Saturday, December 19, 2015


First section of  "Sway", 11 X 11  Lori LaBerge  2015

The first section of a two part work for the Connection series has been hooked.  The greens are my favorite part of this.  It took a while to dye the colors needed, especially the mint shade of green.  Through a mix of multiple dyes, I finally achieved what I was looking for. 

I always receive some art related gifts for my birthday and, thankfully, this year was no different.

From my daughter:

Rothko's work is fascinating.  What appears to be three colors suddenly merges into layers of color when viewed up close.  It will be interesting to read about his early years as I haven't read much on his beginnings in art.

This book is set up in a question and answer format.  Joe Fig asks up and coming artists questions about their work, process, early interests in art, etc.  Love these kind of books as they don't have to be read in any specific order and can be easily read even when you don't have extended time to devote to reading.

From my son:

This is always a great gift.  A variety of drawing pencils of difference softness and hardness, charcoals, a sketching stick, erasers and sharpeners along with a sketch pad. I'm planning on using these with a drawing course I have ordered.

Have a great day, enjoy the holidays and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.

Saturday, December 12, 2015


"Breathe Easy"  13" X 9",  Lori LaBerge  2015

There are so many beautiful spots throughout Western North Carolina.  I've made sketches of some and taken photos of many more.  The work above is based on a photo I took in Montreat, NC.  Pete and I were on a walk and this area was a great place to stop and relax a bit.  

The bridge really caught my eye, but as I looked closer I realized what really interested me was the tree growing under the bridge and its relation to the curve of the bridge itself.  You can see this area in the lower left of the photo.  This is what I focused on when planning the design.  I changed the green grass to have more of a fall feel which felt better for the artwork with the lack of leaves on the tree. 

I often find as I work that little changes can make a difference in a piece.  

In the above, the lower left branches both touch the curve of the bridge.  My eye kept going directly to the rust spot on the bridge where the two branches appear to be clamping onto it.  It bothered me so I made a change.  I could have removed the rust area, but that would leave two rust sections on the upper left with nothing to balance them out.  A different change was required.  *Note:  I did not take a photo of the first version of the work, so the line touching the bridge is photo shopped in to show you how it looked.

Here you can see how I removed where part of the branch touched the bridge.  This opens up the area and leads to the branches following along a diagonal line more fluidly.  The edges of the darker green in the grass area lead you upward on the diagonal to the tree.  I find in looking at the final work, the section of the rust no longer dominates where my eye goes in the way it did when both section of the lower branch touched the bridge.  

Before making major changes, take time to look and see if a minor change can make a difference in how you feel about the piece you are working on and have a great day.

Saturday, December 5, 2015


"Winter Hideaway"  14" x 14",  Lori LaBerge  2015
Hooking is done, steaming comes tomorrow and framing is on order

The piece above is based on a building that is along the quilt trail in Western North Carolina.  The trail has become quite a project in the area with over 200 painted quilt blocks on buildings.  The block became the focus of "Winter Hideaway" with the blue center square drawing the eye to it.

During the meeting for our landscape show next year, we decided to have each artist create four of their pieces to represent the four seasons and this will be my winter scene.  It was just finished this morning and steaming will take place tomorrow.  I really like the contrast of the mix of deep browns and the ice blues.  The diagonals also work well in the composition.  

I think of this style as abstract realism, though there are some variations of a definition of this.  There is the obvious realistic component of the building, but color is exaggerated. The original greens of the lower grass and trees behind the building have been changed to an unrealistic blue to emphasize the feeling of winter.  Both abstract and realism have been combined with the work being not totally realistic and not totally abstract.

I also added two new books to the shelves:

This book is for those who love to look at photos of studios.  I could get lost in these photos for days.  Keifer has had many studios over time.  The studios (where he also tends to live while working) have included abandoned warehouses, attics, and even an old silkworm breeding factory among other places.  He leaves the buildings pretty much as is.  They tend to be rough, as his work is.  Some works contain items such as shellac, straw, metal, plaster, branches and broken glass.  To see some of Keifer's works click here.  

This is for those interested in the development of fiber art as sculpture over time. There is weaving with both on and off-loom work, installation work, rope manipulation, macrame, felt and mixed-media works.  Artists include Sheila Hicks, Eva Hesse and Lenore Tawney among others.  There is background on various artists along with sections that relate to the beginnings of sculptural aspects of fiber art up to 2014.

Try mixing two different art movements in a piece of art to see what develops and have a great day.