Saturday, August 9, 2014


"Parallel",  9" X 13"  Lori LaBerge  2014

I'm having a great time working on these smaller pieces.  They are really allowing me to expand on some ideas and prepare for larger works.  They do, however, require as much care with design as larger pieces do. 

Whether working on small, large, minimal or complex, design decisions have to be made. The following takes you through some decisions I made during the week:

While the design and basic color decisions were made for ease of packing before leaving home, exact color placement was not.  This photo shows the decisions being made about the placement of various grays.  I have defined where light, medium light, medium dark and dark will go.  This was based on making sure the orange and pink were shown off to their best and did not disappear behind a similar value.

These are the various grays I packed with me.  The variety of values are important in making them work together in a piece.

These were the colors I picked out for use in "Parallel".  They are defined from each other in value.  The two center pieces of wool have blue lines while the second from top also has a bit of orange.  These were chosen to complement  the brighter orange section of the artwork.  The light and dark allow for a good contrast in the work.

 Here is the basic hooked work.  From this, decisions had to be made on what types of metal to apply.

Vermont memories brought to mind summer days of watching fishermen throw their lines from bridges into the waters of Lake Champlain.  I had fishing sinkers in my metal supply, so the decision was made to use them.  Placement of the sinkers was the next decision.  I began by simply placing them in various positions.  This one does not work for me.  The placement of the sinkers on the orange just does not move the eye correctly through the piece.  They are also too evenly placed making them a bit boring.

This placement of sinkers on the orange is much better, though still too evenly placed.  Lighter weight sinkers were placed on the narrower pink section and a larger sinker was hung from the chain.  I found the silver of the chain drawing my eye.  I did not know quite where to focus my eyes on the piece with this happening.  

This is getting better.  The two top sinkers on the orange were placed slightly closer together than the distance between the center and lower sinker creating more interest.  The chain here is a duller metal color distracting the eye a little less.  Though this could work as a piece, I did find the chain a bit heavy and perhaps disappearing a bit too much, leaving the balance feeling a bit off.

A gold colored chain with a lighter weight gave a better overall feel to the work.  Even though the gold shows up quite bright, the weight of it did not distract my eye from the focus of the orange and pink area.  Will other decisions be made when I return to the studio?  Perhaps.  I may try painting the sinkers so they show up more strongly against the backing and decide which works better.

Please check out Susan Feller's blog this week and notice the decisions she made with her latest design along with her explanation of why.  Experiment with your work, remembering that no matter how small a piece, it deserves full attention to design details and have a great day.  ***There will be no post next week as I will be on the road...again.

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