I had a wonderful week at Cambria Pines Rug Hooking Camp! First of all, Cambria itself is a wonderful place. Cambria is near the sea, with moderate temperatures, and is a quaint little town. Cambria Pines Lodge is a wonderful place to stay. Its a huge complex, with wonderful gardens surrounding the lodge, comfortable rooms, and delicious food. I had Gene Shepherd as my teacher, and since he had worked with me on this rug when I started it, he gave me just the right amount of guidance. One of my main questions was, do you think I need to add more “creation”, that is, more plants and/or animals?
As you can see from this picture taken before I left, my drawing skills are minimal. I get very intimidated when I think about drawing animals. But I have to tell you, Google Image is the way to go! It was just amazing. I took my Kindle Fire with me, and thank goodness they had WiFi there. I would type in “crocodile images” and there would pop up the perfect crocodile. Many times the first image that came up was just what I wanted. So I got the crocodile and the turtle done the first day.
I added a tree to the left border (tree trunk visible here) and I knew I wanted to add some chickens. Trouble was, I wanted to put them right where that stick horse was. Gene suggested drawing them on paper, and then tracing that over the horse image. That worked just fine. I got the chickens added in the second day.
The horse was a major topic of conversation, as American Pharaoh had just won the Triple Crown, and also my table-mate was a horse lover. And also, I did not think I could draw a horse at all! Google images to the rescue! I found an image of a horse grazing, and I liked that. I am pretty proud that I was able to draw a horse this well!
Here you can see the whole rug, and all the images I added to it. I actually drew the elephants in the first day, as I was pretty certain of my elephant drawing skills 🙂 When I googled “chicken images,” they had a little bar that said “you might be interested in these images,” and they showed a bald eagle and a hummingbird. Why yes, I was VERY interested in those images. I drew in a dead branch coming in from the right side for the bald eagle to sit on, and added some trumpet flowers to the vine, so the hummingbird would have something to drink from. The butterfly will be eliminated.
One of the things that is the most difficult for me is getting the right contrast. The color I had chosen for the “sand” was too close in value to the croc and the turtle, so I had to find a different sand color. Also, although I want the cross to stay in the background (like a watermark,) I do want it to be visible, so I will have to be aware of that as I continue to hook .
All this thinking is very tiring to me. I remind myself that this is an important part of the creative process. I hooked and drew and pondered value each day during the class hours, from 9-12, and after lunch from 1-3:30. I did not stay after class or hook into the evening hours like many of my classmates. And that made the entire trip very enjoyable for me.
I returned home refreshed, and to be honest, anxious to return to my quilting!