May 26, 2011

New Hooked Wool Drawings, With Some News

2011 #17, hand dyed wool and egg tempera on linen, 18 3/4 x 12 3/4 inches.

You may have noticed that I've changed the name of this body of work from "sketches" to "drawings". The word sketch implies something done quickly, without too much planning, a preliminary rendering. But these works start as thumbnail sketches, to which I add color; then I do a full sized pencil drawing of the composition, which I transfer to the linen. Because of this deliberate process, I thought the word drawing better describes these pieces while at the same time setting them off from the works that are completely hooked with wool.

In this new batch of drawings, I've done one piece that is larger than I usually work, #17 above, and one smaller, #23 at bottom. With #17 I drew an image that was long and narrow, and needed that extra size to make it work. Of course, image reproduction being as limited as it is, the piece actually looks smaller than the others online. (I'll do some new studio images soon.) One reason I thought it would be interesting to have a variety of sizes is my news: I will be having a show of these hooked wool drawings, and paintings, at Horton Gallery in Chelsea in September. I am very excited about it and hope I'll meet some of my readers at the opening.

2011 #18, hand dyed wool on linen, 12 x 16 inches.

Since I am primarily a painter whose work is based on actual things out in the world, I sometimes worry that my imagination will desert me with my abstract textiles, that I will come up empty of ideas for new work. But as I sketch out new images, one thing leads to another and more ideas come. #17 came from a doodle I was doing at my desk; I don't remember where #18 came from, but maybe I was thinking of handles.

2011 #19, hand dyed wool and egg tempera on linen, 14 1/4 x 12 1/2 inches.

2011 #20, hand dyed wool and egg tempera on linen, 17 x 13 1/4 inches.

#s 19 and 20 are inspired by Russian Suprematist painting, particularly that of Kazimir Malevich.

2011 #21, hand dyed wool and egg tempera on linen, 12 1/2 x 14 inches.

The color of this work feels to me like a fanciful take on spring, while for the composition I fit a circle inside of a semicircle inside of a square.

2011 #22, hand dyed wool and egg tempera on linen, 14 1/2 x 12 3/4 inches.

Here I was interested in how a painted circle, having no volume, would look squeezed between two lines of hooked wool. Does it question illusionism as it exists in a different space yet seems to be acted on by the green lines? or is it just overwhelmed?

2011 # 23, hand dyed wool and egg tempera on linen, 10 x 10 1/4 inches.

And finally, a small simple piece: a line with resting and floating circles. When I was cutting the linen for this group of drawings, I had a small 12 inch square piece of linen left over so I decided to use it for a very minimal composition. This in turn has made me want to do more in this size, using just hooked line and painted shape. But first, back to a group of fully hooked works...


  1. That's wonderful news about having a show at the Horton Gallery.
    Yes, I will be there at the opening to greet you.
    C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S


  2. This series of work is marvelous. No chance you "will come up empty of ideas." More of a risk, I suspect, that there aren't enough hours in a day.

  3. Your creativity seems endless!!

  4. Thanks so much for the nice comments!
    and john, there are definitely not enough hours in the day, especially in spring and summer.

  5. I'm really enjoying these--some seem playful, others contemplative, and others calculating. This reader will likely show up at Horton in September! Re Vermont: what a luscious time of year it is now; spring telescopes into summer so quickly. (My parents live in Rutland; I was just there last week and this.)

  6. Barbara, I'm glad you see different moods in these pieces; they definitely evoke different feelings for me, and playfulness is really important.
    It is very richly green in Vermont now, from a sudden warmup, and too much rain.

  7. all wonderful!! #19 reminds me of Calder, his playful primary colors...

  8. all are a cool brunch for the eyes
    i like the flat paint/voluminous wool thing
    what? no painted lines and wooly circles?

  9. Congrats on this wonderful show opportunity Altoon, I'm so glad it means showing paintings and hooked wool art together,
    as you know! :-), and what a great batch of new work for it too.