Sunday, July 28, 2013


"Roundabout"  20 X 20,  Lori LaBerge  2013

Metal parts were added to "Roundabout" this week.  I used clear thread, but may change this as I tend to like the made by hand feel that comes from seeing yarn attaching the metal to the fiber.  Not being patient enough to wait for the 3" washer I ordered to show up at the door, I trotted over to Lowe's again to search for something new.  

It is always interesting to see reactions when you are in the plumbing or electrical aisle, are asked if you need any help, and tell the salesperson you are just looking for items to use in an art piece.

I found the perfect 3" circular item hanging on a rack.  It is a rigid conduit locknut.  I also picked up a 3" galvanized steel floor flange because who knows when a piece may just cry out for one.  The locknut called for "Roundabout" to have a design change as it is quite a bit slimmer than the 3" washer.  The center area was filled with some nuts and a washer representing the common plants and center statue seen in many roundabouts.  The washers to the right side depict vehicles traveling the roadway and balance out the piece nicely.

Another work was started this week:

   "Coastal Route",  20 X 20, rough sketch

The wavy roadway lines sketched through the piece were changed when the design was transferred to linen as I was not happy with the presentation.  Care had to be taken where the wavy lines themselves intersect as well as where they cross with straight lines.  The wider horizontal stripe will be hooked with various shades of blue which have yet to be dyed. 

"Coastal Route" hooking started

I decided to hook randomly in each two inch square.  This is time consuming as the squares need to be kept as straight as possible.  I find myself hooking looser than I normally do to give each square a place to rest and to prevent bulging.

Placing colors in order from light to dark sounds easy.  I had some difficulty as a few of the grays I dyed were very similar.  Look at the far right column in the above photo.  Which is darker, the first or third section?  They are both blue grays, but the lower one is darker than the top one.  This led me to search for a site where you can practice this.  The site is x-rite and you can take their color challenge.  Have fun!

Look closely at the color values of objects around you, decide whether they are light, medium or dark, look at them in relation to similar colors and have a great day.


Saturday, July 20, 2013


It felt good to get home and have wool strips flowing through my fingers.  I am continuing work on the road series which is officially named "The Roads We Travel". 

 "Roundabout"  in progress,  20 X 20 Lori LaBerge  2013

The hooking is done on "Roundabout" and I am looking forward to the embellishment phase where I will be adding washers to the piece.  A trip to the local hardware stores to find a 3" washer to be placed in the center of the "roundabout" led to disappointment. 

Reverting to the internet, I found one at McMaster-Carr.  I have used this site before as it is a great source of odd materials such as heavyweight felt, screws, rivets, bolts, pipes, mesh, foam etc.  Just looking at the various items gives me ideas for projects.  When my washer arrives I will be back to working on this piece and remembering the many experiences my husband and I had driving through the multi-lane roundabouts in Great Britain.

I will be applying to an exhibit soon and found that my artist statement needed to be revamped.  This became my journal activity for the week.

An old artist statement that, quite frankly, needs to be redone.

Taking the time to write an artist statement allows for a review of where you are and where you are going with your work.  I would recommend it for all artists, whether professional or hobbyist.  When creating works there are sometimes things happening with your thoughts you do not realize until you write things down.  It can help you to find if you are focused or still experimenting with your work.

A statement takes time.  Do you want a general statement on your work or do you want to focus the statement on a particular series?  Does it flow easily?  That is, does it jump around or does one paragraph lead into the other? Is it clear and understandable to those who do not know "art speak"?

  Take the time to develop your thoughts for your statement.

Do not try to include your life story in a statement.  Personally, when writing one for myself or reading someone else's I prefer it be kept on the shorter side unless otherwise requested. Try to include how your work is done (technique, medium), how the work came about, why you are creating it, and what you hope this work accomplishes. 

