Saturday, May 13, 2017


As yet untitled sketch for artwork created while looking at rooftops,  Lori LaBerge  2017

Some of my recent work has consisted more and more of triangular shapes.Three recent sketches include the form. It was interesting to work on how the triangles relate to each other and the shapes around them. The rectangular bar entering from the right breaks into the bottom of the larger triangle creating depth. The smaller triangle could be viewed as abutting the triangle with the circle or could merely be seen as a section of a triangle peeking out from behind it. 

 as yet untitled sketch for artwork,  Lori LaBerge  2017

The above sketch was also based on buildings and skyline. Trying to avoid depth in the final artwork would be difficult. The sketch, in similarity to the first sketch, already appears to have depth due to overlapping shapes.

as yet untitled sketch for artwork,  Lori LaBerge  2017

The work above was developed from trees in various yards. The straight lines are a division of property. Variance of triangle shapes add interest while color and hooking direction will add more to the work as it develops. The line lengths need to be varied more.

 Architecture makes extensive use of isosceles and equilateral triangles due to their strength.  Each of a triangle's sides act as support for the other sides.

While in Scotland a few years ago we visited the Star Pyramid near Stirling Castle. The pyramid consists of four triangular sides made of sandstone. There are marble bible pages on each side and the structure is sometimes referred to as the Martyr's Pyramid. A chamber was created inside the pyramid before it was completed where a Bible and the Confession of Faith (the beliefs of the Reformed church) were placed.

 A ceiling forming both isosceles(above and below center) and equilateral triangles (on sides)

Two triangular rooftops at either end of a structure

If you wish to explore triangles and architecture more, enjoy some amazing examples by scrolling through Yellowstone  here.

Saturday, May 6, 2017


In progress work,  "Intersection",  14" X 14" Lori LaBerge  2017

There is still a little tweaking, but hooking on "Intersection" is done. A metal bar will be placed across the top and a decision will be made whether or not to place metal over the light orange-yellow. 

The work is based on a sketch done looking down on an intersection glowing with sunlight. To portray the spot where light was shining the lt. yellow/orange values and the lt. gray values were placed next to each other, bringing the eye directly to these areas. The light area was then surrounded by gradually darkening grays.

The wool colors behind the orange-yellow and green consisted of black, two dark grays, four medium grays and three lt. grays.

The work consists of values, much as nature does.  

While taking daily breaks from the studio, I couldn't help but notice the abrupt changes occurring in the landscape.
Bright whites and a touch of red among the green on one day led to...

the whites perishing and orange arriving a few days later.

I thought about how the contrast of the white against the green creates a wonderful contrast and how a few days later one would need to use some imagination to visualize the same effect.  The diagonal triangular shape of the white could lead to an interesting abstract piece.

Saturday, April 29, 2017


In progress work of "Sunrise, Sunset"   Lori LaBerge 2017

Ten shadows measuring 6" X 6" each have been hooked. They now need edge finishing and will be stitched to industrial felt. They will measure 11" X 14" each when completed.

It was not until I began working with plein air studies that I became fascinated with shadows. I did not want to portray them as realistic works. I pictured them as abstract works, important as themselves and not necessarily related to the specific object creating the shadow.

The abstract presentation allows the viewer to imagine what the object was that created the shadow. Some of the squares were created from outdoor sketches and others were chosen from photos I had taken.

Section to be included in "Sunrise, Sunset",  Lori LaBerge  2017

The more I explore grids the more I like the idea of creating multiple small works that are meant to be hung together. This is like gestalt theory where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. These small works become more intriguing to me when placed together. What are their relationships? 

Another question that arises is whether placement matters or not. I believe it does. The squares may be changed from the arrangement above, or they may not. When the work is in the final stages I will decide which pieces will be placed next to others.

Section to be included in "Sunrise, Sunset",  Lori LaBerge  2017

It is important to take photos of work. It gives you another look at what you are creating. The first thing I noticed in the photo of the ten together was that the first two on the top look like a continuation of each other, as do the first bottom two.  Do I want that to happen? If so, why do the others break from that mold? I do like the two cream color works being placed as the first and the tenth works, as if they frame in the rest of the work. 

I will be discussing this subject during the plein air class at Green Mtn. Rug School in June.

Go ahead and explore some shadows, take photos, make sketches and think about their shapes.

Saturday, April 22, 2017


Wool drying after a dyeing demonstration by Nancy Parcels

Finally home after two and a half weeks on the road. The weekend before last was spent in West Virginia at Susan Feller's annual Retreat in the Mountains. We worked, hooked, shared and laughed. 

Everyone participated in sharing an interest. Some topics were yoga, movement, making a footstool, color planning in a dyepot (results in photo above), information on Penland School of Craft, hooking with velvet , TED talks on creativity, a TIGHR video and much more. The interests of group members are varied and many.

