Puzzle: San Joseph Church, Sicily, Italy

San Joseph Church, Sicily, Italy, medSize: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 51.12cm x 66.52cm
Producer: Hasbro, MB Puzzles, Big Ben, 2008, 04962-W42
Photographer: R. Kord/Robertstock
Puzzle: Not a completely trivial puzzle, but quite serene to put together with its tree blooms and a magnificent building. Good places to start are the border between the mountains and the sky, the outline of the church against the mountain, the horizontal guide of the pavement against the building base, the vertical guides of the pillars and tree trunks, the arch between the pillars of the bell tower, and the statue with the cross. That splits the puzzle up into smaller regions that are easier to tackle. The uniform white and beige of the walls, the balustrade, the pink blooms, and the pavement can be completed next. For the rest of the puzzle, good lighting is a plus.

Notes: I have found a lovely picture of this church at the Walks of Italy site.

It is situated in Taormina – a small town on the east coast of the island of Sicily, Italy, in the Province of Messina. Taormina has popular beaches on the Ionian sea, which is remarkably warm and has a high salt content. The present town of Taormina occupies the ancient site, on a lofty hill. Portions of the ancient walls may be traced at intervals all round the brow of the hill, the whole of the summit of which was evidently occupied by the ancient city. Numerous fragments of ancient buildings are scattered over its whole surface, including extensive reservoirs of water, sepulchres, tesselated pavements, etc., and the remains of a spacious edifice, commonly called a Naumachia, but the real purpose of which it is difficult to determine. [Wiki]

Puzzle: Winter Worship

Winter worship, med
: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 48.5 cm x 35.5 cm
Producer: Sure-Lox, The Canadian Group

Puzzle: A simple puzzle to do due to its small size. The orange of the buildings, and the flowing green of the river are good places to start, and the bridge railing serves as a horizontal guide separating the picture into two regions. The borders of snow-laden trees, the building, and the sky makes the top easy to assemble, and the rest of the puzzle shapes itself around the bridge and the river. Festive and pleasant to the eye.

Notes: Worship is an act of religious devotion usually directed towards a deity. The word is derived from the Old English weorþscipe, meaning worship, honour shown to an object, which has been etymologised as “worthiness or worth-ship”—to give, at its simplest, worth to something. [Wiki]

Puzzle: Church of the Savior, St. Petersburg

Church of the Savior, St. Petersburg, med
: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 67.95 cm x 48.1 cm
: Mega Puzzles, Structures series, 2013, No. 50941AAN, A 27053 PP

Puzzle: Another eye-candy puzzle from the Structures series (see Astronomical Clock, Prague, Czech Republic and Galleries Lafayette, Paris for more), with many distinct regions. There are many ways of approaching it: top semi-circle with windows, bottom light yellow semi-circle, central piece in reds, oranges, and yellows, winged by distinct blue regions, the chandeliers, the top corner regions separating distinct regions of colour by diagonal guides, flower border outlining the central area, the pillars with figures and horizontal flower borders, circles with faces. Once the distinct regions are done, they can be put together, and the rest of the pieces easily fit in. Beautiful puzzle, very enjoyable to do.

Notes: The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood is one of the main sights of St. Petersburg, Russia. It is also variously called the Church on Spilt Blood and the Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ, its official name. This Church was built on the site where Tsar Alexander II was assassinated and was dedicated in his memory.

The Church contains over 7500 square metres of mosaics—according to its restorers. The interior was designed by some of the most celebrated Russian artists of the day—including Viktor Vasnetsov, Mikhail Nesterov and Mikhail Vrubel — but the church’s chief architect, Alfred Alexandrovich Parland, was relatively little-known (born in St. Petersburg in 1842 in a Baltic-German Lutheran family). The walls and ceilings inside the Church are completely covered in intricately detailed mosaics — the main pictures being biblical scenes or figures — but with very fine patterned borders setting off each picture. [Wiki]

Puzzle: Trinity Church

Trinity Church, med

Size:  500 pieces
Dimensions: 48.5 cm x 35.5 cm
Producer: Sure-Lox

Puzzle: This puzzle is not very exciting to do due to dull grays of the building and the dark greens of the bushes and trees occupying the most of the picture, but Sure-Lox pieces fit together well and the size is small enough to not present a challenge. I just wish the photograph had more colour and contrast in it to really highlight the beauty of the old architecture. The sequence of assembly could start with the sky and its boundary with the roof and the trees, and with the grass and its boundary with the flowers. The border between the building and the bushes provides a good horizontal guide, and the tall windows can serve as vertical guides. From that point on, the picture is trivial to assemble.

Notes: I no longer have the puzzle box, so I’m unsure where this church is situated (there are plenty of Trinity churches around the world, it seems). If you have any information on the location of this building, I’d love to know.

Puzzle: Spectacular Interior

Spectacular interior, med
: 750 pieces
Dimensions: 59.69 cm x 39.37 cm
Tibor Bognàr
: The Canadian Group, Sure-Lox, 2006, #42510-41

Puzzle: Not an easiest puzzle to make – good lighting is a bonus. Easiest places to start are the blue of the dome, the bright gold of the centre, the figures in the alcoves, the darker parts on the edges, and the golden pillars. Pillars provide good vertical guides, and pillar tops can serve as horizontal ones. The pieces fit together well making for a fun but a bit challenging puzzle to assemble.

Notes: It is unfortunate that no information is given on the box on where this photo was taken. If you know where this is, I would love to know.

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]