Iris in the Rough

Yesterday I took the day off and drove to the island for pleasure. Long country drives. A little city shopping downtown looking at art  and then a stop at Victoria by the Sea. Two nice meals out. Good company , a lovely day.

Then this morning I slept a bit late, took my walk, phoned my friend Lily for a chat and wandered into the studio. I was stunned for a second when I walked in the door. There was a big black iris on the back wall. I had hung it on Tuesday and liked what I saw but this morning after a day away I was surprised by the beauty of it. It was like seeing it for the first time.

I looked twice as I rounded the corner to come in to the studio. I saw the iris like someone else , someone who did not make it. Suddenly I was taken aback by it’s beauty. This happens only once in a long while but I can tell you it is worth the wait.

When we make things we are close to them. They are familiar and the familiarity gets in the way of really seeing things as they are. When I started this rug I had an image in my head of a single iris on a coral diamond background. The coral diamonds felt too much like Kaffe Fassett’s work so I had to change that. He had just been here when I started the project. It was Brandon Mabley  who said, Imagine your work as a big black iris. His comment made me want to see it for real. So this piece was influenced by their visit yet I did not want to make it reminiscent of their work, but of my own. It is a tricky balance. You want to have influences . It is how you grow, but you do not want to imitate. Imitation stifles me. It is only good as a practice as a way to learn. When you want to show yourself and the way you see things imitation will not work. For this you must find your own way .

I hooked the coloured diamonds because I thought the iris would be too serene just on a white ground and I was right.  It is called Iris in the Rough because where I was a child irises grew in the ditches. I have always been surprised that they were so beautiful growing in such a rugged spot. It is a metaphor of course, like so much art.

When I feel this way I am so grateful. It must be the way  a writer feels after a great sentence, or a guitar player after a great riff. Satisfaction in creating art only comes once in a while. When it does you’d be a fool not to be thankful.


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26 thoughts on “Iris in the Rough

  1. This is so beautiful Deanne. The softer colored background allows the beauty of the iris to shine.
    My parents used to grow big dark purple irises in our backyard when I was a kid. I remember being devastated when they dug them up to redesign the yard. I was always told irises don’t smell. But I specifically remember the subtle sweet smell of these beautiful flowers. It was the smell that first came to my mind when I opened this blog entry.


  2. Deanne this iris is just beautiful, when I opened the email and the iris stared at me I was wowed! I just loved it. To me it is one of your most beautiful works and I can see by reading your blog how it wowed you also as you saw it again after being away from the shop. Glad you enjoyed a lovely day on our Island, we are having an incredible summer. Hope to visit soon. Nancy Doucette


  3. I too was stuck by it’s beauty when a I came in on Thursday morning to the studio.
    My last day, we packed up my frame and i got on my way.
    Taking home a rug frame on the airplane was easy, my suitcase in the trunk and rug frame box in the back seat, I sat up front with the limo driver and had a nice chat.
    Tomorrow I finish my MAT mat.


  4. This is so beautiful and really makes a statement. I love the diamond background. It will really grab your attention when you enter a room.
    Judy Moakler


  5. Your Iris is lovely and powerful! I love to read your thoughts as you hook your vision onto the backing. Your unique work always inspires me.


  6. Hi Deanne,

    Your comments on seeing your Iris after leaving home for a day are most interesting.

    The colour in the diamonds is indeed the background needed to compliment the beauty of the iris.

    I too saw iris in Dunfield, near Trinity, Newfoundland. Little iris growing close to the ground in the ditches.

    Purple , for some reason, is my favourite colour.

    Sincerely, Carol Bryson


  7. Love it Deanne.It would look equally well in a gallery or someone’s living room.It made my heart beat faster when I saw it.


  8. I truly needed this inspiration. I am slowly coming out of a creative funk. We’ve all been there ! Seeing your Iris pulled me up by the collar and said ” WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR ? JUST DO IT ” Making my world more beautiful.


  9. It is a beautiful mat, I especially love the surprise of the more colourful diamonds, they made me smile! Thank you for all you do to encourage, support and teach this beautiful art form!


  10. What a beautiful rug indeed! I love the deep blacks and purples against those almost baby nursery colors and then the pops of brights…..this rug has just the right amount of everything.


  11. I loved this entry , Deanne. Your choice of descriptive words as well as your photos were indeed ones to capture anyone reading your blog. Thank-you.


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