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TitleBeing Peaches at the BeachDesigned bySharon O'NeillHooked bySharon O'NeillInspirationinspired by my "Chicks Week" friendshipsDimensions23.5" x 21"Materialsnew and up-cycled wool, mohair yarn and satin on linenCuts5, 6, 8Start to Finish2018Special TechniquesI hooked back to front and front to back to achieve texturing in the sand.Share

Being Peaches at the Beach

A design of peaches sitting on a towel at the beach may seem like unlikely pairings to most, but for me, this reflects dear friendships, relaxation and memory-making.

Almost every year I travel to the beach in Maryland with a group of former colleagues that have turned to long time dear friends.  We spend a week beaching, exploring, walking, eating, laughing, doing DIY projects and picking and eating peaches.  For me, the image of peaches and waves is synonymous with friendship and happy times.

On one of these vacations, I got the idea of making a line of peaches sitting on a beach towel, overlooking the ocean—a peach for each one of us.  Our motto has always been, “butts in the sand, toes in the water” (see my rug “Foot Stool” on another page of this virtual show).   I started drawing sketches on paper grocery bags and came up with a design we all liked…including the beautiful Crepe Myrtle that is always blooming in the yard while we are at the beach house.

Sitting on the beach with my peaches, listening to the waves and watching the clouds bloom is a very happy place for me.  We call our time at the beach, “Chicks Week”.  This piece is an ode to my beach chickies!

More rugs by this artist

About the artist

While I have been a creator my entire life, I became a fiber artist in the mid-80’s when I was studying fine art and psychology/sociology on my path to becoming an art therapist.  Weaving and fiber sculpture were my primary means of art expression until around 1998 when I took a rug hooking class in Fairfax, Vermont.  Already a weaver and rug maker, I was looking for something that combined my love of fiber and my other talents in drawing and design.  It was also attractive that the classes were paired with wine, cheese and friendship.  I was instantly “hooked!”

 I am a long-time attendee of the amazing rug hooking shows curated by the Green Mountain Rug Hooking Guild and became a member in 2015.  In January 2019 I stepped up to be the Program Chair.  Since joining the Guild and then the Board, I have enjoyed meeting amazing artists who have become inspiration for my own artwork and friends in my heart.  I have also taken a lot of pride in being on a Board that is committed to growing the art and history of rug hooking as a traditional and modern fiber art expression.  In November 2023, I will move forward as the next President of GMRHG. This shift has me feeling equal parts excited and nervous!

 I design almost all of my own rugs.  Images come to me from friendships, dreams, stories, nature and current events.  Most of my designs tell personal stories.  I make detailed sketches and take a long time choosing my color palette before putting my design onto the linen.  While my planning is detailed, I leave the line on linen in a much simpler format leaving me flexibility to design as I hook.  I also like to use a variety of fabrics and multi-media adornments in my work. 

 I live in Burlington, Vermont, with my quirky pup, Nola.  I have two grown sons, both raised while watching me sitting at my loom and hoop.  I work at the University of Vermont for the Vermont Child Welfare Training Partnership where I provide training, coaching and support for Vermont’s kinship, foster and adoptive families and Family Services workforce.  Because my job is very challenging, it is very important to me to have meaningful outlets for expression and connection and the Guild certainly fulfills this need.