Mary Pal Designs

Earth Stories - Part 2 (The background painting)

For my substrate, I selected linen (because I love it so much), and decided I would overlay thread-sketched images and sculpted cheesecloth cranes and the figure of George, and then stitch it all to a canvas backdrop.  By dividing the work into four sections, I figured it would be easier to fit into the throatspace of my sewing machine at the end. Ha!

I cut linen pieces to size and select a colour palette by testing water-soluble wax pastels.

I cut linen pieces to size and select a colour palette by testing water-soluble wax pastels.

I painted the water section of the wetlands.

I painted the water section of the wetlands.

Then I added salt to the wet paint to get a dappled texture (taking over the whole dining room!)

Then I added salt to the wet paint to get a dappled texture (taking over the whole dining room!)

Using wax pastels, I began to sketch in the  back-ground colour of the sky to blend with photo transfers with hydro lines.

Adding water to the pastel lines creates a soft effect.  (with thanks to the blogger known as Redpat, who lives in Toronto, for permission to use the photograph with sweeping power lines at the top right of the sky section)  

Adding water to the pastel lines creates a soft effect. 

(with thanks to the blogger known as Redpat, who lives in Toronto, for permission to use the photograph with sweeping power lines at the top right of the sky section)

 

When it was time to add the silhouettes of buildings along the bottom of that top section, I cut red sinamay (fabric used to make women’s hats) to represent them.

When it was time to add the silhouettes of buildings along the bottom of that top section, I cut red sinamay (fabric used to make women’s hats) to represent them.

Here I was auditioning photo transfers of flying cranes to incorporate into the sky section.   

Here I was auditioning photo transfers of flying cranes to incorporate into the sky section. 

 

Painting some darker purple behind the red sinamay buildings added some depth and shadowing.

Painting some darker purple behind the red sinamay buildings added some depth and shadowing.

(with thanks to photographer Mike Grandmaison for permission to use his photograph of the receding hydro towers at the top left of the sky section)

(with thanks to photographer Mike Grandmaison for permission to use his photograph of the receding hydro towers at the top left of the sky section)