Winging It

I can’t believe that it is 18 days since I last posted. I have been trying to help with yard work and gardening, leaving me too tired to hook many evenings so frankly, I’ve not made a lot of progress on my Grumpy Owl.

I have been doing a lot of pondering and thinking though, mostly about how to accomplish the shadowed parts. Once again here’s Mathieu’s original drawing.DSCF7142

….and here’s what I’ve been doing to hook his body…..edging with the light colours…DSCF7540

….and using a mixture  of these dark wools.DSCF7479DSCF7544

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To create even more depth on the right (shadowed side) I overdyed the pendleton plaid I used for the eyes with a stronger spot dye.

DSCF7554Here is the progress as I worked my way across the body. The beautiful depth and contrast of the body colour and doesn’t show up very well in the photos, DSCF7548DSCF7551DSCF7555DSCF7556

 

Now it’s back to the dye pots to create a wee bit darker colour for the wings on the right side, and then I can’t wait to try filling in the head feathers. At the moment I’m debating whether to use a #3 or#4 cut, and whether to use directional or  antigodlin (random) hooking for them. (the wings are directional, the body random).

It’s all a wonderful and creative adventure. The fact that it is all neutrals, is quite a learning experience, allowing me to concentrate on fine details that I probably wouldn’t dwell on if vibrant colours were involved.

My but I enjoy being a hooker!

Thanks for stopping by.

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I’M SO GRUMPY

Well, I’m personally not grumpy, (at least I don’t think so), but I’ve been busy trying to create grumpiness for my next project. I’ve talked about the pattern in earlier posts, but it’s been quite awhile, so I’ll start once again from the beginning.

My youngest son Mathieu (artist, motion designer) drew this picture and titled it “Grumpy Owl”.DSCF7142

I fell in love with it, and asked him if I could hook it. He sent me a photo of it by email . I had it enlarged, DSCF7143then I transferred it to my backing.DSCF7185

The pattern is now 28″ x 32″ .

Then I stared at it for a couple of months (while finishing other projects) trying to decide how to translate Mathieu’s “dot work” drawing into hooking.DSCF7478While still having no idea how I’d proceed, I began outlining in black. I didn’t want it to be a realistic owl, but rather faithful to Mathieu’s drawing.

I experimented with interior colours by over dyeing various wool with three colours….clay, mouse gray, and charcoal.DSCF7479

Then used a much weaker dye bath over natural Dorr to create a mottled off white, and also a  slightly darker version. (they’re not nearly this dark in reality)DSCF7540

The outlining is a #3 cut, and the rest I’m using #4. It just seemed an appropriate cut to fill the small spaces effectively, and create the shading. (although I seldom hook with such a small cut).DSCF7531

Of course, before long I decided I had to try the eyes. I found this grey/blue Pendleton plaid……DSCF7542

….and used a #2 cutDSCF7536

….then hooked his bill. Now he has more character.

I’m really having a lot of fun with this as he comes to life.DSCF7538The black outlining is rather mindless, so that’s what I do when I’m hooking with others (mustn’t interfere with chatting you know)…..and the body I work on when I’m alone and can concentrate. To my mind that’s one of the big advantages to rug hooking….being able to jump around.DSCF7541

He looks a little sinister at the moment, but that will change I’m sure when I get colour in his head feathers.

My summer hooking lies ahead in having this fellow come to life.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

Maud Lewis

Mary Lou had a great Maud Lewis surprise to show us at R.U.G. on Saturday.

But I’m jumping the gun a bit. First for some background. For those not familiar with the name Maud Lewis….she might be described as the Grandma Moses of the Maritimes, undoubtedly Canada’s most famous folk artist. …and patterns of her paintings are very popular with rug hookers.

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The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia has this information about her life….
“Early Years
Maud Lewis (1903-1970) was born to John and Agnes Dowley in South Ohio, Nova Scotia. As a child, Maud spent most of her time alone, mostly because she felt uncomfortable about her differences around the other children. She had been born with almost no chin and was always much smaller than everyone else. However, Maud seemed to be a happy child who enjoyed the time she spent with her parents and brother. Maud’s mother started her painting Christmas cards to sell and thus her career as an artist began.

