Saturday, April 20, 2013


The urge to work a little larger hit me this week.  I will be heading to Vermont on Saturday for a two week period and do not want to bring multiple pieces to work on. An 18" X 60" piece was designed, wool dyed and hooking started.  The design is based on one I had developed during a weaving class at Penland.

  "Through the Cherry Blossoms" in progress  18" X 60"  Lori LaBerge  2013

There will be alternating lilac and pink down the center strip, random white lines through the piece and various grays in light, medium and dark in the background.

hand-dyed wool

When I decided on colors, my son stated they reminded him of a cherry blossom tree.  That idea led to the title "Through the Cherry Blossoms".  The deeper pink is fairly bright, but should be fine once the grays are surrounding it.

I took a break from hooking on Friday to work on a journal activity.  A list was made of my ten favorite artists along with short notes on what I like about their work.  They are in order by time period.  

1.  Vincent van Gogh-  swirling brushstrokes with lots of texture, bold use of color in later works (around 1888) which was a change from his earlier use of duller colors. Love his paintings of buildings and was lucky enough to find a Kindle download at Amazon of 500 works for a mere $3.99.  Now I can look at photos of Van Gogh's work on my Kindle or ipad to relax in the evenings.  Heaven!

2.  Henri Matisse-  wild, happy, pure color.  Used color unrealistically as form of expression.  This had a strong influence on many of the artists who followed him.

3.  Amedeo Modigliani-  simple, elongated portraits.  There is something melancholy and intriguing about his work.  His interest in African masks can be seen in his portraits.  He portrays average people and does not attempt to make them appear regal in any way, though there is an elegance to the longer necks.

4.  Lauren Harris-  simplicity and wonderful use of shadows.  He was one of Canada's Group of Seven artists.

5.  Joseph Albers-  use of the geometric, color relations.  For those interested in how colors interact with each other, this is your guy.  It takes a great deal of dedication and discipline to work on repetitive pieces.  When you see his Homage to the Square series as a grouping, it is a breathtaking wall of color.

6. Aaron Douglas-  a clean style with the ability to create emotion even though he is using flat silhouetted figures.

7. Georgia O'Keeffe-  though known for her flower paintings, I am drawn to her buildings.  They are defined with great geometric lines.  I especially love "New York Street Moon" as, for me, it tricks the eye.  I am drawn to the sharp jagged shape of the sky area before my eyes are drawn to the shape of the buildings.  My eyes go back and forth between negative and positive space.

8.  Frank Stella-  canvases of various shapes, stripes, color, geometrics.  Not sure about his latest works, but I love those geometrics.

9.  Sean Scully-  abstraction ,stripes, stripes, stripes! and areas of color built up through layers.  Like Albers, great dedication and discipline, working with stripes for years.

10.  El Anatsui-  light and shadow created by the draping of attached items such as milk tins and bottle caps.  I can't believe the beauty he has portrayed with found objects.  He also uses wood for some pieces. 

This activity brought back college memories of art history class. Sipping on a Coke and viewing painting after painting on the huge screen in the auditorium. Those were the days! 

The internet is a wonderful source for viewing artwork.  Look up your favorite artists, determine what it is you like about their work and have a great day.

Studio Update:

The windows were finally installed this week.  Now we need to work on more roofing.

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