Saturday, August 29, 2015


"Bridging the Gap"  Lori LaBerge  2015

Someone once said that a piece of art is never finished until it is sold.  I am finding this to be very true lately as I add to, subtract from or alter pieces I am working on.

This week "Bridging the Gap" was framed and the two pieces connected with metal bars. The original plan was to have the "bridge" go straight across.  As I was connecting the two sections, I really liked the shift that was created by pushing the smaller piece upward.  The work is movable so the pieces may be shifted up and down at various angles.  I enjoy the idea of someone being able to alter this piece to their liking and not necessarily to my intention or point of view.

This thought led me to researching point of view or interpretations related to artwork.  I think art should lead us to think.  To think about artist intent, to think about how we view the artwork and how these two thoughts are or are not related and why.  To think about art we simply enjoy for the beauty of it and art we connect to due to the message it sends.  We all approach art from our own past experiences.  What may mean something to one person may have no bearing whatsoever on another.  

When I find myself viewing a piece of artwork I don't understand I often ask myself what I am missing about the artist's intent or what I personally could derive from viewing the work. 

The majority of artwork I have collected is because it said something to me.

"Shadows in the Alley" by Bruce Docker
This is a piece I just had to have the minute I saw it.  The architectural lines and my love of old buildings drew me to it.  There is a bit of mystery with what is lurking in the alleyway.  What awaits when you enter places that few people go?

 Hooked vessel by Molly Colegrove
The hand shapes attracted me to this work.  It is almost as it they are reaching for something they can't quite get to.  There are six hands, each touching another at some point.  It reminds me of family and how though we are separated at times, we are still always together reaching out to each other.

 "Red" by Louise Oppenheimer
Red is such a vibrant color and yet there is the calm of floating leaves, some attached to others, some separated.  It is the calm within the excitement that draws me to this work making me believe that even in times of chaos the calm will prevail.

 "Quasimodo" by Woody Higgins
 "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" is one of my favorite novels and there is a chapter dedicated to the description of the cathedral which I've read over and over again.  There is also the view of the admiration of old architecture and the character's perception that the newly renovated cathedral does not even compare to the style the original projected.  This goes along with my own love of historic architecture.

Think about what draws you to certain works of art, determine how you could try to better understand those works you have trouble interpreting and have a great day.

Saturday, August 22, 2015


Two sections of "Bridging the Gap" in progress,  Lori LaBerge  2015

I'm finally back in the studio.  Work continued on "Bridging the Gap".  Art boards had to be created in studio as they are not standard size.  Whipping was finished, work was labelled and stitched to a wool backing then attached to the art boards.

Metal bars were painted along with the screws that will be used to attached the bars between the two sections of artwork.  The work should be completed early next week.

Last Friday was spent at Sauder Village Rug Hooking Week.  Our plein air group had a special exhibit of our work.  This was our first exhibit since the formation of the group last year.  There was quite a bit of interest in the methods we use and I gave a short talk on the exhibit to the class I taught.

Above are some students working and discussing during the class, "A Creative Approach to Creating a Series".  I really enjoyed teaching this group.  Everyone had great questions, worked hard and I was really proud of the ideas for series people came up with.  

Subjects discussed were nature sites while hiking, bees and their nests, music, medical experiences, factories, rabbits and trees, and stripes.  I saw great possibilities for building a series of work from all of these choices.  

The discussion was my favorite part.  It seems like we don't always get the chance to do this and it is great for expanding creativity, motivation and camaraderie among artists.  I look forward to seeing future work from all in this group.

We discussed taking photos of subjects that interest us and keeping a journal of color, texture, subject and other artistic interests that can be referred to for ideas.

Composition used by the masters of painting was discussed with attention to line and shape as the basics of good composition.

Get together with artist friends ( in person or over the internet), discuss or study various aspects of art and have a great day.

Sunday, August 9, 2015


"Nesting"  14" X 19 1/2", Lori LaBerge  2015

It seems like we are finding more and more hornet nests around our property. They are up in the timbers of the porch and lower down in timbers under the deck. A walk in our woods cannot be made without seeing one.  

I used soft, pale colors in hooking the lighter portion of the nest above.  This will be surrounded on one side with dark brown and on the other with a bright green, which has also been brought into portions of the nest.  The browns and greens will create a woodland background.  This work is based on a smaller plein air piece and will be part of a 2016 landscape exhibit.

A good size nest under the deck.  We found this one when my husband bounced a basketball on the deck and hornets swarmed around him.

Here a variety of dark browns are being hooked around the off whites and pale colors of the nest.  The dark colors make the nest stand out.  A dark, bright blue was used for the entry to the nest.

"By the Pasture"  graphite sketch,  Lori LaBerge  2015

I've also been doing some sketching in preparation for next year's landscape exhibit. These will be used to create hooked pieces.  Since working in plein air, I've found myself doing quite a bit more sketching than usual. The black and white of graphite sketching is a great way to study values.  I would recommend purchasing a group of graphite pencils of various softness and hardness to create different types of lines and textures.  

When sketching I rarely use the whole page.  I often leave room around the sketch to allow for adding to it or cropping it for a pleasing composition.  In this sketch I have not yet added the dark values to distinguish the shadows and separate out the trees.

Enjoy sketching this summer and fall, treat yourself to some new drawing materials, and have a great day.

Saturday, August 1, 2015


I think those of us who are artists see inspiration everywhere.  We don't sit around waiting for it, we live it.  We look at things differently and don't have a tendency to pass things by.

We're on the road for the next couple of weeks.  Here are some photos of things that made me stop and think.

This tree was all alone in a field and had the oddest shape to it.  It just said to me "why be ordinary?"

A section of a bridge as we passed under it.  There are never ending geometric shapes in bridge designs.

A deserted hotel.  The sign says "Weekly and nightly rates".   Has anyone seen the movies "Vacancy' or "Identity"?  Enough said.  I would have stopped if we had time as there were not any no trespassing signs to be seen.  Why did it end up deserted?  Who once stayed there?

How often do you spot a tepee on the road?  Triangles and stripes are right up my alley.  What about the wood sections?  Could I begin to add wood to pieces?  

When we reached Ohio, we went on a boat ride to one of the islands.  Orange life vests were roped in overhead.  They added a bright spot of color to the gray vessel.  Nylon fabric, straps, buckles, zipper and snaps. What could be done with these materials in a hooked work?

The huge boat chain in the foreground drew my attention.  An art installation using large chain may be on a list of future challenges.

A local mural along the lakeside.  Love the tall ships and the shapes of the sails.

Never let the ordinary pass you by and have a great day!