October 17, 2011

New Hooked Wool Drawings

2011 #35, hand dyed wool and egg tempera on linen, 16 x 14 inches.

I've just completed a new batch of drawings, trying several ideas which are quite different from one another. I was thinking recently that something that I really like about using the medium of hooked wool is that my imagery can be wildly different in each piece, either with these drawings, or with the completely hooked works, and still have some unity because of the material I'm using...at least I think that's the case. In the piece above, the idea was to have a warm side of the rectangle and a cool side – red/orange, violet/cool gray – separated by lines. It took me some time to decide what color and value to use for the line; I'm happy with the choice. Fun things happen when I change mediums: the straight pencil lines of the sketch for #35 turn wobbly in wool, and become more active, more organic.

2011 #36, hand dyed wool and egg tempera on linen, 13 x 15 inches.

I don't know where the idea for this came from, but it does remind me of old cartoons, and the big eyes of characters like the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote. Beep, Beep!

2011 #37, hand dyed wool and egg tempera on linen, 13 3/4 x 13 1/2 inches.

This is a more minimal, restrained image, the circle caught, floating, in the arms of a semi-circle. I had at first thought I'd make the small circle out of hooked wool, but then decided to paint it in order the keep the image lighter in visual weight.

2011 #38, hand dyed wool and egg tempera on linen, 10 x 14 3/4 inches.

When I'm sitting on the subway in NYC, I sometimes sketch things I see in the subway car or passing stations whose shapes interest me. This piece comes from one of those sketches. My idea was to activate the space between the shape by the repeat of the dark red diamond. I think I made the space between the shapes a little too wide, so the piece isn't as successful as I'd like. Thirteen inches might have worked better. If you have an opinion, I'd be happy to hear it.


  1. I specially like the top piece. The square within a square defied by that wobbly crossed line and the tones of the warm and cool on neutral appeals to my organic yet organized sensibility.

    I agree about the last piece, I expect that top left diamond to make the rectangle wilt from that corner.

    I come from Newfoundland where rug hooking is a long and still practiced tradition. I have done a little and really enjoy the feel of hooked pieces.

  2. thanks, David; your comment is what I hope the work is.
    Elaine, glad you like that first piece, and I appreciate the comment on the last one. I am aware of the Canadian rug hooking tradition, because I took up the medium at first in order to make rugs for my house; there's a huge rug hooking community here in the States too.

  3. I believe the cartoon eye one is my fave. I am often drawn to round or oval objects. Even the flower beds in my garden are oval or round.

  4. I'm glad you like it, Lisa, and that it's not too silly looking. I also have a big irregular oval flower bed.

  5. i see these as so much part of the drawing tradition - a kind of thinking out loud, and I'm over here listening.

  6. thanks rappel...these are great for quick rendering of image ideas; I hope to keep thinking for others to listen.