Saturday, August 27, 2016


"Curve Ahead" in progress on the work table

The latest work deals with values in progression from dark to light. Three more sections of the five piece work were hooked this week, while the smallest was hooked last week. One left to go. 

The middle section above is the brightest and seems to stand out the most. This sometimes leads to the thought that it is strongest in value. Value refers to dark and light, not dull and bright (intensity). It is the area where I seem to find most of my corrections need to be made in works.

By converting a piece to black and white one can more easily see the values involved. The values above range from high(white in the lines) to low (black). Where these two meet are the highest contrast areas in the pieces. The highest contrast is usually where the focal point lies.

In these works, however, the focal point is the arrow shape. This clearly leads the eye from one work to the next to follow them in descending order.

Close-up of what will be the third section in line

If you look back at the black and white version of the piece above, there is little contrast in values between the rose color and the lightest gray. The brightness of the rose makes it stand out more than the value does.

Yarns were pulled out of their bins to see what will work for whipping the edges of each piece.  

Each of the yarn colors will be mixed with a dark gray.  I am not going for a perfect match to the color of the arrow shape, but something a bit off.  A dark pine green with specks will go with the yellow green while a rust orange will go with the rose. These will also range in value from dark to light.

Two more yarns chosen for other sections

Books placed in order from light to dark

I often find myself looking at colors and trying to determine their values.  Are they lighter or darker than the colors next to them? I also play Blendoku on my ipad. The game is an excellent exercise in determining color value and gets more difficult as it progresses. 

Art exercise--

Try games like Blendoku, collect color chips from paint stores and try placing them in order of value, look at things around you and see if you can determine which colors are lighter or darker. Values close in relation become more difficult to determine. Challenge yourself.

Saturday, August 20, 2016


Cone 1 almost completed, Lori LaBerge  2016

Hooking and whipped edges were completed this week. I am now deciding on placement of metal bars. The wavy edge on the piece will mean using a level for stitching the bars in place to get them straight. Rather than whip all the edges with dark gray, I decided to bring red into the edge to add variety.

The bar on the left is a bit too high on top drawing the eye too far up and causing the balance of the work to be off a bit. It only needs to be slightly above the cone height so it will have to be lowered before being stitched in.  

 Design for "Curve Ahead",  Lori LaBerge  2016

Living in the mountains means driving quite a few curvy roads. On our last trip we saw multiple "curve ahead" signs, leading to a new project. I wanted to portray the signs receding so decided to create them in descending size. They will go from 12" X 14' to 4" X 6".

 Color plan for "Curve Ahead", Lori LaBerge  2016

Bolder colors will be used in the larger pieces and the values will be less strong as the pieces descend in size. Metal bars will be added on top of the work. 

The smallest section on the rug frame

I learn from every piece that is worked on. I enjoy the planning and design process, the thought that goes into each piece and the challenges I sometimes face part way through a project.

Art exercise--
Try designing a piece containing multiple parts that will be cohesive when placed together.

Saturday, August 13, 2016


"Cone 1" in progress,  18" X 18"   Lori LaBerge  2016

The blues and reds of "Cone 1" have been hooked and the darker wool is now being added to the work. I always find that taking photos of work helps me to look at it in a more critical way. In the photo above I really noticed the odd piece of wool hooked into the gray on the right hand side. The wool itself is patterned and that strip just happened to have more red in it than the others. It will need to be removed, cut and hooked again in a more random way as the curve it now forms is distracting.

I spent this afternoon in Asheville and found myself in the magazine section of Barnes and Nobles. Anyone who knows me also knows I am a magazine and book fanatic. Here are some of my purchases.

With Grayson Perry on the cover I could not resist. I love his interviews online as he speaks in a clear and understandable manner. There is no pretentious art speak from him. He is a joy to listen to.

This may be your cup of tea if you are interested in contemporary, different or surreal art. Not for traditionalists. Solid articles with an excellent clear writing style and interviews. One which I read cover to cover.

This magazine is put out by the International Sculpture Center. I picked this up because as I looked through it I spotted a section on sculptural fiber work. There were also photos of paper casting. I like that this magazine features various types of media used in sculptural work. This will become a regular read for me.

This magazine contains both traditional and abstract works. It is meant to be read by artists and contains information from how-to articles to art tips to being a professional artist.  This is a thick magazine with no skimping.  I like that.

Ever since visiting Scotland I have enjoyed reading information about the country. This issue happened to have an article on weaving in Scotland. Sold.

Art Exercise--

Take photos of work in progress and see if it helps you to notice things about your work you may not have before.

Sunday, August 7, 2016


"Cone 1" in progress,  18" X 18"   Lori LaBerge  2016

Yes, boxes of wool accompanied me on our trip. The cone work is moving along. I am looking forward to seeing the effect of the darker grays when they are applied. They will go around the right side and bottom of the light gray background.  

Pier sketch in Ohio,  Lori  LaBerge  2016

I timed myself while sketching this week, allowing up to 20 minutes maximum per sketch. These sketches are being used for ideas for further work.

There is plenty of fodder for water scenes here in Port Clinton. The pier above caught my eye with the buoy hanging among the tires used to protect boats when they dock. I found it difficult to get perspective correct without my viewfinder, but was happy overall with the way the scene was visually cropped. It took a few minutes to decide what to include and what to leave out before starting the sketch.

Boathouse sketch in Ohio,  Lori LaBerge  2016. This view is from our third floor porch.  Sometimes you don't need to go very far to find a subject!

A small yellow boathouse is next to the condo we are renting. It is surrounded by trees and fronted by rocks before the lake begins. This sketch was done fairly quickly, about 10 minutes and it could use stronger use of contrast in the land areas for definition.  

Sketching is good for practicing composition, improving concentration and decision making, and working on ideas for studio work. A sketch can be redefined in the studio through improving composition, stressing value, and exploring the use of color. 

We saw this ship turned into a house on our return trip from Put-in-Bay Island. What a great subject. Read more about the history of this project at Ship on the Bay.

I am also working on some smaller plein air hooked works using sketches while here. The weather has been beautiful. These works will not be shown on the blog. They will be used as samples of both realistic and abstract styles for the plein air class being held at Green Mtn. Rug Hooking School next year. 

Art Exercise--

Find a scene that interests you. Sketch out a basic composition. Do not time yourself while sketching, enjoy the process.