Her life and only experience of the world extended to an area between her birthplace in Yarmouth County and her married home in Marshalltown, Digby County. In 1935 Maud’s father died and in 1937, her mother followed. As was typical at the time, her brother inherited the family home. After living with her brother for a short while she moved to Digby to live with her aunt. There she met Everett Lewis, an itinerant fish peddler, and married him shortly after in 1938.

Life in the House
Maud spent the rest of her life living with Everett in their house in
Marshalltown. The two had what has been perceived as a formidable companionship, despite any character flaws neighbors found in Everett. Because of Maud’s worsening rheumatoid arthritis, she was unable to do housework. Everett took care of the house, and Maud brought in money through her paintings. The two were a pair that Maud was proud to be a part of.

The home they lived in was tiny in stature but large in character. Despite the lack of modern amenities like indoor plumbing and electricity, the house shows that Maud’s life in Marshalltown was full of enjoyment through her art. Those who stopped after seeing her roadside sign, “Paintings for sale”, found a quiet woman with a delightful smile. Her pleasure didn’t come from the pride of having done a painting, but the creative act itself and the enjoyment others seemed to get from her work.

Through newspaper and magazine articles, as well as television documentaries, Maud became well known and a reputation grew that’s still growing today.

The House
After the death of Maud Lewis in 1970, and subsequently of her husband, Everett Lewis, in 1979, the lovingly painted home began to deteriorate. In reaction, a group of concerned citizens from the Digby area started the Maud Lewis Painted House Society; their only goal was to save this valued landmark.

After a number of years of fundraising, the society realized that the project was going to take more resources than they could gather. In 1984, the house was sold to the Province of Nova Scotia and turned over to the care of Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.

In 1996, with funds from the federal Department of Canadian Heritage and from private individuals, the processes of conservation and restoration began. The final, fully restored house is on permanent display in Halifax at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.”maudlewishouse

Her house was only 10′ x 12′

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Well….Mary Lou Justason is the tireless director at large for RHMNA (Rug Hooking Museum of North America) , and as it turns out has been able to acquire five Maud Lewis paintings for the museum. Here is her story…..

“Last fall I talked by phone to Anne Phillips McCreary Juhasz, an elderly cousin of my husband, at her home in Chicago. She is a retired professor of education at Loyola University having started her teaching career in a one room schoolhouse in Ontario.
We spoke of her getting her affairs in order. After all, she is 93.
Among her treasures were five Maud Lewis paintings which she had purchased, while on vacation, in the late 40’s and directly from Maud Lewis, a little gnome of a lady, at her wee tiny house near Digby, Nova Scotia. When I told her about the Hooked Rug Museum of North America and suggested repatriating the paintings to them in Nova Scotia, she was interested.
Incidentally, she paid 25 cents for each painting.  They were chosen from a great stack of paintings accessed up a rickety ladder into a loft. Anne needed a flashlight to see what was up there. She got them framed simply but without glass and for a long time they were in her storage unit in her condo buildings
Over the winter and with many phone calls and letters bck and forth, we sorted out the details of getting them to me in Florida so I could transport them back to Canada.
Finally, with an early deadline, she or a trusted friend got them shipped to us in Florida and we brought them home to Honey Harbour.
They had a brief visit to RUG (Ruggers United Gathering) at the Simcoe County Museum, just outside Barrie, ON on Saturday where they were much appreciated.
They now have arrived in Nova Scotia and are with Suzanne Conrod.
They will be displayed there along with a donor plaque acknowledging Anne’s gift. They have had quite a journey and if they could talk, the tale would be much more interesting than I could ever spin, but I am happy they are back in Nova Scotia.”
….didn’t I say Mary Lou was a tireless ambassador for RHMNA…..
Well of course I was at R.U.G. and got to see them in person….and want to share them with you.
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( thanks to Marg Arland for sharing her photos)
It was such a treat to get to see them in person.
As I said…they are very popular subjects for hooking  and are sold by many vendors, particularly in the Maritimes.  (Please note that all works by Maud Lewis are copyright and the authority to license others to reproduce them rests solely with the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.)   As it happens, Jean is working on a Maud Lewis piece right now….DSCF7528
The yoked oxen were a favourite subject and appear in many paintings…..Jean’s work is a spring time version. Maud Lewis’s wonderful clear colours and simple happy style make her work immediately recognizable and beloved…..as well as readily adapted to being hooked.
Thanks for stopping by.

