Saturday, March 18, 2017

The Seraglio or Thinking about Mary Stewart

There might be one or two of you out there who made the leap after you read the above title. Mary, Lady Stewart, was once (and still is in my opinion) the queen of the romantic suspense novel.
She wrote many, many books including the famous Merlin series and some children's books as well, but my favorites were always the lyrical tales of mystery and suspense she wove around an adventurous woman who found herself in peculiar circumstances who never ran for the hills unless that was where the trouble was.
Curious and lively, smart and humble, she was well bred and polite, but never a snob. Those books were always good reads and I still pick them up from time to time and feel as if I'm with an old friend.
One of them called, "The Gabriel Hounds" was set quite a bit in an old, nearly empty palace that contained within it's walls a seraglio, or harem. That novel and the seraglio was the inspiration for this piece.
The story is set in the 1960's and I like how contemporary and modern this young lady looks against the timeless background of trellis work and dark 'sky'.

I began with some fantastic supplies from Alpha Stamps, starting with the Taj Mahal Triptych which I taped together (front and back) to make one rigid piece.

I traced and cut my papers out for the front and back and glued them in place. I painted the 6x6 Quatrefoil Texture Sheet white and cut it at a slant and glued it to my front paper.

After painting the pillars white (they are part of the Taj Mahal Triptych) I glued them in place.

It was after the pillars dried that I decided (of course!) to add some blue to the purple paper to make it look a bit more like the night sky. You might want to do this next step before you glue down those pesky pillars. Otherwise you may be doing some touch ups with the white acrylic paint.
Just sayin'.
I wanted to add some blue to the sky, but I didn't want to cover up the stars or disappear all of the purple, so I mixed a very small amount of Phthalo Blue with some glaze.

It doesn't take much paint, just a dab, and a bit larger amount of glaze. I just dipped my brush into the paint and then mixed that into the puddle of glaze. A little color goes a long way with the glaze, so be sparing.

I painted the mixture on the paper starting from the top using a downward stroke. What is on the brush will naturally lighten up as you move down and you won't have to fuss with blending it. It helps if you practice on a piece of scrap before you commit to the piece!

You know you have the right ratio of paint to glaze when you can see the color and patterns through mixture.

While the glaze dried, I cut out my image from the Vaguely Valentine Collage Sheet and lots of flowers from the Midnight Masquerade Scrapbook Papers.

I used a couple of Copic markers to 'pop' my young ladies dress and to give her more of a visual connection with the flowers. I used foam tape to attach my girl and the flowers and the word 'Dreamer' to give them extra dimension.

On the back side, I glued a ribbon on to hang the piece with and a pretty image from Midnight Masquerade Music Makers Scrapbook Paper to finish it off.

So there you have it. Lots of goodies were provided by the wonderful Alpha Stamps and the inspiration to Mary Stewart and her wonderful novels. Thanks, Lady!

Supplies List
Taj Mahal Triptych
Vaguely Valentine Collage Sheet
Midnight Masquerade Savor the Magic Scrapbook Paper (the 'Dreamer' tag and most of the cut out flowers)
Midnight Masquerade Moonlight Mystery Scrapbook Paper (on the back)
Midnight Masquerade Romantic Rondezvous Scrapbook Paper (front)
6x6 Quatrefoil Texture Sheet

White Acrylic Paint
Liquitex Glaze Medium
Liquitex Phthalo Blue Acrylic Paint

Thank you for stopping by!

1 comment:

Miss Merricat said...

Lora after burbling on about Mary Stewart on the Alpha Stamps blog I realized you probably wouldn't see that lol! But I am a big Stewart fan and have been since I picked up the Crystal Cave back in nineteenseventysomething. I have read the Gabriel Hounds and many others. I wish I still had the paperbacks but they have gone missing over the years except for Thornyhold. I love your Seraglio! You would never know the lady wasn't part of Midnight Masquerade. Great idea for the glaze also it looks like it has some depth rather than just being paper. Beautiful piece and thank you for sharing 🙂