Wednesday, August 13, 2008
What makes us look like us.
Here are a couple of faces in progress on Totem 40, my latest rug based on a fabulous picture from my 40th birthday. After much revising, they actually look like Laura and me. I have somehow managed to capture something in the expressions that makes us look like "us", not just two people in a rug. I have not been that lucky yet with Rick's face.
When I first hooked him, Laura said he looked like our dentist, which was definitely not what I was going for. Steve wasn't even at my 40th birthday! And I certainly never thought that Rick and Steve looked alike. So I still need to capture that certain something in him.
When fine tuning a face, I find that using a reducing glass (a peep hole at the cottage) and taking lots of digital pictures helps me see what needs tweaking. Looking at it actual size, it's very hard to tell what's amiss, but making it smaller seems to make the elusive nuances quite obvious.
I took this "in progress" piece with me to Rosseau Day 2 and it was quite a conversation starter. I think it gave people a very good idea of what is possible in the art of rug hooking and they marvelled at seeing the original photo and how the hooking was reproducing the same image - in wool!
Rosseau Day 2 was a bit of a disaster, since the weather was on-again, off-again rain all day. I finally gave up around noon, since I didn't want to ruin any of my pieces on display. Luckily, my daughter came along with me to help with set up and take down. Since I had been unable to locate a canopy despite a few searches, Laura and I tried our best to fashion a cover with a tarp. Unfortunately, it was really just an ongoing comedy of errors and the rain that was collecting on the tarp kept dripping on the poor vendor beside me. I would not venture out again to any outdoor show without a canopy. Lesson well learned!
At any rate, it was another day of fascinating conversations with lots of other hookers or would-be hookers, so the contacts made were wonderful. And I did sell a belt and buckle to a friend from Toronto, whom I was not expecting to see there. It was a delightful surprise to catch up with her.
If the weather had been better, perhaps the day would have been as well. Same can be said about the entire 14 days up north. One forecast for the entire time is not a good thing.
I did very little hooking after my show day and have brought this rug back with me to the city to move on to the background. I find that taking a break from the faces, and coming back to them after a while, also gives me a fresh perspective.
Stay tuned to see if I can manage to get Rick to look like Rick.