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Monday, August 29, 2016

Medieval(ish) Stamp Art: "Le Lièvre" (The Hare)

Greetings darlings! Today I have some art featured over at the Lost Coasters' Review blog as a little designer's inspiration for their "Hip 2 B Square" project challenge. (Share some of your art and be entered to win a gift certificate at Lost Coast Designs' stamp store! Click here for details!) 

I thought I would tell you a little more about the thinking behind my featured piece--"Le Lièvre" (The Hare)--and how it was made...

For the "square" theme, I chose this Rabbit Square stamp  from Carmen's Veranda:

Although I assume from the "cracks" indicated by the artist indicated that this image is supposed to represent a tile, its "feel" put me in mind of something from a medieval tapestry, perhaps along the lines of the famous series of The Lady and the Unicorn:

...and at first I thought I might try to suggest a tapestry in my project. But the image ALSO reminded me of an initial from a medieval manuscript...something like this one from Orleans MS 9 at the British Library:

So upon further reflection, it seemed to me that it would be easier as well as more natural to suggest a manuscript than a tapestry, since mine would be a paper project after all.

To give the proper "medieval initial" gestalt, I needed GOLD. (You may have noticed by now that I rarely pass up the opportunity for a little metallic shine.) So I stamped the Rabbit Square on heavy ivory watercolor paper, and embossed the crap out of it with liquid gold. (Yeah, baby!!)

I then set about laboriously painting the image with water-soluble oil pastels in shades of green, blue, and gray, keeping the bunny buff-brown and "white." I didn't want the color to look flat and even, but to have a bit of watercolor effect to lend some life to the otherwise static composition. 

Next I wanted a border. In keeping with the medieval theme, Lost Coast Designs has the most awesome, ravishing Antique Text Border stamp that HAD to go on this project. I just love it. You'll probably be seeing me use it every chance I get!

Isn't that gorgeous and amazing? The letters definitely looked very tapestry-like and more woven (rather than written) to me (shades of The Bayeux Tapestry?), but it was super-atmospheric, and it was going on my project!

So I stamped the border on a scrap piece of the watercolor paper (instead of stamping directly around the painted image) because I wanted to miter the corners instead of having them overlap. I embossed the text border with MOAR SHINY GOLD before painting with the oil pastels, then cut it out and mitered the corners around the center image.

The finished result looked like this:
BUT because the gold isn't really shiny enough for my liking in the photo above, here's another where you can really see it catch the light. AHHHHHHHHhhhhhhhh...

Aren't these cool stamps? I am such a history nerd that I found these quite exciting.  :)  And there you have my finished project: "Le Lièvre" (or The Hare--but wanted to keep that French medieval vibe, you know!)  ;)

And hey--there's still time to join in on the Hip 2 B Square challenge--it runs through September 4! Enter your square-themed projects for one or more chances to win a prize. (The rules are on the Lost Coast Portal To Creativity blog.) Join in the fun!

Talk to me by leaving a comment below! I love chatting with you guys. Would love to hear what you think of these historical images.


  1. Do you know the famous "Hasenfenster" (hare window) in the Paderborn cathedral? If you´re interested, you´ll find more info here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_hares

    1. Hi Bockel! Thanks very much for the Wikipedia link. I was NOT familiar with the Hasenfenster, although I have seen the three- (or four-) rabbits motif in other medieval art. That window is beautiful, and it's very interesting to know about the symbolism and history behind it. (The fact that they share ears...!) I'm really glad you introduced me to this information--thanks so much. Now I will be looking for more of the Three Hares symbolism. :)

  2. Gorgeous card Paula! The image is lovely and I love the shine from the gold embossing.
    Thanks for joining us at Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge
    Mandy xx

    1. Thanks for your kind words, Mandy! It's my first time joining you for a challenge, but I doubt it will be the last. ;) Thanks for keeping things fun out there on the Interwebz!