Saturday, February 24, 2018


"Evening Mint"  11 X 14,  Lori LaBerge  2018

There is a sense of soft and hard within this piece. Sharp angular shapes contrast with softer curves. The composition works well. The top angled line of the black and mint on the left leads to the left upper corner of the second black shape while the bottom angled line leads up to the highest point of the white section where the gold cuts it off bringing the eye down. This, in addition to the white and black contrast being so close to the mint, all leads to a focus on the small bright mint rectangle.

This can be seen below:

"Evening Mint" with compositional line study,  Lori LaBerge  2018

Yesterday was spent sifting through piles of wood to see what will work for a mixed-media piece. The wood will be cut into various geometric shapes. I have a general idea and will be sketching it out this week or next.

Saturday, February 17, 2018


"Balcony View"  20" X 20"  Lori LaBerge  2018

This week's work was formed from rooftops seen from the balcony of a townhouse in Los Angeles. The balcony (with light blue top rail) is in the lower section of the work. Many sketches were developed as I spent mornings studying the lines the rooftops created.

The majority of the hooked work underneath contains vertical lines while the painting on top was done in horizontal and diagonal lines to contrast with the vertical.

Close-up section

The under sections of these painted textiles have led me to consider how we see things. What we look at is not simply what we see visually, but how we interpret it through our thoughts. When I see architecture I see more than a building, I question what has happened there, who built it, and who once lived or worked there. Some of these things are imagined and others are researched. What lies underneath can be different for everyone.

Saturday, February 10, 2018


Partial section of work in progress,  Lori LaBerge  2018

The majority of the week was spent continuing work on a larger piece. The size is 48" X 48" and it is being hooked in a #6 cut. Here are a few close-ups of various sections:

On Thursday, I took a break from the larger work to sketch up some new ideas to work further with. Here's a peek inside the sketchbook:

This was developed from an industrial park that we passed by while traveling. The erasure lines can be seen on the drawing, showing the many variations of ideas used until one came together.

This work did not really come together until I decided to use a half circle. That led to a pathway toward it. I'm looking at orange, grays, turquoise, bright blue, gold, white and black for the color plan.

Saturday, January 27, 2018


"Spa Day"  14" X 11"  Lori LaBerge  2018

A slight change was made from the original color plan from last week's post. The gray and turquoise on the right were reversed placing them diagonal to their matching colors. A simple change, but the whole work looks much more interesting as it moves the eye more easily throughout the piece.

Textures are important to a work and we don't always see them from a distance so I put some close-ups from "Spa Day" below

 Here the bright blues mixed with navy draw the eye to what could otherwise appear as a dark hole in the work.

Grays are always in my go to stash. This textured gray used as-is adds to the work when seen up close.

A dull light sage green is punched up with a brighter mottled green in the mint family.

The turquoise in the work is the only wool that is not mottled or mixed with another color. It has solidity and strength giving the eye a nice break from everything happening in the other colors.

Saturday, January 20, 2018


Untitled design,  Lori LaBerge  2018

This week included work on design and color planning. This has led to plans to create a grouping of black and white works from 2-value studies.

Here is how thoughts developed for two designs using sketchbook and Photoshop:

A design was drawn from a previous sketch. A half circle was added to the left hand side which can be seen in the photo at the top of the post. This balances out the work and detracts a bit from the large section of white. If you put your finger over the half circle you can see how the eye first focuses on the yellow rectangle and is then pulled to the left by the white. If you view the work with the yellow half circle, you can see how it brings the eye down from the white, so the eye is not stranded at the top of the work.

As color planning was developed, I began by separating the design into 2 values so I could clearly separate the light areas from the dark areas. It helps to think about shapes when working with these studies.

I decided on a calm, relaxing feel to the work. The light areas consist of white and sage green while the darker areas were filled with turquoise, navy and yellow. The darker colors were broken down into light dark, medium dark and dark. A black line was added to the rectangle to emphasize the focal point.

