types of materials that were used for thatching in the medieval period.  Almost all of these roofs are thatched with wheat, rye, or a ‘maslin’ mixture of both. Medieval wheat grew to almost 1.8m tall in very poor soils and produced durable straw for the roof and grain for baking bread. [Wiki]

Puzzle: Neuschwanstein Castle

Neuschwanstein Castle 2, med

Size: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 73cm x 48.5cm
: The Canadian Group, Sure-Lox, Photo Gallery 10 puzzle pack, #40617-13
Notes: I have put together another puzzle of the Neuschwanstein Castle before, 500 pieces.

The inspiration for the construction of Neuschwanstein came from two journeys [of Ludwig II] in 1867: one in May to the reconstructed Wartburg near Eisenach, another in July to the Chateau de Pierrefonds, which Eugene Viollet-le-Duc was transforming from a ruined castle into a historistic palace.

The king saw both buildings as representatives of a romantic interpretation of the Middle Ages as well as the musical mythology of his friend Richard Wagner. Wagner’s operas Tannhauser and Lohengrin had made a lasting impression on him.

In February 1868, Ludwig’s grandfather Ludwig I died, freeing the considerable sums that were previously spent on the abdicated king’s appanage. This allowed him to start the architectural project of building a private refuge in the familiar landscape far from the capital Munich, so that he could live his idea of the Middle Ages. [Wiki]

Puzzle: Castle Mespelbrunn

Size: 750 pieces
Dimensions: 59.7 cm x 39.4 cm
Producer:  The Canadian Group, Sure-Lox, Photo Gallery 10 puzzle pack, #43550-26
Notes: Mespelbrunn Castle is a medieval moated castle on the territory of the town of Mespelbrunn, between Frankfurt and Wurzburg, built in a remote tributary valley of the Elsava valley, within the Spessart forest. One of the most visited water castles in Germany, it is frequently featured in tourist books.

In 1957 Mespelbrunn Castle was one of the locations of the German film Das Wirtshaus im Spessart (The Spessart Inn, 1958), based on a fairy tale by Wilhelm Hauff. [Wiki]

Puzzle: Country Living by Thomas Kinkade

Size: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 69cm x 51cm
Producer: Ceaco
Thomas Kinkade
“In the country, wildflowers grow in profusion. To me, these bluebonnets, scotch broom and wild poppies symbolize the abundant blessings of Country Living; these are the tangible pleasures that surround you day in and day out where the air is pure and the sun is bright. This scene might be found any place where the hills and valleys are alive with nature’s harmony – the Texas hill country, the Smoky Mountains, the rolling Cascades, or even my native Sierra foothills.” [Thomas Kinkade, on the puzzle box]

Puzzle: Feeding the Geese by Nicky Boehme

Size: 1000 pieces, 1 missing
Dimensions: 73cm x 48.57cm
Producer: The Canadian Group, Sure-Lox, #44714-2
Nicky Boehme
There are three living genera of true geese: Anser, grey geese, including the domesticated goose and the Swan Goose; Chen, white geese (often included in Anser); and Branta, black geese, such as the Canada goose.

The term goose applies to the female in particular while gander applies to the male in particular. Young birds before fledging are called goslings. The collective noun for group of geese on the ground is a gaggle; when in flight, they are called a skein, a team or a wedge; when flying close together, they are called a plump.

Geese are monogamous, living in permanent pairs throughout the year; however, unlike most other permanently monogamous animals, they are territorial only during the short nesting season. Paired geese are more dominant and feed more, two factors that result in more young. [Wiki]

Puzzle: Forest Floor

: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 48.26cm x 35.56cm
Producer: Sure-Lox, The Canadian Group
A forest, also referred to as a wood or the woods, is an area with a high density of trees. These plant communities cover approximately 9.4 percent of the Earth’s surface (or 30 percent of total land area), though they once covered much more (about 50 percent of total land area). Although forests are classified primarily by trees, the concept of a forest ecosystem includes additional species (such as smaller plants, fungi, bacteria, and animals) as well as physical and chemical processes such as energy flow and nutrient cycling.

A typical forest is composed of the overstory (canopy or upper tree layer) and the understory. The understory is further subdivided into the shrub layer, herb layer, and also the moss layer and soil microbes. In some complex forests, there is also a well-defined lower tree layer. Forests are central to all human life because they provide a diverse range of resources: they store carbon, aid in regulating the planetary climate, purify water and mitigate natural hazards such as floods. Forests also contain roughly 90 percent of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity. [Wiki]

Puzzle: Bristlecone Pine

: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 73cm x 48.5cm
: Sure-Lox, The Canadian Group, Impressions series
Notes: Bristlecone pines grow in isolated groves at and just below the tree line. Because of cold temperatures, dry soils, high winds, and short growing seasons, the trees grow very slowly. The wood is very dense and resinous, and thus resistant to invasion by insects, fungi, and other potential pests.

The bristlecone pine has an intrinsically low rate of reproduction and regeneration, and it is thought that under present climatic and environmental conditions the rate of regeneration may be insufficient to sustain its population.[1] The species are on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list. Bristlecone pines are protected in a number of national parks such as the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest in the White Mountains of California and the Great Basin National Park in Nevada, where cutting or gathering wood is prohibited.

The green pine needles give the twisted branches a bottle-brush appearance. The name bristlecone pine refers to the dark purple female cones that bear incurved prickles on their surface. These ancient trees have a fittingly gnarled and stunted appearance, especially those found at high altitudes, and have reddish-brown bark with deep fissures. As the tree ages, much of its vascular cambium layer may die. In very old specimens, often only a narrow strip of living tissue connects the roots to a handful of live branches. [Wiki]