Saturday, September 26, 2015


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

The piece above was created from outdoor notes taken while viewing a hornet's nest.  I noted the temperature, lighting, colors, values, weather and surroundings. It was a beautiful sunny day, with the sun shining brightly on the nest itself and creating a sparkle of colors on the tree bark and background foliage.  

I took some liberties with color and exaggerated the yellow green background while adding other colors to create a sparkle appearance and give the feel of the joy I felt while viewing the scene before me.  A viewfinder helped me to decide on the composition itself. I had also hooked a smaller 5x7 version of the nest itself which I referred to.

The rest of the week was spent packing materials for a class on plein air that will be taught at the TIGHR conference in Victoria, British Columbia and creating a couple of new designs.  As we will be headed to Vermont not long after the conference, I decided to get a jump on designs to have them ready for color planning and packing to work on while on the road.

As yet untitled,  approx. planned size will be 20" x 36", Lori LaBerge  2015

I am beginning to experiment more with shapes.  I am interested in how they add to a work and affect the overall viewing of a piece.  There will need to be planning for how the work will be mounted as areas will protrude beyond the typical art board size I will be using. This is always a challenge, but a welcome one as I have the chance to learn how construction works with odd shaped pieces.  The work will be part of the connection series and each section will be connected with metal rods.

  "U-Turn", approx. planned size  19" x 30",  Lori LaBerge  2015

This work is planned as a wall hanging.  The upper section will protrude further out than the bottom.  It is based on dirt and tarred roads.  The more my husband and I drive out on the country roads, the more I am noticing partially tarred areas of road reverting back to dirt sections.  Sometimes we end up turning around as the roads are either private, dead end, or washed out and too treacherous to drive on.

A sample of some of the colors chosen for the U-Turn piece.

I'm excited to get started on these works as well as a previously planned piece. These will be in addition to working on landscape pieces for the 2016 exhibit.  

Plan out some pieces ahead of time so you have the next project to look forward to and have a great day.

Saturday, September 19, 2015


A feast for the eyes at the entrance to the "Wax" exhibit at TRAC Gallery, Spruce Pine, NC .  All the pieces in the exhibit use wax in their creation.

I took time out this week to view the latest exhibit at TRAC.  The presentation of their shows is always first rate.  Below you can enjoy some of the pieces in the show.  Links are to websites or other information I could find available on the artists.

Close-up of "Spirit Guide" by Lisa Clague

Pottery by Michael Kline

"Synaptic Chances" by Melisa Cadell

Portrait group by Lisa Clague

Sculptures by Ken Sedberry

"Striations" by Kerstin Davis

It is always relaxing to take a day to view the artwork our area offers.  Artists don't always get a chance to see the pleasure on people's faces as their work is viewed. Enjoy a relaxing day of your own to do some gallery hopping and have a great day.

Saturday, September 12, 2015


Some of the paperwork for the group landscape show I was invited to participate in with three other artists arrived recently.  

The papers consisted of a cover letter including who to contact at the gallery if there are any questions, an exhibition contract describing what both the gallery and artist responsibilities for the exhibit will be and an exhibit check list with deadlines for aspects such as postcards, advertising, inventory list and artist biographical information to arrive at the gallery. 

If you are working on an exhibit, It is important to read everything received and ask questions if something is not clearly understood.  All of the galleries I have worked with have been well organized and helpful when it comes to this process.

I will need to prepare:
           1.  A minimum of 14 pieces
           2.  At least four works made specifically for pedestals
           3.  Pieces at various price ranges as works will be for sale during exhibit

This will entail:
           1.  Ordering supplies (wool, dyes, backing materials, framing materials, etc.)
           2.  Beginning studies on possible designs. 
           3.  Taking photographs of ideas for designs
           4.  Deciding what type of sculptural works to create                       

I have started going out and taking photos.  This past weekend we took a ride to Black Mountain, NC and I had my camera in tow.

There was a beautiful lake we walked around.  I like the foreground, the tree on the left and the way the foliage curves around the lake area in this photo.

 The lines of the branches under the bridge caught my eye.  I noticed after I cropped the photo that the curve fits in with my latest abstract geometric work.

 The strong verticals of these trees could make a strong composition.

Go out and enjoy the art exhibits being shown in your area, notice how the artists put the work together for show purposes and have a great day.

Saturday, September 5, 2015


I am spending quite a bit of time during the week preparing for a class on Plein Air Composition to be taught at the TIGHR conference in Victoria, British Columbia. This is an international conference and I am looking forward to meeting those from other countries and discussing techniques and methods of working. 

I did squeeze in some time to work on "Nesting" this week.  This piece is based on the hornet nests we see all over our property lately.  It was planned out from a smaller plein air work.

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

A bright yellow-green is being used on the right side and I was a little worried it might be too strong, but it is working out nicely.  The mixture of dark browns make a nice contrast to both the yellow-green and the whites in the nest itself.  The browns are hooked vertically and the yellow-green is hooked in a random style to give variety to the work.

New designs were also worked on this week.

As yet untitled work,  Lori LaBerge  2015

I never really know if a design will be done exactly as planned until the hooking process begins.  This work is based on a suspension bridge in our area.  It will be done as two separate works and connected with chains.  

We have quite a few bridges here in North Carolina with Grandfather Mountain's bridge being the most well-known.  As we drove through back roads last weekend I noticed some that looked homemade and had quite the sway to them. These connected homes set behind creeks to main roads.

  As yet untitled work,  Lori LaBerge  2015

This work is based on posts from local piers that are of differing heights and stick out of the water.  I always write notes on the side of a design as thoughts come to mind of how the piece may be treated.  The notes above signify how background color will be distributed, how the metal will be cut and which of the narrow rectangles (posts) will be hooked or portrayed with metal.  This will be part of the Parkway Series.

Enjoy the sites in your area, make a few designs from them, take notes as ideas come to you (you can always change your mind later) and have a great day.