Saturday, July 21, 2018


Design and color plan of overlay for "Enter Aqua", 14" x 11"   Lori LaBerge  2018

This design brings back memories of neighborhoods I have entered. The surprise of what is around the corner and what will be discovered. The joy of finding a building that stands out from others due to shape or color. The invitation to explore and feel welcome in a new place.

This idea developed from a stairway. It was like jumping off the stairs into an imaginary world. It is planned as the overlay for a painted textile.

The left edge of this stairway struck me as a rooftop. I took to sketching.

Here the various shapes from the photo are sketched out. 

The triangle on the left is enlarged to eliminate some odd angles.

 The bottom shape on the right side is elongated to start working on balance and add a bit of depth leading to the center of the piece. The architectural aspects are coming into play.

 Some of the upper lines were eliminated and a rectangular shape started the focus of the piece.

 The bottom diagonal line is straightened while the center diagonal lines are moved so they do not meet the triangle tip and top of new straightened line. This adds a more interesting shape to the center rectangle. The smaller rectangle's top is given a horizontal edge.

 Details are added in. The half circle, a smaller rectangle on the left to break up a larger shape and lines on top of sections of two diagonals and one horizontal.

A 2-value plan is sketched up to know where lights and darks will be placed. The darks surround and enclose the lighter areas.

The final decision for color use.

All that is left is the decision as to what the hooked underlayer will look like before being painted over.

Saturday, July 7, 2018


"Blueprint 2",  14" X 11"   Lori LaBerge  2018

Last week the thought of using a closeup section of one piece to create another took root. "Blueprint 2" uses a sketch of the layout of city buildings and overlaps them with lines that depict interior spaces. Here is how the studio process worked:

This is the closeup section used as the basis of "Blueprint 2". It shows how you can start with a section of one work and develop something totally different in a finished artwork.

This work was hooked as the foundation to be painted over. Values and hue were taken into account to fit with the completed work and how the paint would affect the colors. If you look closely at the finished work you can see this structure as the underlayer.

The paint starts to be applied. A division of a gray and blue section was decided upon representing both the city and the idea of a blueprint.

Various blues and grays continue to be applied.

The cityscape is finished and it is time for the blueprint lines to be painted over the top.

The finished work to be matted and framed.

Friday, June 29, 2018


"Urban Adobe",  40" x 30"  acrylic on unstretched canvas, Lori LaBerge  2018

"Urban Adobe" developed from adobe style homes seen on a trip out west. I love the little alleyways between buildings. The earthy colors of places like Taos combined with the pale blues and pinks more reminiscent of California, result in an unexpected color combination. The canvas was left unstretched and hangs like a tapestry.

Sections were taped off to create clean edges. A regular house painting brush was used along with a credit card edge, palette knife and paper towels rubbed into paint.

Underpainting was used to create a base layer of color. This color can be seen through the topcoat. Rather than use one color overall for the underpainting, various colors were used in different areas. Here red sienna and brown are used.

Above shows the final effect after the peach paint was applied over the brown/red paint and tape was removed.

The close-up shows a section of the central building area. The gray and peach areas have the strongest variance in value of colors between undercoating and topcoat emphasizing their importance as part of the focal point. I may look at this crop as a possible painted textile piece to be developed in the future.

Saturday, June 23, 2018


"Blueprint"  14" X 11"  Lori LaBerge  2018

While continuing research and reading on architecture I began to think about planning considerations. How does our lifestyle fit a house plan? What barriers or non-barriers do we want between rooms? What kind of relationship to the outdoors do we want? Does where we live ( we have mudslides in the mountains, my daughter deals with earthquakes in California) entail stronger structural considerations? The list goes on and is allowing me to develop new ideas.

"Blueprint" is based on a "what's inside" idea. The print itself is front and center surrounded by exterior building shapes.

original blueprints

I came across the blueprints of our house while searching through boxes. There are such wonderful memories of the excitement surrounding the building process.

The above were ideas we planned out on the computer while working with our architect and builder. These will be used for future blueprint textile designs. 