This was the 10th anniversary of the Retreat. Congratulations and thank you to Susan for all the work she puts into this. 

Here are some of the rugs worked on or shared over the weekend:

by Brenda Reed

by Shirley Hairston

by Deb Smith

in progress work by Karen Larsen

by Patti Burr

by Myra Davis

by Randi Cohen

by Nancy Parcels

in progress work by Beth Zerweck-Tembo

There were many more projects both in progress and completed. Next year promises many more.

Saturday, April 1, 2017


A 29" X 32" quilt I designed and completed in Martha Clippinger's "Intuitive Geometries" class at Penland. Thanks for the red stripe fabric, Martha!

There is always something special about Penland. This week was spent in a textile class. We learned to put planning aside and work intuitively  It took a while for me to feel comfortable as I usually design everything ahead of time. By the afternoon of the second day it seemed like everyone was in full swing with projects growing and mistakes being turned into amazing work. Here's a photo journey of the week:

Beautiful moss covered steps greet visitors on their way to the supply store.

A mountain view was visible from our work tables.

Stitched projects hung from clothlines in the workroom.

Projects were placed on the design wall for study.

Some students worked on large projects.

There was an informal exhibit of work at the end of the week so we could all visit and learn about the other classes.

A close-up of part of the display by the engraving class taught by Pierce Healy.

The engraving class even made their own tools!

The masonry class, led by Joe Dinwiddie worked on building a stone wall and stairway.

Close-up of stair area

The wall even provided a place to store your moonshine.  After all, this is North Carolina.

After returning home, I found a great spot for the quilt.

We couldn't have had a better group of people working together.  A special shout out to Martha and Ann who worked to make this class informative, fun and a truly memorable experience.

Sunday, March 26, 2017


 "Into the Gray"   24" X 12",  Lori LaBerge  2017

This week hooked work was completed on "Into the Gray". It veers a bit into the world of surreal art. While the bowls are expected shapes, the bright green arrow is out of place in a still life scene. Why is it there? The piece was developed from a shadow that I turned into an arrow before having a solid idea of what it meant to me. I spoke a bit about this in the March 11 post here.

I have always liked the unexpected, which may explain my love of anything with drawers or locks. It is the mystery of what may be inside that intrigues me. The unknown is always more interesting than the known for me.

Surreal work lends itself to dream states and unconscious expression. Usually the first artist that comes to peoples' mind is Salvador Dali. My favorite surreal artist is Rene Magritte. Ah, yes, those bowler hats that keep showing up.

Close-up,  "Into the Gray"   Lori LaBerge   2017

A close-up shows the textures used in the background. This reminds me of the impressionists and how they used short brush strokes of color close to each other to create the sense of another color. The yellow and turquoise threads in one of the background textures tends to make one see the color as soft green-yellow which sets a nice background for the bright green arrow color. The duller mint green adds contrast.

I start a class in geometry and quilting at Penland tomorrow. Supplies are ready to go!  I'm hoping to learn some new ways to work with geometric shapes and apply that knowledge to rug hooking while meeting others with similar interests. I will write more on the class next week.

Saturday, March 11, 2017


"GeoNight"  diptych, 13" X 10" each,  Lori LaBerge  2017

The second section of "GeoNight" was hooked. It is based on a plein air study focusing on geometric shapes. Shadows, the moon and trees became diagonals, circles and triangles. All art is based on the abstract. If you get the chance to watch a plein air artist work notice how many of them paint out an abstract drawing on their canvas before beginning the painting process.

When learning to draw figures the body is broken down into oval, rectangles, cylinders and boxes to produce the form. The decision to be made is whether to keep a work abstract or to progress toward realism. 

 "Into the Gray"  in progress  24" X 12",   Lori LaBerge  2017

The work above was titled "Unstill Life" when it was in the design process. As I worked out color planning, it became "Into the Gray". I am thinking there are just so many gray areas in life. The more I studied the work the more it spoke to me about trying to organize and how we like to place things and sometimes people in specific categories. The two bowls represent where ideas on different groupings could be stored with the arrow seeming to bring more of those ideas into the gray bowl.

It also brings into account that the road series relates not just to the physical roads we travel, but the emotional roads.

I've been a big Sean Scully fan for years. There is something quite mesmerizing about his use of stripes.  Layers of paint invite exploration. I spent quite a while looking at his work "Red Durango" at the Ackland Gallery at UNC Chapel Hill. To sit down and read his thoughts, influences and lectures leads to a deeper understanding of his work.

Art Exercise--
Think about the titles of works. How do they relate to the visual? If you create your own work do you title it in the design phase or after it is done? If you title it before how does this affect the way you approach the work? Do you bother to title work at all?