September 18, 2013

A New Textile: "Yellow/Blue Diptych"

Yellow/Blue Diptych, hand dyed wool on linen, 2 panels each 12 x 9 1/2 in. 

Diptychs create tension between two parts, allowing for an energy that would not exist in either panel on its own. In this piece I was interested in the way the two similar shapes would play against each other in the space between the panels. 

Rather than have a single solid color as a background for each shape, I decided to dye a variegated ground made up of the two colors. I spot dyed the fabric by scrunching it up in a wide pan and dropping color here and there on it.

I hooked the variegated wool in a random pattern, to give it more of a background feel....

....while the two shapes are hooked in line with the edges of the shapes, which makes them seem more solid. After I decide on a composition and work out the color, after dyeing the wool, the next decision is the direction of the hooking; the loops of wool are a little like brushstrokes, which can change the form and feeling of a painting.


  1. These are a lot of fun Altoon!! I love the variegated dots and flecks set against the trapezoid forms.

  2. I love the random looping and the spotted background. I haven't visited in some time but one of my seniors with Dementia used to do rug hooking and I though that some very simplified version of what you are doing might make for a great collaborative project where the individual finished pieces could be looped together...?

    I'm also having to consider chemical sensitivities. I thought YES Paste would be fine, and acrylic medium... May have to rethink the paints and do the media myself on projects that could benefit from it.

    Have you written a book on your rug hook paintings?


  3. I love the way that you have hooked these, with the directions of line or whirl. I desperately wanted to get hold of the elements of the diptych, to play about with their relationships. I wanted to try them closer together - and to try them with their backs to each other too. Exciting work.

  4. Thanks so much for the nice comments.

    Centa, no, I haven't written anything but lots and lots of blog posts on my textile work. I use chemical dyes to color the wool fabric. Finished pieces could be sewn together with needle and thread. All my fully hooked textiles are finished on the back with rug binding. If you look at the posts under technique: rug hooking and look through all the older posts, you'll see a lot of information on the technique:

  5. I love these pieces! I can relate to the dyeing process for I am doing this as well for the warp for my tapestry & weaving and fabric projects. I haven't written kudos for a long time. However I follow you religiously and love how you balance working the land, photography, art and writing. I'm getting there-just eons away from your mastering it all. Please continue on your journey. It is a gift you share with many faithful followers.

    1. Thank you, Sue, for your kind comment. I certainly plan to continue, though at a slower pace as time passes. It's good to know that my work here is appreciated.

  6. These two pieces interact beautifully. With the confetti-like background and bright colors, they appear to be having a happy conversation.