I searched out my son's old Lego collection. Why not have some fun? An afternoon was spent sorting some of the blocks by color and shape, then placing them together as I went along. More ideas for future art came about from a fun, relaxing, playful afternoon.

Play with your art. Think like a child. Go leaf, rock or sea shell hunting then place them in unusual arrangements. Use methods that are not your norm. Try collage, pencil rubbings, crayons, wooden blocks, finger paints, felt shapes, etc. Anything goes!

Saturday, June 16, 2018


We spent some time at Biltmore this week for my husband's birthday. While there we took in the Chihuly glass exhibit on the grounds. Dale Chihuly is an icon in the glass and art world. Enjoy the sites below and take in the exhibit showing through October 7 at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina if you get the chance. This exhibit will make anyone's day a bit brighter.

Close-up of Sole D'oro by Dale Chihuly consisting of over 1200 pieces of glass

 Float Boat by Dale Chihuly

 Neodymium Reeds by Dale Chihuly

Fiori Boat by Dale Chihuly

Paintbrush Tower by Dale Chihuly

Cattails and Copper Birch Reeds by Dale Chihuly

I also took in one of the gift shops and look forward to relaxing with some wine, reading and DVD watching tomorrow.

Chihuly's Pendletons, Chihuly's Hotshop, Chihuly on Paper and Chihuly's Cylinders

Saturday, June 9, 2018


"Gallery View 2"  11" X 14"  Lori LaBerge  2018

While I worked with realism in art studio classes in college, I always enjoyed the modern. There is something about breaking things down to basic shapes that fascinates me. I enjoy the relationships, the mystery of finding something new, the experience of figuring out what the artist is trying to get across to the viewer while showing so little. 

"Gallery View  2" has been broken down to shapes from a downtown city scene. It is overall calm with the pink adding a bit of excitement. The pink area also leads one to the focus of the "painting" on the wall. The windows of surrounding buildings are left out, avoiding distractions. There is a feeling of the viewer being on their own, the only one viewing the scene.

The relationships in this work are built through the use of line. There are distinct places throughout where one line passes through multiples points of the work. The red lines below show some of these spots.

The line over to the far left starts at the edge of the dark shape up through the edge of the yellow shape and on to the edge of another dark shape. The horizontal line has the top of the right section of yellow lined up with the top of the light gray shape on the right. Two lines meet at the top of the bright green on the upper right and so on. These relationships hold the piece together as one. 

A study of masterworks will show multiple relationships of line when studied. Another way to study line is through looking at the work of master photographers. Annie Liebovitz places her subjects so various lines meet. (Ex. the profile of one figure may be lined up with the arm of another, making a diagonal line for the viewer to follow). The use of line covers all styles of art.

While not clearly seen from a distance, approaching the work shows how bright yellow was introduced throughout the duller yellow and a green with a glow to it was used to pair with the yellow. This adds a bit of a payoff to the viewer when they look closer. 

Above is the book on the nightstand this week. The author speaks of breaking work down to its basic elements. It is a study from Turner and his start of moving toward reducing elements, through Mondrian, Rothko and others. The book questions how we view art through the brain process. The more a work is broken down, the less it resembles reality and the more creative we become when attempting to interpret it. How do we comprehend this breakdown? If there is no familiar landscape how does the brain interpret the art? Do we try to make the unfamiliar fit into the familiarity of our own world? A fascinating read.

Saturday, May 26, 2018


"Between the Lines"  7" X 10" (11"x 14" as shown matted) LaBerge  2018

I worked a bit with paint, colored pencils, canvas, thread, upholstery and cotton this week. An architectural painting was done on a 4" x 4" piece of canvas using acrylic and colored pencil.

Upholstery fabric was pieced together and the painted canvas was stitched over with a turquoise thread. 

A striped piece of cotton was then stitched on top of one side of the upholstery fabric.

The edges of the canvas were left raw. This along with the pieced upholstery and stitched cotton reflect the process of constructing buildings. A large amount of work goes into the time between the start of construction and a finished building leading to the title "Between the Lines". The completed work is now ready for framing.