Thursday, December 1, 2011

Monthly Mosaic Blog

Another interesting month in the world of mosaics. I finished my 5th mini mosaic thanks in part to those wonderful IKEA frames. Some of the the pieces were so small that it was tricky to adhere and get them to lay correctly. I just need to grout this one and it is done! This one is based off of a drawing i made which I would like to make on a larger scale at some point. I love to listen to music in the morning with my cup of coffee and read. I call this "morning fill".

Here is a new one I am working on. I decided to mosaic the outside of the IKEA mirror. I played around with a few ideas and these colors were calling to me since I have been working in earthtones the last few projects. I could see this one going in a little girls room. It will have a fairy tale feel to it.

I finished my "African Sun" Piece and just need to get it framed. I entered this one along with my "Dancing Birch" piece in the Arts in Harmony Show at the Sherburne Government Center. I hope they get into the show.

Well, I finally made it to the Chicago Mosaic School this month for 2 workshops. I have never been at the school and I was thrilled to be there. The first workshop I took was a color theory with mosaics by Rochelle Borrett. I also took an installation workshop with Joseph Guyer. Both intructors were outstanding and I took a lot of info home along with my head swimming with ideas (as if it is not already filled with the wide array of projects I would like to do). Of course it was fun picking up a few purchases at Tiny Pieces. It was nice meeting Andrea who runs the store, she also had info on framing-cool!

Here's the fireplace our class was working on for the installation piece-we also worked on the floor of the fireplace and a bathroom floor within the school.

My next big project is one that has been swimming in my head for awhile. I want to make a larger mosaic for our bedroom using the Jacobean textile idea. I am drawn to textiles, patterns, nature and texture which is all part of that era. I have done a few sketches but wanted to more about the history of the Jacobean era, So... I have been doing a little research in that subject.

The Jacobean Era was a period in English and Scottish history that coincides with the reign of King James VI (1567-1625) who also inherited the crown of England in 1603 as James I. The Jacobean era succeeds the Elizabethan era and preceeds the Caroline era and specifically denotes a style of architectural, visual arts, decorative arts and literature that is predominate of that era.

I am going to the Textile Center today to pick up a book that I found and I am searching fabric designs. I will put all this together for my own version of the Jacobean feel. I would like it to be a blue and white theme which would go well in our bedroom. It is always so fun starting a new project!

Plan for the month

Finish Fairy Tale Mirror

Attend MMG Holiday Party (yeah! Tesserae exchange!)

Start Jacobean Floral Mosaic
Oh Yah, I need to fit Christmas in there somewhere-ha :)

Quote of the month

"All the flowers of all the tomorrows are in the seeds of today" -Indian Proverb

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Monthly Mosaic Blog

What a wonderfully productive month! It does help to make a scheduled time to be in the studio (along with getting ready for a show helps :) I did finish my Dancing Birch piece along with a few mini's. I was able to have enough for any area at the Art Harvest Festival in our local area. Finally I feel I am making some progress with building up a "stock" of finished mosaics. The day of the Festival was beautiful and we had a wonderful turn out. What talent in our area!

Here is a new piece that I started this week, it is going a totally different direction then what I had orginally planned. I was thinking when I first had this design to do a white monochromatic piece until I found some beads that were given to me through the tesserae exchange at the Austin Convention. Now it has become more of an African piece. I really enjoy letting the tesserae help inspire the direction to go. I finished adhering the "sun" portion now I am playing around with different ideas for the "rays".

This morning was very fun. There is a local lady who just finished her first mosaic and wanted to come over to my studio to learn how to grout. I love to help people learn this wonderful art. But, I thought I should have something of my own to grout and show her the process. So...I found a piece that had been sitting around for about 3 years that I had never grouted. What a wonderful reason to finally finish it. It's called "Play the Blues" and was one of my first few mosaics. It did not look so bad after I grouted. The edges are a little raw since they are odd shapes and that. I was glad to finish my piece and help her along the way. Her's turned out beautifully and she did an outstanding job for her first mosaic. I wish I would have taken a picture of it to post.

