Thursday, April 12, 2018

CREATING BY SPEAKING WITH YOUR WORK


  "Orange Mint"  11" X 14"  Lori LaBerge  2018

We've been on the road the last couple of weeks, but I have been working. This piece uses repetition. Three curves (2 partial circles and the upper left) and multiple diagonal lines. There are two whites, blacks, greens and oranges. A bit of shadow play uses the dark orange and dark green. The cityscape is implied but avoids realism.

New sketches were created with the idea for "Orange Mint" on the middle right.


I am reading "You Say to Brick", a biography of architect Louis Kahn written by Wendy Lesser.

The title is Kahn's reference to his method of talking to materials and asking them what they want to become. I am finding myself attempting to apply this method by looking at a design sketch and saying "Okay sketch, what colors would you like to have? What would you like to convey?" It is a bit odd at first, almost as if you are giving up control. It is not necessarily what you want the sketch to be when turned into a textile work (after all, as artists we can be a bit self involved), but what it wants to be. 

I like Kahn's way of thinking about what a material or design wants rather than what it needs.

"Industrial Park" in progress  Lori LaBerge  2018

Another work titled "Industrial Park" (in progress) was developed from the sketches made. The original vertical rectangle was changed to a half circle. The design basically said "I want to be an industrial park (this developed the title) and I want a half circle with a curve like the top of the blue and yellow sections have. Because industrial parks can have dull colors, make my half circle bright red."

Without using Kahn's method, I may have made the yellow door like section the focus by using a brighter color or more contrast against the blue. This may have worked, but I look forward to seeing how that red works when the piece is completed. Well, with Kahn's method I know who's boss and it seems to be the art itself.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

COLLAGE EXPLORATIONS: THE GOOD AND THE BAD

"Red on the Hill"  10" X 8"  collage on paper,  Lori LaBerge 2018

While searching for art on Netflix, I was lucky enough to find the documentary "Eva Hesse". Parts of her diary are read and it explores her doubts. She questions her work, should she continue, what would happen if she did not, how could she make her work better, feeling stuck, etc. It explores what all of us feel at one time or another.

Hesse's friendship with Sol Lewitt and his letters to her struck a note with me. He tells her to explore, to make terrible work, to create nonsensical work and to forget about others opinions (basically, "F--- Them." He mentions not letting your own ideas hold you back. He gets down to the idea of just making work whether it is good or not.

Another take was Hesse's comments on the longevity of her work. She really didn't care, it was the art in the moment that mattered and up to museums to worry about any deterioration of work. This made me think about how maybe art is in the moment, maybe it is not meant to last. It may be meant to move forward with the new.

"Cavern"  10" X 8"  Time spent exploring organic shapes ending in compositional problems

While "Red on the Hill" shown at the top of the post is worthy of framing, I'm not seeing "Cavern" as anywhere near that level. I see the former as the good and the latter as the bad. Too many compositional problems. (I'll give myself a break as it was 3 a.m.) There are, however some interesting sections to it. I decided to rotate the work, exploring the colors and shapes,looking for what I may be able to use in future pieces.


When the work was turned upside down, I liked the idea of what appears to be lightning created by the white edges of ripped paper. The colors work well together and the L-shape created by the blue, green and black frames the red. (Note how the thicker L-shape is created in "Red on the Hill" by the greens and pink).

"Red on the Hill" was started with a clear idea, while "Cavern" was not. For me, this makes a difference in the outcome of a work. I don't need a full design in mind, but an idea helps me to move forward. With "Cavern" the idea never really developed and the thought of a cavern didn't hit me until it was finished. The piece may have been better had I come to that idea sooner.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

SMALLER WORK AND DECISIONS TO BE MADE

 
"Yellow Door"  10" X 8" framed,  Lori LaBerge  2018

Work needs to be delivered to galleries this coming week and I have found that it helps to have a variety of sizes and price points. Smaller pieces tend to go faster and it is time to build up more inventory on that front. 

"Yellow Door" brings back memories of walking to school where every morning I passed an old storage building with a yellow door.  The work has kept a bit of the industrial mood with the gray behind the yellow.


The decision phase has arrived with the 48" x 48" piece being worked on during weekends. It has finally been titled as "Construction Quad" in reference to the four architectural scenes in the center. 

A side bar will be placed to the left of the piece. I sketched out a few options on Photoshop to help with the decision phase:


All the options contain the basic designs of the four squares, minus the circles and stripes for a simpler feel. This option has wooden shapes placed on a dark gray background. I like the colored bar through it, but have to contemplate how it affects the shapes on either side.


This option does away with the bar and places two colors on the backing board. There is no interruption of the design.


The last option has more color with the two-color backing and a third color breaking up the work. The pink section is also longer than the backing board.

I will continue to look these over in the coming week to see what develops.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

"NIGHT SWIM" TEXTILE ART

"Night Swim"  14" X 11"  Lori LaBerge  2018

Maybe its just the winter blues (another storm due this weekend), but I have been dreaming of water lately. Reading books about water, watching TV shows about water and making art about water have taken up this past week. There is something relaxing about it.

I read:

This book was picked up at an airport. It is the story of friendship, secrets kept, and the effect loss has on us. It is a fast read perfect for an afternoon on the couch. 


A great coffee table book for those who love architecture. It speaks of how the placement of a house, by the water, affects the design process. Photos of homes that fit their surroundings perfectly.

I watched:


While flipping through Netflix shows, I came across Charlie Luxton's Homes by the Sea. This is a total binge watch for me. Luxton is an architect and designer who takes viewers on a tour of homes near the water, visits with owners and finds locations to sketch his own ideas out. There was a saying a while back to the extent that Britain may have rainy days and bland food but they have kick-ass TV. Love that! Their shows are so well done.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

"SUNRISE" TEXTILE ART


"Sunrise"  63" X 11"  Lori LaBerge  2018

The hooked sections of this work were done a while back. Rather than rush into a project, I set them aside to decide how they would be used. This week was spent stitching various hardware and embellishments onto them. The hooked sections were then stitched to industrial felt.

When walking by construction sites, I think about the long day those workers have. They are often up at sunrise and continue until the sun sets. The works are shadows of sections of buildings and were developed through both sketches and photographs. 


All of the hardware and embellishments are meant to relate to the construction process. They include: sleeve swivels to represent plumb lines, washers, nuts, threaded connectors. A large washer and oval jewelry parts, representing the start of the day, are on the second section.

Here is photo shown in a previous post of the design idea:


The second row will be called "Sunset".

A thank you to Linda Rae Coughlin and Rug Hooking Magazine. An article on my work is in the current March/April/May issue. If you have an interest in rug hooking, this is the best magazine to subscribe to with informative information for beginners to advanced rug hookers and wool dyers. (The last square in the above photo was created separately as "Silhouette 1" and is pictured in the magazine article, another square with the same design will be hooked to be used as the last section of "Sunset".)

Saturday, February 24, 2018

COMPOSITION IN "EVENING MINT" TEXTILE ART


"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

PAINTED TEXTILE


"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.