December 20, 2009

"Swing" in Progress

Here is the lower part of Swing, well underway. I decided to hook the background in a random pattern, with the two major shapes having parallel lines. In the golden curved form, I hooked the lines to the right edge, which creates a sense of the shape pushing into the image. The pencil line you see inside the half moon is drawn at its center, which will help me to keep the hooking symmetrical.

The pink moon is resting edge to edge on the yellow shape, which gives the work a precarious sense of balance: a swing. But I'd almost lost that movement:

The drawing above is the full sized study for the ruglet. Rather than balancing one shape on another, I drew an overlap, which places the pink form in front of the yellow, in order to make the half circle more rounded. I transferred the drawing to the linen backing with the overlap.

Then a friend of mine, and reader of this blog, Kim Do, sent me this photo based on the watercolor sketch seen below:

Kim Do, Swing with Fingers

The photo made me realize that the pressing of one form against another, as in the watercolor, was what I wanted to see in this work; why else did I name it Swing? So I pulled some of the wool already hooked and re-drew the shapes to touch edge to edge. It reminded me of a sentence by Ralph Waldo Emerson on writing, which seems apt here: "The first rule of writing is not to omit the thing you meant to say".


  1. I so appreciate seeing these hooked pieces develop from idea to actual form. The story about how the two shapes should relate (touch v. overlap)may be a minute issue to some, but I was spellbound with how you worked it out. The Emerson quote, oh yes! I just finished a piece and almost left out the most important word, but at the last moment the word came to me, and I found just the right place to slip it in. It made all the difference in the message of the piece. I know our work is very different, but I find so much inspiration from studying yours. Thank you for sharing your process and finished pieces so freely.

  2. Very different emotional impact in these two designs, between a settled rest in the sketch, and a waiting tension in the ruglet.

  3. thanks for the comments. It's amazing how a word, a line, can change the meaning of an artwork.

    and thinking of the differences in sketch and ruglet, I wonder if it may come from the addition of the direction of the rug hooking, which emphasizes shape and movement.