Here is the 3rd pass of the statement I am working on:

Texture is a large part of my life. As a child I loved wrapping myself in the silken comforter given to me by my grandmother. Today, I revel in curling up in a warm, soft blanket and enjoying a relaxing evening. When in the studio I am surrounded by bolts of wool, rug hooks, hooking frames, packets of dye and the freedom to create.

"The Roads We Travel" series began with an exploration of everyday travel routes. This thought evolved into exploring my feelings about travel and how it affects me. Some days I spend a majority of my time on the road, other days I find myself making quick trips here and there. I drive on little traveled country roads and high-traffic city roads.

Many of the experiences I have on the road relate to my life in general. I have hit speed bumps on the roadway as well as on the road of life. I find myself making u-turns, yielding to others and, some days, traveling in circles trying to find my own personal direction.

My hope is for individuals to not just think of getting from point A to point B, but to explore how their travels pertain to their life. 

The statement should encourage others to explore your work, but not tell them how to feel about the work.  Each person may experience the work in a different way and that is what art is all about.

Explore how you feel about art you create or view, read various artist statements (everyone's idea of how one is done will vary) and have a great day.

Saturday, July 13, 2013


This continues last week's post on my visit to the Shelburne Museum. There is always something wonderful in the Textile Building and it was there that a portion of the Patty Yoder Alphabet Sheep Rugs were on exhibit. 

A fun part of this exhibit was watching children as they tried to find the alphabet letter placed in the design of each rug.  I'm sure Patty would love knowing the joy her rugs give others.

I did not write down the whole title of each when I viewed them. so I will label them by their letter. Enjoy!

"Q" by Patty Yoder

 "D" by Patty Yoder

 "G" by Patty Yoder

"O" by Patty Yoder

 "T" by Patty Yoder

"K" by Patty Yoder

"P" by Patty Yoder

"A" by Patty Yoder

"E" by Patty Yoder

"M" by Patty Yoder

"S" by Patty Yoder

"U" by Patty Yoder

Creative and artistic, these works show the strength of working in a series.  Think about what type of series you would like to see or create and have a great day.

Saturday, July 6, 2013


I am enjoying the wonderful state of Vermont. Green mountains, maple cree-mees and locally renowned Bove's spaghetti are bringing back memories from childhood.

Yesterday my husband and I hit the road and traveled over to the Shelburne Museum. On exhibit in the textiles building was "Larger Than Life", a stunning group of quilts by Velda Newman. Here is a peek at the burst of color that greeted us as we entered the exhibit.

"Zinnia" by Velda Newman

How can you not feel happiness when viewing this work. The colors, the texture and the composition combined with the size of the piece, 8' by 18', are awe-inspiring.

"Wings" by Velda Newman

Butterflies of various colors flutter along their way. I enjoy the way the bottom butterfly escapes from the frame a bit.

"Sun Kissed" by Velda Newman

Loved the texture in this one. The feeling of depth was created with paints on the fabric. 

 Close-up of "Sun Kissed" by Velda Newman.

Regretfully, I did not get the title of this piece.  By Velda Newman.

Painting was used to create the depth and roundness of the pears. The black and white upper and lower section add great drama.

"Seashells" by Velda Newman

Wonderful variety of shells in a beautiful composition. This brought back summer vacation memories of walking the beach and combing the shoreline for shells.

"Baskets" and "Catch of the Day" by Velda Newman

Beautiful use of curves and as the bottom butterfly in "Wings" escaped from the bottom frame so does one of these baskets.

The fish quilts (one more is shown below) were my absolute favorite. My dad would love this catch! They draw me right in with their eyes.

"Bass: In Your Dreams" by Velda Newman

I love the serenity of the water and the colors used in this. The fish are each going their own way and appear to be in deep water or traveling at night.

Close-up of "Bass: In Your Dreams" by Velda Newman

I hope you enjoyed sharing part of my day. I will share more from the museum next week. Enjoy all of the wonderful art in the world and have a great day.