Saturday, September 16, 2017


"Concrete Blue"  14" X 11",  Lori LaBerge  2017

We took daily walks while visiting California. One day we passed a bright blue building. It stayed in my mind not only due to the color, but also the angle on top. I drew a sketch on scrap paper that night and transferred it to a sketchbook upon returning home.

The challenge was to make an interesting composition out of the scene. It is all about relationships to lead the eye to the white and blue areas. The red lines above show how the top and bottom of the lilac wall section are angled to lead to the bottom of the white rectangle. The top of the light rust section leads to the top of the blue wall. The area on top where gold and green meet leads down to the left side of the white.

The lighter values form a sideways "Y" shape leading to and framing the blue building while the darker values are laid out in a triangular format. A curve at the top breaks up use of straight lines. 

Frank Lloyd Wright said, "Architecture is the scientific art of making structures express ideas". I am led to think about how the 2D abstraction of architectural forms should be approached. In reviewing some of my sketches, there is a depiction of the relationship between the focal point of the work and the shapes around it. The question then becomes "How do those shapes enhance the focus?"

Saturday, September 9, 2017


While in Greensboro last week, in addition to the fiber art exhibit we had a chance to view exhibits on display at the GreenHill Center for NC Art, located in the same building. Here is a short tour:

"Quintet in Harmony" by Murry Handler

Murry Handler created an interactive work which was drawing attention. The panels slide giving the viewer an opportunity for experimentation in creating their own version and interpretation of the work. I enjoyed speaking with Handler as he is cordial, well versed in the arts and speaks from his heart. He creates abstract pieces at his studio in Pittsboro, NC. A Fall Open Studio will be taking place on September 24. Visit with Murry and his art if you are in the area.

"Blue and Green Bin 2" by Kirk Fanelly

Fanelly's work consisted of inlaid cut paper on panel. There were two other works alongside this one. The compositions drew the eye around each and the opportunity to look closely at the inlay work was fascinating.

Two works by Katie St. Clair

St. Clair creates works using collage, dye, spray paint, gesso and other materials and techniques. There was a sense of depth in these abstract landscapes that just made me want to enjoy the experience of falling into them. 

Work by Renzo Ortega

Renzo Ortega was a featured artist on exhibit. His work focuses on community and the experience of immigrants along with displacement. There were larger works on canvas along with groupings of smaller pieces and installation work. Seeing his work led me to reflect upon my own experiences.

"Traffic" by Renzo Ortega

"Displacements- Detroit Series 1-7" by Renzo Ortega

One of "Displacements- Detroit Series" works by Renzo Ortega

Along with the message of the Displacement Series, the paint technique drew me in. The textures were plentiful and I found myself looking for hidden meanings in the backgrounds. Liked these a lot.

Saturday, September 2, 2017


"The Climb" and "Detour".  Two of five of my works on display at CVA Gallery

Last night was the opening of and reception for "Cut and Dyed: a fiber arts exhibition". The exhibit is on display at the CVA Gallery in Greensboro, NC until November 10. CVA is located in the Greensboro Cultural Center building.  It promotes the arts, provides education and reaches out to the community in addition to holding exhibitions. 

This is the first time I have shown work in the Greensboro area and I could not have asked for a better experience. Do stop by if you are in the area. Enjoy some views from the show:

A view into the gallery

Art greets all from the entry.  "Side Streets 2" is on the far wall.

"Hambridge Meadow" by Joyce Watkins King

"My Hank Shook (after Rockwell) by Ellen Kelly-Bryan

"Ain't that some shit!" by Ann Tilley

"Geometric" by Jerry O'Donnell

"Hammered Enamored" by Ann Tilley

"Shirtwaist Waste: Landfill Slice" by Joyce Watkins King

Friday, August 25, 2017


"Downtown"  14" X 11",  Lori LaBerge  2017

Completed this week, "Downtown" gives the viewer a cool relaxing entrance of blues and greens leading into a warmer orange/yellow which is more action oriented and has the meaning of intellect, happiness and success. The bright colors lend an optimistic feeling. It is a place I would love to enter.

Framing for it will be discussed and completed in the next month before it is sent off to its new home, an office space in Los Angeles.

