Monday, September 17, 2012

Home of the Brave Gets Hooked

If you make good art for long enough, it is inevitable that someone either outright steals your artwork, or that you get requests to use your artwork in ways that were were unwanted or unexpected. For example, I have had people actually ask if they could tattoo one of my pieces on their body, to which I politely declined permission (I suspect people have done it anyway). So it was refreshing when a year or two ago, I was contacted by Julia Kappler of Towson, Maryland about possibly using one of my pieces. Julia's art form involves using 1/8" to 1/4" wide wool fabric strips to create hooked rugs. She  wanted to use a piece that I painted for a Boys' Life magazine cover story as the the basis for a rug design.

"Rocket's Red Glare" acrylic by Greg Newbold for Boys' Life
Julia assured me that it would not be sold and was just for the challenge and experience. Normally I would not consent, but I was flattered by the offer and curious as to how something like that might turn out, so I gave her permission. I then promptly forgot all about it. Well, a couple of weeks ago, I got an email from Julia along with a photo of her rendition in yarn of my painting. Here is an excerpt from that email describing the project:

"Greetings from Maryland.  I am sure you had given up on hearing from me again, but my rug, inspired by your artwork for “Home of the Brave”, indeed did get finished and is now hanging at the Maryland State Fair which opened yesterday and runs through Labor Day.
A fellow “hooker” sent me these pictures of some of my entries and, since two of them show “our” rug, I wanted to send them to you.  I am thrilled that so many people (including judges) like it.  It took a blue ribbon in its class and then Best “original” (meaning you have to draw it as opposed to using a commercial pattern) award in rug hooking, given by my chapter of rug hooking enthusiasts (ATHA)
... As I anticipated, it was the most difficult rug I have done so far.  It was all hooked with 3/16” and 4/16” strips of wool fabric.  As you can see, the finished project is not as I originally envisioned, but that often happens when you get into the actual process.  Of course I was unable to duplicate your glorious colors, but wool is not paint!  I hope you are not too disappointed.
...Again, thank you for giving your permission for me to use your design.  Just goes to show you never know where your art will end up!
Best, Julia Kappler"

Thanks and congratulation in the victory Julia! I am not disappointed and it is fun to see.  I am sure you spent many more hours on your creation than I did mine. At least this time I DO know where my art ended up!

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