Well instead of a gallery to visit this month I was up in Duluth, MN and finally saw Laura Stone's mosaics in the Whole Foods up there. They are absolutely stunning and I was thrilled to see them in person! Very inspiring!

Goals for the month

Finish African Sun piece

Take a couple workshops at the Chicago mosaic school

Finish another mini mosaic

Quote of the month

"Those who dwell...among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life."

-Rachel Carson

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Monthly mosaic blog

This month was somewhat productive. I decided to figure out a way to get more hours to work in my studio. I wrote down everything I do on a normal day and how long each of them took. This came up to 8-1/2 hours and DID NOT include my studio time! Wow that was very eye opening for me, so I thought something had to give. I bought a planner and wrote out my plan for the week including everyone else's schedule along with a meal plan for dinners. I just started it last week and it worked wonders! I was able to get in the studio by 9:00am and take a break for lunch, then back in the studio until 2:00-How cool was that! I lessened the time on some things and moved my laundry days to just the weekends along with groceries etc. I also decided not to check emails until the afternoon-which worked sooo well! that I have been spending more time in the studio I am pumped to get some work done and can't stop thinking about it. 1st I have been making a few mini mosaics which I still need to grout but this is one of them. I'm calling it night on the thames-it just reminds me of the row houses in London. It's obviously more of a whimsical piece.

I am almost done with the birch tree piece-I did not realize how long it takes and there has been a lot of cutting and grinding involved.

I also decided to go to one new art gallery a month. This last month I went to the gallery 360 in Edina and they had such wonderful local art there-I absolutley loved it. I also got a nice tip on framing.

Goals for the month

-Be part of the art harvest festival in town and display some of my art.

-keep working on the planning and getting more studio time

-make a couple more mini's

-get started on friends mosaic of her springer spaniel-I did get some nice photos last month

Quote of the month

"Like a tree I stand, reaching for the light, gaining strength from the darkness at my roots. My body is twisted by the storms of life, yet in my uniqueness I am beautiful."

-Modern Affirmation

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Monthly Mosaic Blog

August was a busy month. I did make it up north by Lake of the Woods area with a few friends and of course I had to make them stop in Bemiji to take a look at some mosaic work. I thought since we were passing through it would be nice to take a look at the new Bemiji Regional Event Center and see Barbara Keiths designs. They are beautiful and it goes through the whole center! It is a design for the 15,000 sq ft epoxy terrazzo floor. It was well worth the stop to see!

I did not get time last month to finish my birch tree piece, but I have been trying to get a 1/2 hr to a couple hours a day to work on it. I just finished all the leaves today-A LOT of cutting and grinding so far. Hopefully it all works out, and I finish it within a week and a half! The background is going to be mostly blues so the yellow, orange and reds will really stand out. Not sure on grout color yet.

Here is a design that I am looking forward to working on soon. I am thinking it would be interesting as a monochromatic piece-in white. The idea came from a pottery piece I have.

My next big challenge is a piece I am making for a friend. She wants me to do a mosaic (2D) of her springer spaniel. I have been looking at different artists works and the artist I liked the most was Donna Van Hooser. She has done quite a few dogs and they are absolutely beautiful! I love her color choices along with the andemento. I have been in touch with her through CMA and she was nice enough to give me advice on how to go about this project.

Just an FYI-I have been listening to different podcasts once in awhile on my walks. One that I really enjoyed lately and found very inspirational is "Art and Soul radio". The host interviewed Pam Carriker who recently wrote a book called Art at the speed of Life. I found her very motivating to listen to and her interview gave me a few things to think about and stay motivated with my artwork.

