Colour, texture, joy and self-compassion are the key features of Meryl’s beautifully crafted hooked rugs and her books about her journey from homeopath to artist and journal writer. Meryl’s home studio is in Dartmouth, where she hooks and spins looking out at the Halifax Harbour.
Combining her lifetime of work in the healing arts together with her experience as a writer and artist has led Meryl to an exploration of journaling and contemporary fibre arts as a process for reinvention and transformation.
What is unique about her introspective process is the ties between her writing and design. This includes writing on the linen around the design to highlight the inspiration for each mat, selection of colours based on Chakra colour theory, and a technique of following the healing energy to produce an intuitive, abstract design. Each mat represents the next step needed in her journey to becoming the Wild Woman she was meant to be.
Meryl hooks in a loose, organic style with a variety of new and recycled fabrics and yarns (mostly wool and silk) on linen. Likewise, her spinning is unstructured, with a focus on spinning from the curly locks and mostly wool from Nova Scotia sheep. She starts each design with a simple sketch from her journal and a basic idea of the colours she wants to use. Meryl says “I don’t colour plan“. Each design develops in an intuitive way.
The names of each piece evokes the feelings Meryl is trying to create, such as Dancing Wildly – With Joy!, Love Letter, Dancing in the Wind, Breaking Open, Curvy Lines, Joy Releasing, Abundance, Let This Be Enough, What Do I Need Right Now? and Wild Woman in Willow Tree Pose.
Meryl says “My work is inspired by: my mom, Nancy Cook, a rug hooker extra-ordinaire, for her great colour sense; Deanne Fitzpatrick, for raising rug hooking to an art and encouraging me early on to do my own designs; and Monet and the other Impressionist artists for their art that draws me in and fills my soul.“