"Among the Blue"  14" X 11",  Lori LaBerge  2017  acrylic on canvas

I am creating a group of painting studies experimenting with various textures and techniques. This work is as if one is standing on a balcony, the lower section of diagonal across the piece, looking out upon the tops of city buildings.

More work was delivered to CVA Gallery in Greensboro, NC. Five of my works will be showing from September 1-November 10 in "Cut and Dyed: A Fiber Arts Exhibition". The reception will be September 1 from 6pm-9pm. The gallery is a strong promoter of arts in the community.

Saturday, August 19, 2017


 Untitled work in progress  14" X 11"  Lori LaBerge  2017

Another work was started this week based on downtown Los Angeles. This piece has a larger variety of shapes than my two previous architectural works leading to more color decisions. Colors were chosen to represent the feel of being near the water with a variety of light, dark, mottled, mixed and abrashed wool used.

The photo shows how values are dispersed so far. The darker values are around the edges and will continue to the left edge to form a U shape surrounding the lighter values, which are in the center and will continue to the upper area.

We drove over to Greensboro to deliver artwork and happened upon an exhibit of Richard Fennell's works at Greenhill.  I had a wonderful time exploring his use of brushstrokes and color. The works invite you into their world.

 Works by Richard Fennell at Greenhill exhibit

Works by Richard Fennell at Greenhill exhibit

One of my favorites.  I love the way this house was half hidden lending a sense of mystery. Work by Richard Fennell at Greenhill exhibit

Saturday, August 12, 2017


"Urban Blush"  11" X 14"   Lori LaBerge  2017

This week's work keeps with my love of roadways and architecture while lending itself to a variety of interpretations. 

The repetition of the red sections, the black partial circles, the gray color, curves, straight lines and diagonals keep my eye moving throughout the piece. There is quite a bit going on yet it retains its simplicity. The bottom of the white half circle comes close to the edge, creating slight tension. The red also adds tension, yet the analogous color scheme created by the addition of pink creates a sophistication which is amplified by the neutrality of gray, black and white.

Los Angeles

"Urban Blush" brought back the sense of both excitement and sophistication I feel when I visit cities. There is so much to see and it is a struggle at times to take it all in. Excitement abounds in all the activity and sophistication shows itself in the architectural surroundings. It is a different feeling from the humble architecture and quieter lifestyle found in rural areas. "Urban Blush" definitely contains the city feeling.

We often walk through town in the evenings. The other day we found this:

A painted rock was sitting on top of a larger one. The local areas are participating in a painted rock find. You find a rock, can keep it or place it elsewhere, and paint a rock to place somewhere in town for someone else to find.

Painted rock,  Lori LaBerge  2017, done for painted rock find in Spruce Pine.

Above is the rock I painted. It will be placed somewhere downtown on our next walk. Bright colors were used to attract local kids to art and a metal washer was glued on top much as I stitch washers to my textile work. I am hoping to see a lot of children participate in this project. This is being done in various places throughout the U.S. 

Saturday, July 29, 2017


Work in progress,  14" X 11"  Lori LaBerge  2017

A title for this work has not been decided on yet. It is based on city buildings. The white half circle developed from the shape on top of one of the doors on a building, though I placed it sideways. The black circle was divided into 2/3 on the right and 1/3 on the left.

The textured gray section has bits of red running through it to play off of the red sections of the work. There is a bright turquoise and a duller turquoise running through it, also. This gives the gray a bluer look overall. It works well with the red and I'll see how it works once the pink is added.

The idea was drawn out in a sketchbook. There are plenty of erasures before I get to something workable. The photo shows where I had originally placed a triangle in the back. If I think a composition is headed in the right direction, even if future changes may be needed, a check mark is placed next to it.

 Color planning on work,  Lori LaBerge  2017

Photoshop was used to work with color planning. A left section of the black was added to the original sketch along with an angle on the bottom gray.  I wanted to repeat the angle from the red for more cohesion. This will be added to the hooking as I work.

The piece reminds me a bit of mid-century modern design with the bold shapes and wild colors. Mid-century modern was set from approximately the 1940's to the 1960's. It focused on graphic design and included furniture and architectural designs. It was a time when pop art and other ideas were developing. 

Enjoy some wild mid-century artwork and color by clicking here. It may bring back some memories if you were born in the 50's or 60's.