Sunday, February 6, 2011

Definitely Worth the Winter Drive

On Friday, I headed out for Toronto in less that desirable driving weather, but by the time I was 45 minutes south, the sun was out and the highway was bare. It's amazing how much it can change within a few kilometers.

The purpose of the trip was to take part in the Upper Toronto Hook In on Saturday, but the trip was made even sweeter by a sleepover at Elaine's with Jennifer. We ordered pizza (which I really miss in PS) drank a little wine, did a little hooking and lots of gabbing.

And that was just the rehearsal for Saturday's event! There were lots of hookers in attendance, since Mother Nature behaved herself and didn't discourage the out-of-towners. I took quite a few pictures of the crowd, but realized that since I was at the back, I mostly got the back of people's heads. Not great shots.

But this one is! Elaine (in the foreground) and Jen (peeking out from behind the frame) must have both turned just as I was shooting, because they are the only ones looking my way.

The guest speaker was Trish Johnson, whose work is absolutely incredible!!! You will have seen many of her rugs in Celebrations and Rug Hooking Magazine. She was also featured in A Needle Pulling Thread. But there were lots of pieces there that I had not seen before.

Every mat had a story - must be the Maritimer in her - and they were the stories behind the mats, not the hooking of the mats. She is a testament to the adage "hook what you love" and her love is family and family places. 

Her training as an artist and photographer certainly comes through in her work. And the variety is incredible. With permission from Trish, I am sharing these images:

In her early days, Trish was self taught. She later joined the OHCG and took fine shading from Shirley Lyons - not just once, but twice. This is a farm from her childhood, and Baby Jane, the sheep, is hooked in yarn. The details in her pieces is staggering!

A lighthouse from Grand Manan, New Brunswick, that she said was the first thing she saw when she arrived for her summers there. But as she described it as "bitter sweet" it was also the last thing she saw as she left.

This mat was adapted from a doodle her son did in his Suzuki violin music book, complete with the japanese characters. He drew his little sketch around the piece number and title and went from there. Trish blew it up from a tiny little scrap and hooked it at a good size - probably 18 inches wide. It was one of my favourites - you couldn't look at it without smiling.

Another beautiful landscape mat with text hooked into the background. Stunning, to say the least!!!

This was a mat that I hadn't seen before that was designed with the help of lace doilies cut from paper. The colour scheme was incredible. It is somewhat skewed, as it was sitting on a chair.

One of Trish's latest mats that was done for a new granddaughter. The inspiration came from a START (Teacher Training) weekend, where the theme was borders. Again, her art background comes shining through here.

This is her son in the canoe with the family dog, which was her theme rug when the Annual Theme was water in North Bay.

Family features predominantly in all her work. And she ended her presentation yesterday by telling us that when she thought about her collection, she realized that her first mat was hooked to please a grandparent (sorry, Trish, I forget which one), and that her latest mat was hooked to please a granddaughter.

Amazing how it comes full circle.

The work was truly inspirational. I'm sorry these photos don't really do the pieces justice.

Kudos to you Trish for your talent and for sharing it with us yesterday.


Alice ~ Folk Art Primitives said...

Your pictures look great from here ~ her work is really outstanding! Looked like a great gathering!

Alice ~ Folk Art Primitives said...

Quick question, Wendie ~ didn't you do a triple cord as a rug finish? I'm thinking about it for my 1668 Geometric ~ any insight as to the wisdom of doing this?

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