Returning to Jonathan the Lion

I actually got some work done on Jonathan (2' by 2 1/2") while I was on vacation, especially on the train ride home, which was longer than it should have been. The train didn't leave the station in Chicago until 3 hours late, and then we picked up another 2 hours overnight.  So I was glad to have my rug to work on!

Wade says that the lion roars right at you out of the rug.

Last week, I hooked bits as I worked under his chin.  This weekend I had a lucky couple of hours and got to put in the dark mane at the bottom right.  I have been itching to get to this spot because I love the dark colors most and can't wait to see them go in and pop the picture.  I also replaced the background in the top right corner with a light value purple.  I had hooked a very dark brown texture in that spot and it just didn't satisfy me.  It was too dark once I hooked the dark beard in the bottom.

I was thinking today as I was hooking the beard how I have finally been able to achieve the artistic look I have been seeing all these years in my mind's eye, since I was a teenager trying my hand at watercolors.  Then I moved to acrylic.  But I never could get the look in the paint medium that was haunting me in my head.  Finally - I'm 47 now - I feel that I am starting to express this vision in wool mats.  The key for me was developing a dye process that allowed me to have access to the colors and values I needed.  Then all the play the last two years in hooking techniques and placement of colors and values.  The abstract hooking really pushed me over into the look I wanted.  Pushing myself to work in only color and form, made my return to representational figure different.  I stopped worrying about hooking eyes and ears and teeth and started hooking shapes and colors and values instead.

Anyway, I am really enjoying hooking this piece.  The colors are some of my favorites, so it is a pleasure to work them into the foundation.

The wools I'm using are:

8-value packs: Hubbard Fig 119; Butterfield 122; Sunkissed Gold 157; Somerset Sunset 104; Goodfellow Yellow 105; Black Orchid 146; Highland Lilac 133; Faune Brown 114; Milkweed 115; Sea Shells 142.

Texture packs: Hubbard Fig 119 (value 5 and 8); Sunkissed Gold 157 (value 5); Goodfellow Yellow 105 (value 5); Faune Brown 114 (value 2 and 8).