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TitleGrand Canyon YellowstoneDesigned byNancy ThunHooked byNancy ThunInspirationone of my travel photosDimensions32" x 38"Materialshand dyed wool on rug warpStart to Finish2021-2022HonorsCelebration 33Share

Grand Canyon Yellowstone

As with all of my pieces, this was developed from a photo I took on one of my many journeys; this time to the Grand Canyon in Yellowstone. The mystery of the vanishing river surrounded by angled mountainsides pulled me in. There is a story down there to be found and experienced.

I was stunned by the colors in the picture and although I do computer photo enhancement on the images I hook, this color is for real. I was also struck by the abstractness of the image’s reality.

But this has been my hardest piece. Constant choices—constant decisions. I found it difficult to keep track of where I was in the image while hooking. I kept getting lost…in the woods! I also struggled with how to interpret some of the planes of color and how they intersected with other planes while using the colors of yarn I had dyed. There came a point when I asked myself, “Why am I doing this?”  It takes me months to complete a piece like this and the work had started to become tedious. My guess—the image wanted to exist and it kept pulling me on. So here it is—the abstract piece of hyper-realistic art it so wanted to be—and—I think it could only have been accomplished with yarn!

I have been amazed by the number of people who immediately recognize the locale depicted in my piece. They have been there and remember this view particularly fondly. This evidently is a famous view and my hooked piece floods them with happy memories. What more can one ask?!

With this piece, I began to understand that my work is evolving into what I think of as hyper-realistic abstractions that inspire viewers to tell themselves a story.

I do come from the theatre after all…!

More rugs by this artist

Nancy creates works to sell.

About the artist

I have trained and worked in the arts my entire life. By profession, I am a freelance set and costume designer for the theatre working primarily as the US Associate for British set designers helping to bring their work to Broadway and then developing their designs for US and international tours.

Theatre is a communal art, but I have always pursued my own individual expression—through drawing, watercolor, illustration and textile design. Hooking with yarn hit the spot. I feel that with yarn, I have found the best way for expressing my thoughts about the world I see around me, especially landscapes. My landscapes come alive in ways they had not before. It is a thrill.

I develop my hooked rugs and wall hangings from pictures and memories of the many trips I have taken for both work and pleasure. Traveling is also a passion and until working with yarn, I often wondered what was meant to happen with all of the experiences and images that were rattling around in my head. Now I know!