Photo by Karen D. Miller

Inspiration Photos #15: LINE

Photo by Karen D. Miller

Photo by Karen D. Miller

Photo by Karen D. Miller

Photo by Karen D. Miller

Photo by Karen D. Miller

Photo by Karen D. Miller

Photo by Karen D. Miller

Photo by Karen D. Miller

Photo by Karen D. Miller

What:  Photos from my maritime vacation that I felt fell under the design element of “line”

Why did this catch my eye:   So many lines in the sand.  Each one is different- the waves create a multitude of ripples and curves.  Lines are in the tree branches- sometimes straight and sometimes twisted.  Lines are in the rocks and the surf.  Lines are in the sky after an airplane passes by and in the pavement under our feet.  Quite simply lines are everywhere.

Karen

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I committed to posting 40 inspiration photos on the blog in 2014. The purpose of this exercise is to get me out of my comfort-zone: finding inspiration in my everyday surroundings. This series will continue throughout the year.

Hand Hooked Fibre Art by Karen D. Miller

Now at Harbour Grounds….

Hand Hooked Fibre Art by Karen D. Miller

Hand Hooked Fibre Art by Karen D. Miller

This is a first for me- I currently have two pieces hanging at the Harbour Grounds coffee shop in Corner Brook, Newfoundland.  I usually hang just one but the coffee shop requested that I bring in more so two it is.  So grateful for all of the support that I have been receiving out there and so grateful for my sister who handles it all for me since I live several provinces away.   I think it is safe to say that I am on to something with these small pieces as the past four pieces that I have hung have all sold.  That has never happened for me before and I am thrilled that they are finding good homes!

So, my “Moonlight Flight” piece and my “Hanging the Wash” pieces are currently on display and available for purchase!

Karen

Hooked Rug by Karen D. Miller

Along the Path

Hooked Rug by Karen D. Miller

In The Arches Provincial Park on the Northern Peninsula in Newfoundland, there is a stand of twisted, gnarled, wind-beaten trees that stand along the path.  Instead of being foreboding, their bark has been bleached by years in the sun and so it is this strange dichotomy of bright and inviting yet still creepy and eerie looking.  We made a stop-over there back in 2007 to feed my then three-month old daughter as we drove up to the tip of the Peninsula.  I’ve been holding onto the photo since then, knowing that eventually I would do something with it.  And finally I did and here is the finished piece entitled “Along the Path.”

The style of this piece follows on the heels of my “Ghost Trees” piece.  I knew when I made that piece that I would like to explore more ideas using the same concept of light on dark and highly abstracted trees.  This was the first time I have ever made anything in a “series” (well, other than my Postcards series but that I think is a different kind of series) and I feel happy with this new piece and at the same time I feel like I am not yet done exploring this concept.  So I think the series will continue- probably with a few variations.

It measures 28″H by 16″W and was designed and hooked by me on rug warp using wool yarns and metallic yarns.   I am not framing this one- at least not yet.  So I still have to finish the edges and put on a rod pocket (hence the notations you can still see along the edges of the rug warp).

I’ve already started on my next piece- no rest at this time of year!  I’m very excited for the next one.  It is a collaboration with an artist that I have long admired and I am excited to see how it all comes together!  We are working on a tight deadline so I am going to keep plugging away at it before I get to the finishing of “Along the Path”.

 

Karen

Photo by Trish Johnson

Countdown to “Colours Caught in Fibre”: Meet Trish Johnson

 

 

It is not long until our group exhibit “Colours Caught in Fibre:  Rug-Hooking Made Modern” opens on October 4th at the Niagara Pumphouse Arts Centre in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario.

I gave each of the artists in our show the same list of questions and each week leading up to the exhibit I will profile one of them so that you can get to know them better and see their particular style of art.  This week, meet Trish Johnson.  Many of you will be familiar with her work!  She has been in Rug Hooking Magazine’s Celebration of Hand-Hooked Rugs eight times, has received countless awards and been in numerous exhibits in both Canada and the United States and has appeared in many magazines and books.  Earlier this year she was nominated Canadian Rug-Hooking Artist of the Year by the Hooked Rug Museum of North America located in Nova Scotia.  Her highly-detailed style and personal subject matter sets her work apart and makes it unmistakeably hers.

1.  Trish, how long have you been hooking?

I have been hooking since 1988.

2.  How did you get started hooking?

When I was about 21 during spring break from University, I visited my aunt Eliza in New Brunswick. She was hooking a rug of the Bluenose and I hooked a lot of the sky for her. I started hooking on my own rugs after 1988 when I bought a kit from Canadian Living magazine at the the One of a Kind Show. It was pink roses on a black background.

