Saturday, January 28, 2017


 "Geonight", 13" X 10" each   Lori LaBerge  2017

A diptych was started this week. Color planning led to emerald green and pink, colors I rarely use. The pink makes the green pop. After hooking these, a mix of gold and yellow was started around the pink. Though the yellow is behind the pink the work is not being hooked to portray any depth. The focus is on shape and color. 

The work will be a combination of wool fabric and yarn for texture. Yarns above are from Searsport Rug Hooking.

A textured stripe and a navy blue will be in the background to give a strong contrast against the foreground colors.

Whipping began on the latest "Cone" work. The plan was to go with dark brown. It was a bit boring, not showing up well against the dark gray whipping on the top section. I decided on rust. I also tried something different and used brown stain at random intervals on the rust yarn. The stain was tested on sample yarn and held up well through being in the sun and through abrasion on the yarn.

I received notice this week to be set up for an interview. This calls for cleaning out the studio. I started by reorganizing all the hardware metals scattered on the work table.

The mailbox held something for me to look at over the weekend. There is a combination of interviews with artists and photos. Pour the wine, this is right up my alley.

Saturday, January 21, 2017


"Cone 2", hooked section completed 18" X 18",  Lori LaBerge  2016

This was a week filled with abstract work. The background was hooked into "Cone 2". The contrast of the dark grays against the yellow and greens and the light gray against the rust and browns works well.

Dark gray will be whipped along the dark edges and dark brown against the light edges. Metal bars are cleaned and ready to be painted this week. They will be attached to the work after the whipping is complete.

"Night Light",  acrylic on watercolor paper 15" x 10" , Lori LaBerge  2016

I am continuing to pursue various media in my spare time or maybe I'm just working all the time and don't realize it.

The work above developed from an abandoned house nearby. I saw it during the day, but switched up the painting to imagine what it would look like at night. The leaning columns were what drew me to it. They provide great negative space behind them.

Design for textile works was also on the table this week:

 "On a Roll", design  24" x 12",  Lori LaBerge  2016

I am thinking of hooking realistic spheres on this one rather than flat circle shapes, as if they were wooden balls sitting on shelves.

"Unstill Life", design 24" X 12",  Lori LaBerge  2016

This work shows how you can use the same basic composition to create totally different works.

It follows some of the basic lines "On a Roll" does. If you look at both works you can see the top line of the bowl on the left follows the shelf with the largest ball. The bowl on the right has its height at the shelf of both the smallest ball and the ball on the far right. The arrow arcs up through the largest ball over to the upper right ball's shelf. 

Art exercise--
Choose a basic composition and see how many various designs can be created from it. This is challenging. You may want to start with a simple "L" shape.

Saturday, January 14, 2017


"Cone 2"  in progress, 18" X 18"   Lori LaBerge  2017

This week I was looking thorough my Facebook news feed and spotted a photo of a piece another rug hooker had completed. Her commentary got my attention. She wrote that it made her happy. That made me smile. I love seeing people create work and enjoy some satisfaction from it.  

Does every piece I work on make me happy? No. Some pieces never quite reach where I was headed with them. Some works lead to frustration. Is this time wasted? I don't think so. I think it is time spent learning what works and what doesn't. 

Pearl in her happy place

Often I start on a piece and question myself, then continue and find myself quite happy with it. Why did I question this latest work? I used colors that don't fit my usual palette. I thought about ripping out those colors and starting anew, all the time continuing work on the piece. It started to come together when the browns and rusts were added.

Exciting questions then formed. How will the background look against the colors of the cone?  I thought about past striped work I had done and how working on the cones is leading me to experiment with the size of stripes. How does the size affect the work? Every piece leads to thoughts that push work forward.

I began with the idea of hooking from light to dark in descending order by color, then decided this may be boring and expected. I switched the second and third yellow which drew quite a bit more interest to the work. Now my eye moves through the piece and I think "Oh, that color is not where I expected it to be!" 

Art exercise--
List things about your art that make you happy.  It may be the color palette, it may be the subject matter or it may be what you learned through a certain work and how it pushed you forward. Discover yourself through your art.

Saturday, January 7, 2017


We saw the arrival of our first snow of the season yesterday.  After sipping wine and watching the snowfall last night, I stepped out the door this morning and found multiple abstract scenes. 

 Patches of snow on the back of a deck chair

 Rail shadows curving around mounds of fallen snow

 A perforated rubber mat filled with snow and surrounded by shadows

 Organic shapes of fallen snow on and beneath a ladder

The curves of a windblown exterior rug forming pockets for snow to rest in

It's 20 degrees out with 25-30 mile an hour winds and gusts of 45. I'm planning on hibernating the rest of the day.  After living in the south for over 20 years I've lost that winter warrior spirit I had in my home state of Vermont. Sun will be out tomorrow and so will I!