Plan for the month

-FINISH birch tree piece

-clean up space inside my house to have for my drawing supplies

-Take pictures of friends springer spaniel and get that ready to start on the mosaic

-still would like to do a couple more mini mosaics

-go visit a few galleries/museums

Quote for the month

"There is no greater harm then that of wasted time". -Michelangelo

Monday, August 1, 2011

Monthly Mosaic Blog

Even though it's summer I have been able to find some time for mosaics! A few weeks ago I sat on our porch and drew up some pictures of our view and our 3 birch trees. This is one of my favorite places to sit and I love looking out over our lake. I thought this would be a colorful and playful mosaic design.

So... I started working on it for a show coming up for our mosaic guild in September. The theme of the show is nature so thought this would be very fitting. I decided not to go with the circles on the bottom instead I used more organic forms to represent the foilage. I cut all the shapes out and then used the glass grinder to grind EVERY piece. It was a little time consuming but I like the organic feel. Now onto the birch trees, so far I like how they are turning out. I hope this is not too much detail for a mosaic but I'm just going to keep plugging along with it.

Here is a butterfly that I finished TODAY in about 2-1/2 hours! I just saw that Eve Lynch is having a call for art for butterflies to go into an installation piece for a Nature center in Fort Myers so I thought it would be fun to be part of it! It's due next week. We don't grout it she will using black grout which will bring this little mosaic together more.

Here's a mosaic I did just for fun. It's an 8 x 8. I used vitreous and Karma tiles along with a few pieces of stained glass and mirror.

I have been so filled with ideas lately that I feel like working all the time, but I know I need to enjoy summer while its here. I find I have been so inspired by many things lately. I am amazed how by making art your eyes open up to the details in the world around you, even on my daily walks I can't help but think about mosaics looking at the cloud colors and shapes, trees, house designs, flowers etc.

I have also been listening to podcasts like George Fishmans mosaic of art radio show and some other art podcasts that interview artists. It has been very inspirational!

Plan for the month

-finish birch tree piece

-keep drawing and using my watercolor pencils

-visit the Bemiji Event Center to see Barbara Keiths mosaic design (I'm going to a friends cabin up there)

-Upload some more art podcasts for my walks

-make a couple mini mosaics

-say goodbye to our college bound daughter (sniffle, sniffle)

Quote of the month

"Peace. It does not mean to be a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart."

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Monthly Mosaic Blog

With the warm weather it is harder to get into my studio as often. I do enjoy getting outside as much as I can. Also I have been working on getting a few things ready for our youngest who is graduating next week! What a change this next year will bring, I'll miss her heading to college but maybe more time to get into the studio :) Creatively I feel like I have been in a rut, and I have been wondering why I'm working with such a laboreous medium, it takes forever to finish a piece. But...then I get back into my studio put on my nice music and find my meditative groove and remember why I love this chanllenging art.

I did finish the dragonfly in time for the crisis nursery auction. This was for a silent auction donation and I know the people who bid on it. Sounds like they were excited to win it!

I would like to continue to make a few items a year for fundraisers I believe in. I still think it would be fun to mosaic a guitar for some event.

I just finished a piece today. I love blue and green so I thought I would make a small mosaic just playing around with the colors and textures. I still need to grout it. I'm probably going to wait a week or so since I layered the glass and charms with just weldbond. I would hate for them to come loose when it comes time to grouting.

Not really sure what I want to work on next, I always have way too many ideas and have a hard time figuring out which one I would like to do. I did get time to play around with a few sketches today. I never started the egyptian vessel, it just wasn't calling to me yet.

Plan for the month

Grout "Nature's pattern"

Paint quote on studio wall

Play around with my watercolor pencils

Make a couple small pieces for the Edina Mosaic Show

Decide what pieces to put in the Edina Show

Get ready for MMG meeting-I'm showing some pictures from the Austin Mosaic Tour.

Quote of the month

"He who knows others is wise; he who knows himself is enlightened." -Lao-tzu

Monday, May 2, 2011

Monthly Mosaic Blog

Last month was a little slow in the studio but I had time to get a few things done. I also cleaned up my studio where my sketching table is and organized that a little more. I think much clearer and I can enjoy myself more when things are where they need to be and it's not as cluttered. .

