Here is another trivet with night sky and colour blocks. I’m working out a plan for a bigger rug and I find it helpful to do these little pieces to see how value, shape and direction of hooking come together. I then sew a square of recycled wool on the back of the piece to make a trivet which is both functional and a splash of colour on the table.
The current gallery show of a few pieces of my rug hooking and an upcoming talk on rug hooking have caused me to go back and review my files. The rug hooking gallery on this site (on the right under Navigation) was in great need of updating. So I’ve been reviewing photos and adding the pieces that were missing. Giving a talk always causes me to reconsider where I’ve come from and, more stressfully, what I plan to do next. Finally finishing Annie after three years is its own kind of stress. What now?
At any rate, I hope you will review the gallery and see the rugs that I have done over the last 10 years. Here is one of my favourites, a chair seat long ago given as a gift.
The Gallery 121 show began today. It’s a great show full of wonderful pottery and paintings as well as my rugs. I will take more photos at the opening on Saturday, but for now here are my hooked pieces. I was delighted with the professional way they are presented. We are very fortunate in Belleville to have such a gallery where local artists can have guest shows. This show is on all month, so I hope that you will be able to visit.
I took a watercolour class in October on painting the buildings and landscape found in the south of France. We were to use photos we have taken ourselves and try to capture the essence of the buildings and streets in loose sketches. The first sketch is my version of an example the teacher provided; the rest are based on my own photos from a 2011 trip I took to the village of Limoux. Sketching these was a reminder of the beauties of the area and also an antidote to the cold and rain we have been having in Ontario. And, good news: I am lucky to be going back to Limoux again in the spring for two weeks of sketching.
I have lots of fun making these little rectangular pouches from my favourite leather remnants and colourful zippers. They are great for your sunglasses or pens. The bright colours ensure that you will find them in a crowded tote. These will be available at the Gallery 121 show, but if you can’t make it and would like one, just write to me with your colour preferences. They make great affordable gifts!
I’ve been back in the studio working with some beautiful leather. The first is a deep teal blue in a perfect weight. I made the small 121 bag you see here and a larger one is on the cutting table. This is a perfect colour for all year round, a strong hue which fits into any palette. I may be partial on this. Teal blue has long been my favourite colour–and it is a hard one to find in leather. And I’ve lined it with fuschia dots–perfection! This is a small cross-body bag. 9″x7″x2″, but its roomy exterior and interior pockets are designed to hold all you need for a day in town.
Here are a few pieces made in a great denim-like leather. I had several small remnant pieces and was able to make one 121 bag and pouches in several sizes. They are my new favourites.
I bought this material in Ireland lat year. I love its punch of colour and its durability–it has a coating which you can wipe clean. I made a smaller city tote last year and it is standing up well to the rigours of a busy life. This tote measures 18″ x 15″ x 5″ and has a large double leather pocket on the outside. Inside are two more useful pockets. So it’s ready for all your toting needs. It is lined in navy denim, has leather carry handles and bottom and a durable metal zipper.
Here you can see the Bird in a Hurry graphics on the large pocket as well as the double leather pocket on the other side. Great for organizing your things. This sturdy pouch stands up on its own, ready to be filled with art supplies, books or your travel needs. In the shop today
I know I have not been posting very much lately. I hope to make it up this week with a few sketches and a couple of new bags. But before that, here are a few images from our August trip to Portland Maine.
We stayed in this great BandB in Portland within walking distance of the downtown core. It is actually called the Inn on Carleton, but the address is right! I guess I was rushing to get the sketch done.
Below is the Court House in Montpelier VT. I love this city because of its architecture and its friendly vibe. It is a place I know well from attending Green Mountain Rug School. We stayed here coming home from Portland and had the best meal of the trip at a ‘farm to table’ called Kismet. It was across from the Court House and I had time to explore the tower again in a continuous line sketch as we were waiting for our meal.
Views below from the ferry rides out of Portland. We don’t count a trip complete unless we get out on the water, and this trip we managed it three times. Islands and ferries are a way of life in Portland and we loved being part of that.
And finally, we made the trek to L.L. Bean. My canoe-building partner was enthralled by the canoes hanging about, especially this one, a Canadian cedar-rib canoe.
We’re home from our week in Portland but I still have a couple of sketches to share. We spent last Thursday morning at the Portland Head Lighthouse. It is situated in a beautiful park with lots of walking trails and an excellent small museum. It was glorious weather and I had a chance to sketch the lighthouse from both sides. There were other sketchers there as well. This is a much loved and much sketched landmark and it was a pleasure to take part in a long tradition.
We have been travelling this week, to a favourite city and a new one. On the way we stopped in a book store for maps and I happened on How to Sketch People by Matt Pagett for such a sale price that I could not resist. And it is a perfect find to begin a trip where I hoped to push myself to sketch more. On the first pages he states his view of sketching: A sketch, as opposed to a drawing, its close cousin, can be characterized by a rapid yet considered execution, an instinctive response to a subject, a certain roughness, life caught on the fly. And on the next page: …the moment I stop to look and think about what I see, it always comes with a mixture of surprise and relief. All the inner brain workings now relate to the outer world, and within that newly created space is some kind of harmony. It seemed a kind of permission and encouragement for my rough and wonky sketches. An invitation to harmony.
Se here they are. The first a 5 pm sketch in Montpelier VT after a long day of driving. The sun was still lovely on the Unitarian Church. Monteplier has so many wonderful buildings. I hope to catch more on the way home.
These photos are taken with my phone, so not the best. From Montpelier we made our way to Portland. I fell in love with the Custom House in the old port. Its stately towers can be seen from the water and from much of the city. The view from the front…
And a quick sketch from a bench on the street while practising capturing people walking by…
And a double page sketch of the wharf behind the fish store and a couple of sketches made while eating a lobster roll. The lobster disappeared too quickly to sketch!