Monday, December 17, 2007

The Pelican of Piety - a prayer kneeler

The time to write this, I have decided, is before I crash due to total fatigue of body and brain, and before the onset of some serious PPD.
This prayer kneeler is for a friend, who is also a parishioner at my son's church, so I was pleased to have it do. Louann brought me the pictures several years ago, but I haven't quite had the nerve - or the time - to really concentrate on it. But now it is done!! She took the pictures herself a number of years ago - she said, judging from the style of the mosaic, probably somewhere in eastern Europe.
The lighting and the color are difficult to see, so I had awful trouble getting the paint mixed to suit me. The Pelican was noted in medieval times to pierce it's breast to feed it's young when food was unavailable - therefore, it became a symbol of Christ's Passion and the Eucharist. I would love to go there and see that vaulted ceiling with it's magnificent mosaic!
This symbol is seen in Christian art elsewhere, but many times is mistaken for a stork. This one is new to me! The close-up should show more detail on the needlepoint rendition of the picture - the challlenge here, of course, was putting it onto a 15" x 30" piece of 13 mesh canvas, and making it feasible to stitch.
I had to eliminate a great deal of the detail of the mosaic, as it would have just looked like a busy mess on this size mesh. The white bands were left that way, as they will be stitched in dark gold thread - and we decided it would be easier on the eyes to just leave it white. I'm actually very pleased with it - which is unusual for me.


Mary Corbet said...

This is gorgeous! I'm new to your blog (found it via Allie's in Stitches). What a perfect job you do painting canvas! I would love to work this design! Will you be doing the needlepoint yourself, or will someone else be doing it? And if you are doing it, will you P-L-E-A-S-E post a finished photo????

And now - I'm off to peruse the rest of your blog!

Mary Corbet said...

Hi, Judy! Thanks for your e-mail! I tried to respond, but for some reason it comes back "undeliverable".

I have a question for you! Do you take commissions to paint canvases?

I'd love to hear from you on that - you can e-mail me at

Again, my compliments on this piece - and all the other incredible work I've been browsing through!