This is an adaptation of a photo of my mother as a young woman of fifteen. After a long, hard day of working on her uncles ranch in Oregon, she fell asleep in an old ottoman. She is serene in her slumber, so entirely tuckered out. She’s wearing worn, dusty clothes but still took the time to wear a pretty barrette in her hair that day.
My mother, Myra Mae Carter, passed away at the age of 52. I started Hooking this portrait of her when I turned 52. I felt her presence keenly during the year it took to complete. Each new day of life I have is a gift that my mother didn’t have.
I especially love her face—she looks so sweet and tired. I even put in the drooly little area on her cheek to make her look totally relaxed. It was quite a challenge to capture so much detail in her tiny little face, including her beauty mark.
This rug is very small compared to much of my work. I learned how to get a lot of detail in a tiny space, and not to be so literal. It is impossible to fit every tiny detail that you see into such a small figure. I had to pick which details were most important to evoke the emotions needed to tell the story.
This rug is very close to my heart. I made this rug for my father and I had four canvas prints made, for my sisters and myself, and gave them as Christmas gifts.
Photos of this rug are by Eileen Haritonides.
About the Artist:
I started rug Hooking eight years ago after seeing Loretta Scena and her students demonstrate at a Fall Fair. It was love at first sight! I’ve learned so much from Loretta and so many other teachers and friends over the years. I’ve hooked many different kinds of rugs but portraits and magical stories are my favorite theme to hook.
To get the dusty look in the cowboy hat, I added sparkle wool to the other shades of wool. To achieve the worn look in my moms blue jeans, I used quite a bit of stretchy velvet in addition to the hand dyed wool. In her little barrette, I used sari silk ribbon and shiny thread for a little sparkle. There is also a lot of velvet in the background to capture the look of textured wallpaper. I added velvet in the ottoman to mimic a reflection on leather. I hooked the linoleum floor in tiny circles to achieve the pebbled texture and shine.