Saturday, January 30, 2016


 As yet untitled work in progress,  8 1/2" X 24",  Lori LaBerge  2016

Walking through the woods behind our house I spotted a lone tree and quickly made a sketch of it.  The tree had a bit of an odd shape to it and I'm hoping it will work in this piece without too much adjusting.  Sometimes what looks great in nature doesn't quite translate to an artwork.  

It is important to think about canvas shape when creating a piece.  This called for a vertical shape.  This shape shows strength and leads the eye upward.  Think about standing upright and proud versus slouching.  The rectangular shape presents stability.  These are aspects I wanted to stress about the tree.  Height, strength and stability.  This tree has stood the test of time through the 50 mph mountain winds that are common in our area. 

Think about what other subjects would work in a vertical format.  Waterfalls, telephone poles, roadways, full portraits, etc. 

If you read last weeks blog you remember the above as a blank space.  Pete and I worked on and completed the shelving today.  Nothing fancy, but oh so efficient.

The pile of boxes I used to dig through to find the right size waiting a bit of organization.

Here is the shelving with all the boxes now easily visible for use.  I plan on labeling the shelves with the various sizes of the boxes. 

Look around museums and galleries.  Try to find some vertical canvases and determine why the artist may have chosen that certain format or shape of canvas for their work and have a great day. 

Sunday, January 24, 2016


 "Roundabout Ahead"  in progress 19" X 29"  Lori LaBerge  2016

The green section of the latest in the road sign series was hooked this week.  The wool was a bit rough which made the hooking process a bit longer than usual, but the roughness against the smoother texture of other wools will add more interest to the piece.  The arrows are a combination of pale yellows.

The rectangular format led to the decision to elongate the arrows so they formed an oblong shape rather than the expected circular shape.  The tips of the arrows were altered so each was a bit different than the others.

The two rectangles on the side of the green section will be dark turquoise.  The above wool was chosen to fill in the gray area beneath the green as there is a bit of turquoise, some light and some dark, in each one.  This will bring cohesion to the work.  

Pete was in the storage area this week and decided my method of storing boxes was not up to par.  He removed all the boxes from the area above, purchased wood before the storm hit and was in his workshop today starting on a storage rack.  It is amazing how many boxes I keep for shipping, gallery delivery and purchases in studio.  As works being created for exhibit cannot be sold, I hope to also have space to store them until delivered for show.

At least twice a year I go through the studio and storage area and reorganize. Organizing can be overwhelming.  Try to organize one section at a time rather than all at once, find what works for you and have a great day.

Saturday, January 16, 2016


"Sway"  13" X 34",  Lori LaBerge  2015

I took a a rough photo of "Sway", a new work in the connection series, as frames are on order.  The work reminds me of how swaying bridges bring us from one section of land to another.  Many swaying bridges here in the mountains lead from traveled roads to the calmness and security of a home. Sometimes that change is not only physical, but emotional. 

"Sway"  13" X 32",  Lori LaBerge 2015

The piece may be placed in varying configurations due to the flexibility of the chains. The two sections can be placed closer or further apart as well as moved up and down.  The curves mixed with the straight and diagonal lines, all with varying widths. move one's eye throughout the work.  The chain leads the eye from one section to the other and back again.

This book is based on a series of lectures Stella gave at Harvard University.  I love Stella's early work (his protractor series is one of my favorites) but his premise throughout this book is the death of flat abstract painting and the lack of a direction for it to take.  He focuses on Caravaggio's use of the space on the canvas (the working space) and its bringing the viewer into an expanded world beyond the canvas.  He writes of trying to determine how abstract art can achieve this.  

The book is challenging in its concepts.  I find myself reading and re-reading paragraphs trying to comprehend exactly what Stella means by his words. That is not necessarily a bad thing as it has been forcing me to think more deeply about certain aspects of painting and art in general.   

Art has had many movements.  Stella 's point is that there has not been a great movement in art for an extensive period of time.  Where is art going?

If you are in the mood for some reflection on abstract art, and its relation to work before it along with academic thought, this would be a worthwhile read. 

Think about what the art you create means to you, reflect on the style you choose to use and have a great day.

Saturday, January 9, 2016


"At Bridge's End"  9 1/4" X 13",  Lori LaBerge  2015

It's back to work in the studio after a nice Christmas and New Year break.  The continuation of creating pieces for July's landscape exhibit have been keeping my design skills in use.  The above work is all about the color. 

There are many ways to use color in art.  You can use it to show a time of day or year, to depict mood or atmosphere, to experiment with specific color combinations, or to show light and shadow.  I tend to veer from realistic color in favor of using color to fit a mood or to exaggerate nature's palette.  I saw shades of lavender in the gray bridge and decided to emphasize this by making the whole bridge lavender/pink shades.  Quite bold, it is based on a bridge in Black Mountain, North Carolina. 

Here the compositional lines are drawn in.  The top and bottom of the bridge fit between the horizontal lines.  The top orange/brown, the edge of the lighter blue and the side of the red are spaced to touch along the vertical lines.  

Compositional lines are also separating out large areas of color.  Most of the blue is below the middle horizontal line.  This breaks the rule of splitting a picture in half. Some blue is carried up further into the bridge opening.  Most of the lavender/pink is between lines, the red in the lower right rectangle and the brightest of the orange in the two upper right rectangles.

More color planning was done this week:

These colors will be used in a tree in the woods scene.  The scene will be calming with browns in the tree, greens in the background, heather lavenders on the ground and a modest use of pink and off whites to contrast with duller colors.

This is a sophisticated color scheme for an abstract work in the road sign series. The grays along with the butter yellows have a neutral tone to them.  Neutrals are often used to emphasize shapes when the artist's intent is to put shapes before color in a piece.  The top of the piece will contain the green and turquoise.  A limited use of color rather than a vast mix of colors will tend to be more sophisticated.

The yarns and industrial felt above will be used on a multi-layered sculptural work.  I hope to create at least three or four of these types of works to be shown on pedestals at the landscape show.  The yarn colors definitely have a woodsy feel to them.  I hope to use them with embroidery and sculpting techniques to depict vegetation.

Think of how you use color combinations, through dress, interior design or other methods and have a great day.