Deb took our beginning class a few months back and designed a smart, original design. I was suitably impressed but not surprised. She's proven to have a keen eye for detail and advanced spatial concept, the reason why her patterns are so precise and well-drawn. I can delegate jobs with confidence, a freedom I’ve not had before, knowing that she will share the vision and make it so.
We’d talked about her art experience so I knew there would be fun things to come, a line of “Sweet’ patterns perhaps, both figuratively and literally. But after she brought in her portfolio my socks blew off immediately after losing my shoes. Deborah Sweet is not just any artist, her work is incredible!
Her subjects and colours are very tuned to my fancies. Rich palettes always attract me first, the subject is always secondary and she grabbed my attention big time as I turned the pages with my jaw hanging. Her work is bold and realistic, it demands attention and deservedly so. I am truly in awe, and a bit sad that she doesn’t dedicate all her attention to her talents but she says there is something said about getting out of the house.
Deb came to the hook-in two weeks ago with her second project, drawn out on linen and ready to pull loops. I was floored! Not only did she lay down a perfect seagull drawing but she water painted the backing to show where the colours and shading should go. I’m sure you will be as blown away as I am and together we will enjoy following her work as it progresses.
Years ago, some rug hooking patterns came coloured in, giving the artist a feel for what the pattern could look like when finished. Today it is rare, if at all, but what an interesting concept. Using markers and coloured pencils, I’ve coloured in areas to help determine the background in some of the busy Morris patterns from the scrolls and leaves. I would dearly love being able to offer this service for unhooked patterns that don’t have a photo to use as a planning guide, but there aren’t enough hours in any day.
Here is a short biography of Deborah Sweet
Picture an only child in 1950’s small-town Ontario, born to introvert parents, far from the company of boisterous cousins. What else to do with such solitude but read and draw? Thus was my introduction to the arts in the village of Beamsville. Around age eight, on a trip to visit relatives, we were taken to the old quarter of Quebec City. I was fascinated by street artists’ displays and for the first time, realization dawned that drawing and painting could be pursuits enjoyed by adults. Until that moment, the only artwork I had seen was one Group of Seven reproduction hanging on the wall of my public school. During my high school years, art classes introduced me to the history of art and I was allowed to take a few painting lessons. I ‘dabbled’ until I was employed by Grimsby Public Library and Art Gallery. I enrolled at McMaster University as a part-time student of art and art history. As it does, life intervened with the advent of my own family and I continued to ‘dabble’. A desire to be at home with my children led to the start of a crafts business in 1985. I joined the board of the Lincoln Regional Arts Council and continued to paint sporadically.
The turning point was our move to Nova Scotia in 1991, and my friendship with painter, Helen Opie. She introduced me to The Lahave Life Drawing Group where I further honed my observational and drawing skills for six years. Thanks in part to Helen’s enthusiasm and encouragement, I put my crafts business on the back-burner and painted more and more. For two glorious years I reveled in the thrill of painting non-stop and felt I was finally hitting my stride with my solo shows at The Moorings and Black Duck galleries. During that time I became the third best-selling artist represented by The Moorings. Again, life intervened, a full-time job became necessary, and my painting time and energy severely curtailed.
Encouraged by the owners of The Biscuit Eater Books & Café in Mahone Bay, I had an almost sold-out show there in late 2009. More inspiration came in spring of 2012 when Helen Opie invited me to a week-long artists’ retreat on Long Island in the Minas Basin. The images I gathered there became the foundation for another show at the Biscuit Eater in 2012 entitled “More Than Cappuccinos” with friend and fellow employee Carmel Rose Smith. In 2014 I was invited again by The Biscuit Eater to create a solo show. “Between Heaven and Earth” was an exploration in acrylics of the various meanings associated with flowers.