I finally finished a mosaic project I started at SAMA. This was started in an Emma Biggs class that I took. I'm glad I finished this since it did teach me about tone and "layering" along with composition. I do like the look of the matt ceramics in the background and how the vitreous glass stands out. Since we were given a limited "palette" It forced us to use more neutral colors, which I found I did like in the end.

A new small project I took on this week is being donated to a silent auction fundraiser for the Crisis Nursery in our county. They needed it within a few weeks and so I thought I could put something small together for the event. It's an 8" x 8" dragonfly piece. I decided on this since I had limited time and have done other dragonflys. I just have the background left to do then grout and get it framed before Friday. I had to sweet talk the framer in town to help me out on a quick frame job (it's definitely a plus to have a good repore with your framer).

After 21 hours (it's nice to keep track of how long it takes) Lasiren 2 is complete. I'm very happy to donate my time to give back to others. My square will be one of 24 squares that will be put together as a large installation in a hospital in Haiti. What a wonderful mosaic group we have to have so many people dedicated to the project and to see it through! Thanks to Susan and Lori for heading the project up!!

This was fun to do but challenging because I have never done a face/skin before and was not sure on the colors/tones and andemento (always so much to learn in the mosaic world).

Goals for May

Finish dragonfly

Start and finish Egyptian vessel

Sketch next piece-I'm thinking sunflowers

Make a few smaller pieces for Edina show

Quote of the month

"There are very few human beings who receive the truth, complete and staggering, by instant illumination. Most of them aquire it fragment by fragment, on a small scale, by successive developments, cellularly, like a laborious mosaic." -Anais Nin

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Monthly mosaic blog

I'm entering my blog a little early since I'll be busy with Spring Break starting tomorrow.

My studio has not been visited by me much this month, but I have accomplished a few things.

I'm almost done with my mosaic 12 x 12 for our Haitian project. It was suggested we use primary colors since thoses colors are important in Haitian art. I just have the background to finish which will be blue and white. I'm excited to see everyone's square and have it all put together!

I finished my sample mosaic that I started in Emma Biggs class-I was working on the different "layers" of mosaics and the effect it can bring to a piece. Also I considered the 2 to 1 ratio when coming up with an idea for the composition. I just need to grout this and thinking of using gray. I would normally use brighter colors but she just had duller colors in the class to work with. I do like using the matt ceramics. I have not used them too much.

Also this month we visited the King Tut exhibit-I was amazed at the detail of thier art 3000 years ago! I loved the detail on the utilitarian vessels they created. I decided that it would be fun to sketch up some for a mosaic. This is one of three I came up with. Hopefully I get to this mosaic in April. I'm looking forward to trying some techniques on the border that Laurel Skye uses in her work.

Goals for the month

Finish 12 x 12 voodoo flag

grout sample piece

decide on colors for current leaf project

start on egyptian vessel

attend the MMG meeting

Quote for the month

"We attract into our lives what we think about the most, believe in most strongly, expect on the deepest level, and imagine most vividly."

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Monthly Mosaic Blog

Had a wonderfully busy February!

I finished the challenge we had with our mosaic guild-we were asked to finish a 3"x 3" mosaic and bring it to the meeting and talk about our process and what we found challenging and what we liked about working small. I enjoyed doing this for a few reasons. 1. I was able to finish this fairly quick, so nice to feel a sense of accomplishment. 2. I was able to use a the small bits of glass I never know what to do with it anyways. 3. I was able to do a color study-using the same design with 3 different color schemes. The challenging part was using my glass grinder on tiny pieces. All in all it was actually fun to do and am looking forward to doing a few more.

I also started a new piece-I've been playing around with different color schemes, still not sure on the colors yet. I'm using mostly earthtones. I plan on using many different materials even some new circle marbles I bought at SAMA! I also tried something different that I have not done before. I planned out how I want to lay out the andemento on my small sketch. (not shown here)
Our mosaic guild is having a show at the Edina Art Center the end of June, so I'm just having fun coming up with a few ideas I have been wanting to try.

