Reflections on Seeing Red

Our Region 9 ATHA representative, Martha Lowry, laid out the traveling exhibit of Seeing Red rugs at the Kirby Midsummer Hook In last Saturday.  It was wonderful to see them in person.  There were so many interpretations and so many stories told with these rugs.  There is a binder traveling with the exhibit filled with comments from the artists about their own entries.  I wish that I had had more time to read them.  I am hoping that someone will photograph each of the rugs and publish them in a book with all the artists' descriptions.

There is no way that I can display all of the rugs here.  There were just too many.  Each of them are well done interpretations of RED and I loved them all.  But there were a few that stood out for me and so these I share with you in this post.

Early Morning Sunrise is by John Flourney.  I like the sky and the contrast of the shadow side of the big red chair.  The Price of Freedom by Martha Lowry is haunting with its message.  The Cream City Rug Hookers and Heart of Wisconsin entered Shades of Red! which I love for its unusual use of alternative materials and beads.  Mary Jean Whitelaw's Self Portrait is fantastic with its use of complementary colors (red toenails and green grass) and the flat fleshy feet in the proddy grass. The Eye of the Rose by Gail Becker is stunning in its presentation of color and form and the juxtaposition of textures and intensities.  Churchill McKinney's Red Haired Lady has great perspective with the shadowed back of the woman's head and the bright reflection in the mirror.  African Sunset by Gail Dufresne is brilliant with painted-dyed background and vivid purple shadows hooked at varying heights and with sparkle.  Louisianna Redfish by Laurie Olson is bright and fun with a good use of values and textures that make the fish pop.


Kirby Hook In and Seeing Red Challenge

If you are in the area, or around the area, or visiting the area, consider joining us at the Kirby Midsummer Hook In.  The theme this year is Out of Africa: A Rug Hooking Safari.  There will be a rug exhibit and a show featuring the ATHA SEEING RED CHALLENGE RUGS.

Vendors: Cal Creations, Country Gatherings, My Little House Rugs, Red Jack Rugs

June 25th, 9 am to 5 pm at Bethany Christian Church, 3223 Westheimer Road

Registration, $25 includes boxed lunch

To register, contact Lurie McAdow at

ATHA Biennial Coming Up

I thought that I would pass on this information that is circulating among ATHA guilds about the upcoming ATHA Biennial.  First, I have heard that the Seeing Red exhibit has been adopted as the Biennial's formal challenge.  So if you didn't make the January deadline for the Seeing Red Exhibit that is traveling around to various sites before the Biennial, there is plenty of time to hook your piece for the Biennial exhibit in October.  It is an original 9" by 12" mat hooked as your interpretation of the theme Seeing Red.

This letter is a copy of the one circulating in the ATHA guilds.  It is from Gail Dufresne.  It has important information about hotels.

Good morning, Everyone!  I hope that you all had wonderful and happy holidays filled with laughter, love, and rug hooking!  Now it is time to get back to work.

Our ATHA 2011 biennial in Lancaster, Pennsylvania is just around the corner and your response has been astounding! This will be the largest and most successful biennial ever. 
By now you should have received your registration form that was included in the December/January ATHA newsletter. You may also download a registration form from the ATHA web site ( PLEASE READ THE INSTRUCTIONS! Do NOT send in your form before  January 31, or it will be rejected.  This measure  is to level the playing field for those folks who get their newsletter later than others. DO send it in on January 31, however as we expect classes to fill quickly!

If you have not gotten a hotel room yet, there are still plenty in the area and WE WILL GET YOU A ROOM!  Since we implemented a wait list at the Eden Resort, rooms have already become  available and several on that list have gotten rooms, so if you still want to stay at the Eden, please call 717-560-8404 to be placed on the wait list.  There are more rooms currently available at the Hilton Garden Inn which is 2 miles from  the Eden Resort, as well as rooms at the Hilton's sister hotel, the Homewood Suite, which is directly across the street from the Hilton Garden Inn. You may call Kim Levenson at 717.560.0880  or e-mail her at   and she will work with you to find you a room at either the Hilton Garden Inn or the Homewood Suite.  I have signed a contract for a block of rooms at the Lancaster Arts Hotel (,  at the very special rate of $129 (plus applicable taxes) per night for several different types of rooms. The hotel is located in the city of Lancaster 2 miles from the Eden Resort.  Although none of the rooms in this hotel block have two beds, one, the club room, has a twin size pull out couch and the deluxe king rooms can fit a rollaway bed. Guests can call the hotel reservation desk to find out what rooms are available at the time of booking. There is also a suite available for $199 which has a twin sofa bed. Included in these rates are breakfast, free taxi service within 5 miles of the hotel, Internet service, garage parking, and YMCA access.  Call the reservation number: 717.299.3000 or the toll free number: 866.720.2787.  A brand new La Quinta Inn & Suites ( will be opening in the beginning of 2011 across the street from the Steamboat Inn (the sister hotel of the Eden Resort). We have been quoted a special rate of $119 (plus applicable taxes) per night for a double room.  The sales manager will contact me soon  to advise me when they will be ready to take our group's reservations and then I will let you know.

Seeing Red update

I did it.  I finally printed out the back label, bound off the edges, and put it in the envelop.  My little abstract mat "To the Point" will be making its way to Missouri to become part of ATHA's Seeing Red mat challenge.  The exhibit will be traveling a few places prior to its set up at the ATHA Biennial in Lanchaster.  I will try to discover the places the exhibit will travel to in case, like me, you can't make the Biennial but would like to see the exhibit. 

And here is a picture of Alexander for fun, taken Saturday at the Houston Zoo with his new favorite sleep buddy "Floppy".

Seeing Red Mat Challenge

ATHA has put out a Seeing Red challenge - to hook a mat 9" by 12".   I have completed my challenge mat, although I need to bind it off and send it to Lisanne yet. 

My inspiration came from a book on abstract art that I have been reading.  It was originally published in 1926 by a famous abstract artist Wassily Kandinsky.  It is a book explaining his theory of art.  The title: Point and Line to Plane

He makes the argument that the geometric point (the dot) is the beginning of art, signifying the union of silence and speech.  Think about the period at the end of the sentence, how it signals the pause in speech.  He says, "The sound of silence customarily connected with the point is so emphatic that it overshadows its other characteristics" (p. 25).  This is its practical meaning. 

But what happens when we detach the period from the sentence and place it on its own in a canvas?  What happens to the meaning when the point is immersed in a larger space and the sound of the print is reduced?  What happens when the basic plane experiences a collision with the point?  The point becomes an independent being, the subject of the artist. 

I created this hooked piece to test Kandinsky's theory.  What do you think?  What has happened to the point in this hooked context?  I would love to hear your reactions in the comments.

I hooked the point red and the context green because complementary colors create the most vivid environment to "see" the color.  Thus the red should be seen to be more red in this context than any other.  I am calling my piece "To the Point".  I have had so much fun with it, that I am going to do a series to test out Kandinsky's other propositions about the point, line and plane.

The wools I used are: Red Jack Palette Wool - Nightshade Berry 160 (8-value pack); Pixie Green 154 (8-value pack); Fiddlehead 164 (8-value pack).  I hooked the point in a linear spiral.  I hooked the background by pebbling the entire surface of the linen by concentrating on the values of the greens.

Interested in the Seeing Red Challenge?  It's only a matter of months until the Seeing Red Exhibit opens in February 2011 at the Trolio Hotel in Canton, MS, curated by Lisanne Miller, ATHA Communications Director. Consider joining the challenge. Details are in the Feb/Mar issue of ATHA NEWSLETTER.