March 15, 2011

New Hooked Wool Sketches, with a Thought on Artistic Theft

2011 #9, hand dyed wool and egg tempera on linen, 13 x 13 1/2 inches.

2011 # 10, hand dyed wool and egg tempera on linen, 13 1/2 x 11 1/2 inches.

Here is my latest batch of sketches, which I like to work on between longer projects. The idea for #9 came to me when I was at the beginning stages of another project, with lines and parts of shapes filled in. #10 is out and out stolen from a Malevich drawing. There's a rumor out and about that Picasso said "Good artists borrow, great artists steal" but he might not have said that. On the other hand, we have a genuine quote from T.S. Eliot:
One of the surest tests [of the superiority or inferiority of a poet] is the way in which a poet borrows. Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different. The good poet welds his theft into a whole of feeling which is unique, utterly different than that from which it is torn; the bad poet throws it into something which has no cohesion. A good poet will usually borrow from authors remote in time, or alien in language, or diverse in interest.
I am definitely not placing myself in the "great artist" category, but maybe Eliot's mature artist works for me, and I'm certainly making something different; I steal ideas from other artists for my textile work all the time, not for my painting.

One more comment on one of the pieces: I am not completely satisfied with #12, because I think the hooked forms are a bit too heavy. Because the texture of the linen would be too much changed if I tried to remove a row of hooking, I am left with the piece as it is, not bad, not good, at least to my eye.

2011 #11, hand dyed wool and egg tempera on linen, 14 x 11 1/4 inches.

2011 #12, hand dyed wool and egg tempera on linen, 14 x 11 3/8 inches.


  1. #9 could be a conversation between yellow and that deep orange form, with green being the subject, yellow's subject - a subject so important that it completes yellow's form even in the transparent mind of orange... ah, the pleasure of visual reading!
    #10 I thought first of the other M - Morandi.
    #11 has your humor: a 'real' halo and a painted box, of course.

  2. A wonderful visual and linguistic reading of #9, rappel. I can see Morandi in # 10's color, but I would not have thought of him. And then, with #11, I forgot to mention I'd thought of Brancusi's "Muse" after making the pencil sketch.

  3. These are great!
    That was an interesting T.S. Elliott quote.
    All the shades of emeralds in number 12 are true gems.
    it would be great to see them together as they all seem to be part of a secret conversation.

  4. Thanks, Alicia. You can catch a glimpse of these hanging together in my post on the barn studio. Next time I do a group of these, I'll shoot some grouped on a wall.