3. Did you have a teacher or are you self-taught?

I started out with the demonstration from my aunt and I was self-taught for the first 4 rugs or so and then I took beginning rug hooking from Shirley Lyons in Georgetown.

4. What was the first piece you hooked?

My first rug was hooked from a kit from Rittermere Hurst Field — pink roses on a black background.

5. Do you think your style has evolved?

Yes I only hook my own designs now, mostly landscapes with buildings.

6. What has been your proudest rug-hooking accomplishment to date?

My proudest rug hooking accomplishment was being chosen Rug Hooking Artist of the Year by the Rug Hooking Museum of North America.

 

 

Hooked rug by Trish Johnson

“My Grandmother’s Diary” by Trish Johnson, 2002. Wool on linen.

 

7. What is the most common inspiration for your work?

My own experiences, my family and my family’s history.

8. What is your favourite subject matter to hook?

My favourite subject matter is the Canadian landscape. I am fond of seascapes and lighthouses.

9. What kind of frame and hook do you use?

I use a quilting hoop (circular) and a hook that Shirley Lyons bent for me.

 

Hooked rug by Trish Johnson

“Patrick and Logan: Summer of 2009” by Trish Johnson, 2010. Wool on linen.

 

10.  What will people see of your work at the Colours Caught in Fibre exhibit at Niagara-on-the-Lake?

In addition to some of my more familiar pieces, I will have one new piece. It is of my great grandmother’s house at Seal Cove, Grand Manan, NB. Her name was Wealtha Irene Benson.

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I hope you have enjoyed learning a bit more about Trish and her work.  If you are interested in her work and would like to contact her she can be reached at trshjhnsn@gto.net.

 

Karen

Photo by Karen D. Miller

Studio Status

Photo by Karen D. Miller

And it is done!! Being away on vacation added another little delay to the studio progress but the week we got back we tackled the final painting as I just wanted to get it done. Time to focus less on getting the studio ready and spend more time instead in the studio making art!

As you can see the blue accent wall along the back has become the display area for pieces that are waiting to go on exhibit.  All of these pieces will hopefully one day be purchased and be on display in someone else’s home!  But until then this is a nice way of having them on display.  There is also additional space on some of the adjoining walls should I run out of space.

The big gap on the left is where my chair and stand will be along with my ott-lite once I get those all set up.  There is a mini bulletin board on top of the bookcase where I pin photos of pieces that I want to work on next (right now it is covered in the next inspirations for my “Postcards from Newfoundland” series).   My overflowing bins of yarn somehow look tidier with the bookcase lying sideways and the other advantage is that the top of the bookcase now can function as a workspace when I need one.

Photo by Karen D. Miller

Across the room is my new lamp (and a look at my schnazzy new curtains). I love this light- it holds five bulbs and I can bend each arm to direct light to wherever I want it. It lights up the whole room.

Photo by Karen D. Miller

The dresser has always been in the room. It holds a lot of my business related materials and computer related stuff. The wooden box on top holds all of my rug hooking and art related books and reference materials. Love that they are so accessible and on display so I can just grab whatever it is that I am looking for.

You can see on the wall above the dresser the bulletin board that I covered with fabric to pretty it up.  It holds my awards and ribbons.  And of course there is the first piece that I ever made.  I find it motivating when working to be able to quickly cast an eye back to how far I have come.  And the piece reminds me of many good times on vacations in Iceland and makes me very happy.

Photo by Karen D. Miller

And there is inside the closet.  Before this closet had a flimsy shelf that the previous owners had nailed in.  As a result all of my stuff was piled on top of each other on the floor.  This extra bookcase was hanging around in the basement not being used so we brought it up and now everything is organized.  It holds all of my backing fabrics, frames, packing materials and other accessories.

Photo by Karen D. Miller

Lastly, I tidied up the computer desk so it doesn’t feel so cluttered!

It feels so good to have this done!  I think it will be really cosy this winter when I am hoarded up in my studio in the evening working on my latest piece.

Now, before you go thinking that having a studio will go to my head- as I was hanging the art on the display wall and the kids were playing together in the other room my daughter called to me “Mum, I think he did a poop.”  (He being my almost two-year old).  “I’ll come and change him in a minute” I called back.  “Well, you’d better hurry,”  she said, “Because he really smells.”   See, life will continue on as usual, whether I have a fancy new studio or not.  🙂

Looks like the piece I am working on will not be done this week but I will be able to show it to you early next week.