Untitled design,  Lori LaBerge  2018

Here a light center is surrounded by dark sides. It can be seen how the design also changed a bit  with the black rectangle enlarged, the right side being extended all the way to the top and a horizontal rectangle added on the right.

The eye is clearly drawn to the lighter center of the work with the bright pink rectangle the focus.

Saturday, January 13, 2018


The background of the latest work in progress was worked on this week. A variety of dark grays are being used to follow the designs of the middle squares. The darks create a shadow effect while not distracting from the colorful squares.

Work in progress,  Lori LaBerge  2018

I can already see a change that will be made. The light gray strips between blocks will be changed to the darker gray to frame the blocks better, with the light gray left on the sides. This will be an easy change as the strips are narrow. 

I started a self-imposed class on architecture and architectural drawing. Textbooks were received this week and 2 hours a day have been scheduled for studying. 

Exercise in sketchbook

Above is one of the exercises I completed to study positive and negative shape. A mortar and pestle was used as the subject. The exercise shows how shape is not a sole entity. Every shape has a relation to the environment it resides in. I plan on using this exercise with various subjects, more asymmetrical, to see how many interesting shapes can be found from both the negative and positive areas. 

Further Exercise:

While teaching, I have used color to study shape perception. Put a colored shape against a white background, then against the same color background. How does this affect your perception of the shape and ability to identify it? Use various values of one color against another? At what value point is the subject easiest to identify or show the best at? Do we need a bold contrast or will a softer contrast serve our purpose?

Saturday, December 30, 2017


There is no doubt I have been on the road lately and sometimes art can be found in unexpected places. While not a car buff, the beauty and art of cars shown at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles created a real appreciation for the artistic talents of car designers and those who simply love cars.

One cannot deny how cool and happy this car looks.The bright yellows, blues, and oranges just attract attention.

 "El Muertorider" 2006. Dog and human skeletons, dollar signs, oil reference and more make statements on this vehicle. Love the "We are the defenders of the cheeseburger" statement.

While there were cars galore (racing cars, vintage cars, future designs and cars from movies) I was attracted to the artwork that was on display:

"One Last Ride"  Levi Ponce. I viewed this work as a bit eerie with the shade of the blue sky, shadows, black car out front and light from the mortuary window, then the hand with flowers on the left brought on feelings of sadness and sympathy.

 "Toxic Cruiser"  El Moises  Chili peppers and flames cover the vehicle driving by the Taco Shop.

   "Chicana's Sunday Cruise"  El Moises. This work was part of an exhibit on the Politics of Gender. Though women seem to be so often on display shown next to cars and in advertising, low riders are owned by many heterosexual women and members of the LGBTQ community.

 "Varrio Boogie Woogie"  Ruben Ortiz-Torrez. This is like a neighborhood block or a building surrounding by various colors. Wondering if the colors refer to groups of people.

 "Low God"  Lalo Alcaraz. Loved this small work. Where is this little guy driving to?

"The Obsidian Ranfla Series"  #1,9,8 and 6 clockwise.  Carlos Fresquez.  A ranfla is a smooth ride which refers to lowriders but can refer to most any car that is cool. The colors and depictions in these works made me think about how cars are used in society and depicted in films.

A surprising find for me were the many artists in the Bugatti family, known for sports cars. Carlo and Rembrandt Bugatti were well-known artists in their time. Family members art included painting, sculpting, woodworking, jewelry making, masonry etc. in addition to car design.

 Carlo Bugatti's work in woodcraft. The attention to detail stands out. His work drew attention at the Exposition of Turin in 1902. Click on the link of his name to view some of his work for sale.

 Rembrandt Bugatti's sculpture work.

 Drawings of animals by Lydia Bugatti. Lydia was the daughter of Ettore, a car designer. She also sculpted and painted. In the link the article spells her name as Lidia, though most other sites and the museum used Lydia.

Paintings by Carlo Bugatti