Another piece that I have not started yet but it is due May 3rd is a 12"x12" square for a project that our minnesota mosaic guild is taking part in. About 18 of us are donating our time and materials to make vodou flag squares which will be part of a large mosaic installed in a Children's Hospital or another location in Haiti. Susan Mathis and Lori Green came up with the designs and we picked which square we wanted along with the history of vodou flags. This definitely has opened my eyes to a different culture and one of the many reasons I love working with the visual arts. My design is called Lasiren 2. Lasiren is the queen of the ocean and the patroness of music. I am looking forward to using bright colors, mirrors and maybe even some shells with this piece. I'm thrilled to be part of this project!

Also this month I went to SAMA! I came home FILLED with ideas, education, new friendships , photos, 30 extra pounds (of tesserae from the venders market not from eating too much), and a cold since I was pretty wiped out! It was my 3rd time attending and I thought this was the best one!

I took 2 workshops-In Emma Biggs' she spoke about pattern, repetition and complexity within our mosaics. This was by far my favorite workshop! Some points I'm going to definitely remember is to Repeat forms throughout my pieces, Tell a story with found objects and carry it through the piece, Think Layers using primary,secondary and tertiary layers, also remember to make rules during each mosiac Ex: I'll have the same spacing throughout the piece. Here is the mosaic I started in her class. I do plan on finishing it this month. This piece is using the 2 plus 1 method along with layering.

The other workshop I went to was Sophie Druin's and she spoke about using Blenko glass with stone and minerals. I usually do not use these materials so thought it would be great to learn. I definitely became better at using the hammer and hardie!


Finish layered mosaic from Emma Biggs workshop.

Get all the "leaf"portion done in my new design.

Start on Lasiren 2

Learn how to use my SLR camera-I want to take better pictures of my mosaics along with different design ideas by cropping my pictures.


"I could not, at any age, be content to take my place by the fireside and simply look on. Life was meant to be lived. Curiosity must be kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn thier back on life." -Eleanor Roosevelt

Monday, January 3, 2011

Monthly Mosaic Blog

January 3rd, 2011
Happy New! I love starting a new year. It's a time to reflect on what has brought you happiness, what you are thankful for, what challenges you've had along with what you have learned over the past year. It's nice to think of starting each year like a blank book that you are going to fill by the end. There may be a few pages you would like to rip out and burn but that's life so... you pick yourself up and move forward. You set your goals, keep your thoughts positive, and be grateful for what you have.
On to mosaics...
I did get my Mundo de la Musica framed and the framer did such a nice job with it. I entered it in the Art Alliance Show in Elk River and I was selected!! They only selected 200 out of 855 works that were entered. The show opens Next month.

I finished two more mini mosaics-they are really fun to do and I plan on making more in the

I also finished a piece that I started last spring. It's an idea that came from the mosaic summit in Chicago. I just loved the carpeting in the halls at the Palmer House where the summit took place. On the carpet were beautiful designs of peacock feathers with bright colors. I could not help but turn the designs into a mosaic (I guess that's how the mosaic mind works-always thinking of what would be cool as a mosaic). I still need to grout it, I'm thinking of black grout. The title will be "Memories of Palmer". In the design I layed out the tiles thinking of a hungarian needlepoint stitch.
Onto new ideas and mosaics. I've been sketching a little and coming up with a few new mosaic ideas, here are a few I would like to start. I have some opportunities to show artwork at our local bank and also our Mosiac Guild will have a show in June. I'm going to try to get these done in time for the shows.

Goals for January

Finish grouting and framing "Memories of Palmer".

Start and Finish "Night by the Thames" piece and have it ready to put in the bank show.

Make a few mini mosaics.

Decide on what volunteer positions I'd like to work at the Next mosaic summit.

Quote of the month

"Know what you want to do-then do it. Make straight for your goal and go undefeated in spirit to the end." -Ernestine Schumann-Heink, Opera singer