Saturday, December 28, 2013


I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!  We had a wonderful holiday and since I have a hard time staying away from the sketchbook, there was even time to work out a new design.

"Light in the City" design phase  27 X 36  Lori LaBerge  2013

This piece will continue the abstract "Road Series" of work.  It will be the tenth in the series and I am not sure how many will complete the grouping. 

The design started with a rough sketch:

I enjoyed working on "Coastal Route", an earlier work which consisted of small squares. This piece follows that idea.  A metal bar will be placed over the piece where the top quarter ends.

Color was added.  The square on the upper right on the sketch was halved in size which added more interest and fit the composition better.  The large rectangle led to the title of the work as it will represent a traffic light.  The smaller blocks make reference to city blocks and buildings.

Color was changed as the brick red wasn't working for me.  The division of color allows the eye to travel throughout the piece better than the single red color did.  

The final design as shown at the beginning of this post.  White lines were added indicating travel routes and dots were added to more easily visualize how the washers, which will be used over the large rectangular section, will look.  Next on the list is ordering more wool and linen!

While I did not work on any plein air hooking this past week, there were some new works placed on the Plein Air Hooking Artists site before the holidays.  See them here.  I was lucky enough to receive these from my daughter:

Wonderful warm fingerless gloves and a hand warmer.  What better to have when hooking out in the cold.

Whatever your interests (my Dad has found his knack for cooking during retirement), enjoy the creative process and have a great day.


Yes, sheetrock is up and completed.  This weekend will consist of priming the ceiling and walls.  Final inspection should come soon. 

A view from front to back of studio.  Appliances are still waiting to be placed.

View from back to front of studio.

Workshop area, opposite studio area, where a garage door will be placed for easily moving table saws and other larger equipment in and out.

Long storage area between workshop and studio.  For storing picture frames, packing boxes, etc. 

Saturday, December 14, 2013


It's the time of year when the chill in the air reminds us of the coming winter.  So far, we've only had a few flurries.  Looking at the trees in the woods brought me to thoughts of the holidays and the chance to work on my first winter plein air piece.

"Winter's Dance"  4 X 6  Lori LaBerge  2013

There is something about winter trees that makes me feel relaxed and peaceful. The majority have lost their leaves and there is a chance to view the structure.

 A foggy morning brings a sense of eerieness to this tree (or maybe it was the coyotes howling) with bottom branches on the left appearing ready to collapse.  I love the imperfection of it.

The tree second from left has broken off, leaving it feeling lonely among its taller neighbors.

Interesting to see how one branch fell into the nook of another forming an "X", as if it tried to break its fall.

The lone color left in the woods on the side of our driveway.  A lovely orange against the grey blue sky behind it.

So often we forget about the bottom portion of a tree and how it grows.  The roots here are reaching out in all different directions and blend into the pine needles beneath it.

I also worked on starting the hooking on "White Collar" this week:

"White Collar" in progress,  16 X 20 Lori LaBerge  2013

I've decided to take next week off from blogging to enjoy the holidays.  Those of you who have been reading regularly know how I love the lectures offered through The Great Courses. They have a new course on creativity (so it is on sale) and I downloaded it yesterday.  I can't wait to heat up some hot chocolate, hit the couch, turn on the computer and listen to a professor talk about imagination and developing ideas.

Creativity has always fascinated me and I received two posts this week that show the results of a creative mind.  Please check out:

Susan Feller's post on her grouping of November studies.  Notice the variety of materials she employed and how she approached her subjects.  Very informative and inspiring.

Patricia Winans post on her solo show.  Her subjects range from traditional to abstract to mixed-media.  She also wrote a beautiful piece that expresses how similar peoples' experiences are.

A very Merry Christmas to all! 

Saturday, December 7, 2013


While working on "Blue Collar" I was contemplating the thought of a companion "White Collar" piece.  I developed a multitude of ideas for the "Blue Collar" project while it took longer to develop the "White Collar" design.  Perhaps because I veer toward industrial design.  After a walk in the woods I started fresh.

 This was the easy part.  The piece had to match the size of the first work which was 16 X 20.   There was some brainstorming done as to what items relate to a white collar worker.   

I decided on an office building as a background and used this photo taken in Asheville, NC to start the design process.

The photo was then simplified through both drawing with Photoshop and using available effects.  Drawing on the computer is just like drawing on paper  with the use of a wacom tablet.  It can take getting used to drawing on the pad and seeing the drawing appear on the computer screen.  I painted over the center section as it will be used to hang a men's tie.  I will create a header on the top of the hooked work which will be collaged with newspaper depicting stock market numbers.

 I do not trace a design onto the linen.  I always draw the design free hand onto the backing.  This just seems to work out better for me as I do not have a light table and it can be difficult to see through the linen to the drawing beneath.  This method gives me a better feel for the design itself.

Here the design is ready for the hooking to start.  Not only is the computer in the background used for design, it plays some pretty good music.  Work, like life, is just not the same without music. 

  Colors were chosen.  I wanted the grays to be herringbone, like a man's suit, to go along with the white collar theme and give a business like feel.  The piece will be predominantly various whites hooked together.  I found a bright white yarn in a box and may mix this in with the wool fabric as it is nearly impossible to get a bright white wool fabric.

Earlier in the week, when running into problems with the design process I went for a walk in the woods.  We live on ten acres and the wooded section has some nice open areas. Its amazing how a walk can clear your mind. Here are some shots from my morning out.

This pine cone found a cozy home as it fell among pine needles nestled in the deteriorating section of a fallen tree.

The weather is starting to take its toll on plant life as flowering sections begin to fall in preparation for winter.

The homes of all sorts of creatures can be found both above and below.

There was still color to be found but it, like the leaves. will soon be gone.

Enjoy a walk in the woods, or simply around the neighborhood, clear your thoughts and have a great day.