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Dragons in Pine Tree
In Private Collection

When I first moved to Lunenburg County in 2003, I started hooking and adopted it as my current art form

After a couple of workshops on dyeing wool, I came to the conclusion that dyeing was not for me -- too much like following recipes. I prefer to find and recycle wool garments that are a color that I think might be useful in hooking. My stash of wools now includes many different textures, as well as colors.

In Dragons in the Pine Tree, I used a variety of wool textures for the background-- the idea being to create a non-definite environment (blended) for the dragons. My major textural interest in the piece was to use silks and sparkly metallic synthetics to create the effect of light flickering on the dragons themselves. This effect is not picked up well by the digital camera; neither does it show well on the Web. I also used wide gold colored silk strips to create the scaly breast of the Golden Dragon. These strips were pulled through and then laid like overlapping shingles on top of the backing.

Using a variety of textures makes my hooked pieces very tactile-- people want to touch them. I use tweeds a good deal-- both for the texture that they contribute, and because they help in making transitions from one colored area to another. They also blend extremely well.

[To Come]ClickPuffin Head Logofor Hooking For Sale gallery

In the Seahorses piece, I used tweeds for the water, to create a graduation in color from the bright blue-green at the surface water down to the green-brown depths. Since seahorses will take the color of their surroundings, like chameleons, my task was to create different environments where different types of seaweeds would grow.  In the deeper, dimmer area, red seaweeds grow better.  The seahorses in that area are redder, or striped like the reeds. (Think "Strawberry Roan" and "Appaloosa!")

The main intent in the SeaHorses piece was to treat the seahorses like regular land horses, in the matter of color.  Some Land horse breeds are based on color, such as the Palomino, and the Appaloosa.  There are also "strawberry roan" horses, and black stallions.  Seahorses around the world come in variations of these same colors.  So this piece was based on these color facts.  It made the seahorses more familiar.  People can relate to these particular seahorses, as if they were standard land horses.     

SeahorsesSeahorses In Private Collection
I remembered the guinea fowl roosting all together on the oak tree branches over the driveway. They were noisy "watchdogs." When a car approached, its headlights would pick up the bald white necks of the guinea hens, as they screamed a warning.

This piece is definitely intended for the wall, since it should only be viewed from one vantage point. Hooked 90% in pure wool on linen, it measures 40 in. by 27 in. with another inch below for the fringe.

Guinea Fowl Greeting. Available for sale.
A Crows LifeA Crow's Life. Available for Sale
A Crow's Life? The title points out that the crows in this piece share lives that seem almost the same as people's. The inspiration for this piece came from the old counting rhyme, which goes partially as follows: "One crow sorrow; two crows joy; three crows a wedding (some say letter); four crows a boy; five crows silver; six crows gold; seven crows a secret, never to be told."

The piece measures 44 in. by 30" and is hooked in wool strips and metallics on linen.

This piece was inspired by memories from long ago, of trumpeter swans migrating south across the Great Lakes and seeing them land on the Northern shore in Michigan. I was attempting to catch the tumult and the grace and grandeur of these huge birds. Hooking white on white is an interesting challenge as well. To achieve a variety of whites, I used wool, bamboo, flax, silks, and extremely white synthetic and wool blends. This piece was juried into the Art Hits The Wall Show at the provincial Mary E. Black Gallery in Halifax. The theme of the show was All Nature Sings
Trumpter Swans
Trumpeters' Swansong. In Private Collection
Water access only
Water Access only Available for Sale
These three related wall pieces were designed and hooked for a summer show at the LaHave Islands Museum. Even as recently as the early 1960’s, there was no bridge and road access to any of the LaHave Islands. Therefore churches and schools were built very close to the shore, so that the local folk could access them by boat. Bell Island School and Saint John’s Church could both be accessed at the same fishermen’s wharf in a sheltered cove.
These pieces depict the first day of school. A fisherman father has brought his three daughters ( one, only six, and wailing because he is going to leave her there); he also brought books and supplies that he had been storing for the school. The middle piece shows the children playing in the churchyard beside the school, while a few of the boys carry firewood up over the hill to the school. The third piece is about recess, teacher is already ringing the bell and several children still have not had a turn at the outhouse. The outhouse still stands today, on the edge of the cliff, flushed twice daily by the tides. The triptych stimulated a lot of conversation at the show opening, because many of the people present had gone to that school and had memories of just what I was depicting. The only thing I forgot was to show boys carrying buckets of water up to the school, as well as firewood.
Command Performance
Command Performance. Available for Sale Framed
I became interested in seahorses when I discovered that they could be found in the sheltered waters around the LaHave Islands nearby. A search of Internet photos of aquarium seahorses revealed that they often swim in formation, like a drill team. They can also change their colors, like a chameleon. My imagination took over. This piece is about seahorses doing the RCMP’s musical ride, doing the pinwheel pattern, even with the one seahorse participant that can not keep up with his line. The seahorses sport the Mountie colors. The piece is very Canadian; showing a Canadian flag plus a Tim Horton’s cup floating by.