January 3, 2012

A New Hooked Wool Drawing

2012 #1, hand dyed wool and egg tempera on linen; 2 pieces, each ca. 20 x 8 inches.

My first drawing of the new year is a diptych, based on the idea of hanging scrolls. A couple of years ago I did a hooked textile of the same dimensions (I just now discovered this) which you can see here, so this is a thought that has stayed with me. I wanted to keep the design repetitive and simple. I stole an idea from myself, of a curved line overlapping a form (you can see another use of this here), but I believe I stole it from Sonia Delaunay, although it wasn't in my catalog from the show Color Moves at the Cooper Hewitt. I paired the tilted rectangles with circles, evenly spaced, although the lines between them confuse the intervals.

I must have been going through late year muddles, because just like with my last painting, this piece gave me some trouble. I first made a right panel that had larger circles than this one, which looked much too large alongside the rectangles. So I made another, with smaller circles, which turned out a little too small...but that's easy to fix. What wasn't so easy to fix was that the cross at the bottom was too low. You probably think: what's the problem? just pull it out and move it up. The problem is that I draw it in pencil first, in soft, dark pencil, which doesn't come off by erasing. I decided to take a chance and try washing the pencil off, gently, which worked. But the linen shrank a little, of course, even with my pulling and tugging as it dried. So the work isn't perfect, but then it never really is; there is never a straight and true edge, or precise form, which is one reason I love doing these textiles along with my much more rigorous paintings.


  1. I can relate to your precise attention to details of space, so interesting to learn of your process here. As before: I think I am drawn to these because they are not so "rigorous" and have a more whimsical tone. Or maybe because they have a lighter weight and thus are more kinetic.

  2. thanks, Julie. I'm lucky that I somehow came across this way of working; I love switching back and forth between the precise painting and these whimsical drawings.