And the countdown to our show in Niagara-on-the-Lake is on!   Each week between now and our show I will profile one of the artists.  The first will appear next week!  I am very excited.  🙂

Karen

Photo by Karen D. Miller

Inspiration Photos #14: COLOUR

 

Photo by Karen D. Miller

Washed up lobster trap on Stanhope Cape Beach, PEI

 

Photo by Karen D. Miller

Colourful lobster traps on Grosse Ile

 

 

Photo by Karen D. Miller

Hollyhocks at Green Gables, PEI

 

 

Photo by Karen D. Miller

Tree Bark at Green Gables, PEI

 

 

Photo by Karen D. Miller

Rock at Bassin Est, Grande Entree

 

 

Photo by Karen D. Miller

Purple house on Havre-aux-Maisons

 

 

Photo by Karen D. Miller

Seaweed at Bassin Ouest, Iles-de-la-Madeleine

 

What: I came across so much inspiration in the maritimes.  Countless inspiration.  And as I started to collect photos I started to notice that they were falling under the categories of the formal elements of design:  colour, line, shape, form and texture.  This first grouping falls under colour.

Why did this catch my eye:   Colour is everywhere in nature.  You just need to open your eyes and really take it in.  I find I am drawn most to earthy colours- I loved the russet orangey tones of seaweed on a grey and brown beach.  But there is also something about a bright purple house that fills my mind with new possibilities and avenues for exploration….

Karen

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I committed to posting 40 inspiration photos on the blog in 2014. The purpose of this exercise is to get me out of my comfort-zone: finding inspiration in my everyday surroundings. This series will continue throughout the year.

Photo by Karen D. Miller

Celebration 2014

celebration

My copy of the book arrived in the mail yesterday!  Love that front cover- so colourful!

celebration2

There is my “Beyond Swallowtail” piece on the left hand page. Yay! I’m also so happy for two of my fellow artists from our upcoming Niagara show. Gunda Gamble whose piece was also an Honourable Mention and Trish Johnson whose piece is one of the finalists.

Congratulations to everyone! (And equally thrilling is the fact that a whopping 23 rugs this year are from Canada!! Way to go Canada!!)

Karen

Photo by Karen D. Miller

Iles-de-la-Madeleine 2014

IDM 99

IDM

IDM 4

IDM5

IDM 13

IDM2

IDM22

IDM 12

Our second week in the maritimes was spent on Iles-de-la-Madeleine (also called the Magdalen Islands).  This is a tiny little archipelago (100 km’s in length) that sits out between PEI and Newfoundland.  They belong to Quebec so when we go there I get to break out my rusty French Immersion schooling from long ago.  🙂

We were there before for a week back in 2010.   We like to tie it in with a stay in Prince Edward Island because the five hour ferry for Madeleine leaves from Souris, PEI.   But honestly I think we like Madeleine even more than PEI so next time we will likely spend more of our time there.

Madeleine has beautiful white sandy beaches, tropical blue coloured water, amazingly beautiful sand dunes, colourful houses and seafood.   Couldn’t ask for much more.  It is a little less travelled so the beaches are quiet and things are a little less commercial though it certainly has every amenity you could want.

In PEI just about every second licence plate we saw was Ontario (and usually Ottawa for some reason).  In Madeleine you are hard pressed to find a plate other than Quebec (I think we saw five others the entire time).  This is definitely Quebec’s playground.

Karen

Photo by Karen D. Miller

Prince Edward Island 2014

PEI 1

stanhope

PEI 7

PEI 3

PEI 2

PEI 22

We are just back from two weeks away in the maritimes.  The first week we spent in Prince Edward Island.  It is the fifth time I have travelled to PEI and it is always worth the long drive from Ottawa.   The weather all week was terrific and sunny.

Lots of seafood was eaten.

Every evening was spent at the beach.

Many shells were collected.

Green Gables was visited.

Lots of laughs were had.

Many hours were spent watching the kids play in the sand.

I got SO many inspiration photos while I was away and they will be trickling out here on the blog over the next couple of weeks.  In the meantime, here is some of the beauty of PEI.

Karen

Hand Hooked Rug by Karen D. Miller

Celebration 2014

Hand Hooked Rug by Karen D. Miller

I’m pleased to say that my piece entitled “Beyond Swallowtail” is in this year’s edition of Rug Hooking Magazine’s Celebration of Hand-Hooked Rugs as an Honourable Mention!

I can’t wait to get my copy of the book in the mail!

Rug Hooking week is currently underway at Sauder Village in Ohio.  I was there last year and won’t make it this year but it was a terrific show and well worth the trip.

 

Karen