R.U.G. May 2, 2015

I had a great time at R.U. G. on Saturday, but my camera did not! I thought I was being very clever, and changed the batteries just before I left. But oh no! It was as dead as a door nail when I tried to take a picture. It was only after I got back home that I realized I had used the batteries I’d just put in the recharger from my dying mouse, rather than the freshly charged ones on the other side. So I have no photos of the people or activities or the many venders, but luckily, Judith Ivi sent me the photos she took  of all the zentangle rugs, and I have some I took of them last week…..so I can share some of the day.

The zentangle presentation was varied and interesting…..from its zen and doodling roots (with lots of examples) to its adaptation to rug hooking in a wide range of variation…..even to having Mary draw a zentangle from scratch on an overhead while the rest of the program progressed.

Linda Wilson and this small piece were the initial inspiration for the topic of zentangle inspired hooking.DSCF7493

Linda hooked this little mat a few years ago at the annual in Ottawa when she took a short course on the topic, and she was the spear head for our group investigating its possibilities. Brenda (who is a tangler par excellence) gave us a wonderful talk at a regular Sunshine meeting a few months ago to get us going.

Some chose to hook in black and white, the traditional colours of zentangle.DSCF7485DSCF7484DSCF7487

Mary used soft chenille wool for this piece….

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Karen’s example is one of Judith’s photos, and for some reason I can neither rotate it, or resize it. It is for her grandson (these are his initials) and is partially hooked and partially drawn and the background, making a dramatic effect.

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Mary stuck with the yummy chenille for the background of this one, and added colour to the motifs . I love the story of her third example…..DSCF7492

While on vacation, without any hooking supplies, when struck with the desire to hook….she washed this bag (which had originally held some spirits) several times to tighten it up, made a hook out of a coat hanger….and “hooked” it with her available yarn by pushing her one hand into the bag to create tension and feed the wool up. As she said….when that “urge” hits a hooker….nothing can stop them.

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Cheri took a course with Rae Farrell, based on abstract design, and created this zen inspired beauty.DSCF7489Her second example is a very stylish tea pot. (almost looks like it’s dancing)GetAttachment-5

 

Isabelle was inspired with celtic hearts.

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Seven other members each hooked a 5″ x 5″ example (a specific zentangle exercise) then mounted them with some zentangle drawing for added interest. (I wonder if they’ll argue over who gets this????)

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Chris incorporated zentangle design into this delicate heart.DSCF7496Joanne , like many of us, sketched her idea first, but felt that when translated into wool, much of the zentangle aspect lost its impact. Still a lovely zentangle inspired apple tree.DSCF7486

Jean began work on her zentangle piece shortly after arriving home from a wonderful trip to the American south west. Her mind was still full of the desert and the images of navajo culture she had experienced. She incorporated those into her zentangle with every symbol and colour having meaning and significance.DSCF7483

…..as opposed to mine which has neither meaning or significance and is rather a sampler of six zentangle patterns.

My biggest “no-camera” regret, is that I have no photo of Wendie Scott Davis’s lovely Barbados inspired zentangle. In the making, we both struggled to make our pieces cohesive. Hers having multi coloured tangles, with the primary one a colourful sailfish. She used the colours of the central sailfish in her border which created a cohesive whole, and drew the eye around the whole piece, while I used position and value (and a lot of re-hooking) to try to balance mine. The same problem with totally different, but equally successful solutions  I think.   This link will take you to Wendie’s blog and a photo of her zentangle.    http://theruggedmoose.blogspot.ca/2015/03/does-hooking-in-colour-take-zen-out-of.html

Linda was the final presenter and discussed not zentangle but the process of choosing a colour pallette for a specific location.

We all learned a great deal from her problems and final success in creating a zentangle inspired rug for her bathroom which would compliment its new decor.DSCF7503

DSCF7504 ….these were the wools she used (the second set she chose)

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More next time about the “Hilda” mementos, and the Maud Lewis surprise.

I hope you’re having the same wonderful spring weather that we are.

Thanks for stopping by.