Saturday, December 1, 2012

Monthly Mosaic Blog

How exciting to have the Grid Project Done!  We had the unveiling of the squares at our November meeting.  This project is made up of eighteen 11 x 11 squares and is based off of a picture taken of the Rustic Garden business in Buffalo.  The squares will be adhered to a black board and will become a community art display.  This was definitely a challange to do in mosaics. Glad I decided to be part of this.  My square is in the 2nd row on the right hand side.
Here is my square up close next to the picture I had to work from.  It is fairly close to the colors.  Fun to see them side by side.
Here is my rosebud finally finished!  This was from a class I took with Yulia Hananson at the Cape Cod Mosaic School.  It is based off one of my pictures.  I ended up using a gray grout, which looks okay.  Next time I might use a white grout for the large white areas.

Well I am getting closer to being done with my sunflower mosaic.  I am glad that the look I was going for is working, wanting the "leaves" to appear to be at different heights and closeness.  I think for the background I will have different white glass along with different andemento within it.  Hopefully that will look okay.  Decisions, decisions...

Goals for the month of December
-Finish sunflower piece
-Start on piece for the SAMA Salon
-Sketch up a design for my sister and brother-in-law.  They would like me to do a mosaic for their home.

Quote of the month
"Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time."    -Thomas Merton

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Monthly Mosaic Blog

I have to say this was one of those months where the stars were aligned.  I had some interesting and fabulous opportunities come my way. 
At the beginning of the month I had some of my pieces in the Art Harvest Festival in town and had the opportunity to meet a few more of the Buffalo Community Orchestra members.  They asked if I wanted to be featured in their newletter since I intertwine music into a lot of my mosaics.  I was very honored and it did make me think about how music really does effect me on a daily basis.
I was also asked to do a presentation to the Buffalo Art Guild about my process.  So I was the "guest" speaker this month and I had fun putting together a two hour presentation on mosaics-tools, tesserae, technique.  I finished an 8 x 8 to bring in to show how I grout my pieces and finished the talk with the completed mosaic.  This was another version of my "Morning Fill" design.

My work was also a part of the "Spirit and Creativity" event in town.  Local musicians,poets, and artists combined their work in one night.  They had four of my art pieces in the program.  This was an amazing experience to be part of!

This is a mosaic design that is finely coming to life that I have been wanting to do for over a year.  I thought I would try to get it done for the Arts in Harmony show but as you can see I did not get it finished, oh well.  There are a few other shows I would like to have it in for 2013.  In this piece I want to create an illusion of depth with the varying tones of color.  So far I think it is working.  I am not sure on the color of the background yet, probably an offwhite.

Here is my "grid" project square for our Buffalo Art Guild group.  Mine will be one of 18 other artists squares of different mediums.  There is a deadline to get it done by the 3rd Monday of this month.  It has been a challenge with the fence.  I was trying to find the right material for the look I want and be easy to use in the scroll work.  I ended up using the back of some black stained glass that has a metallic backing on it. I am also using the Vitreo glass tiles and sometimes those can be a little fussy to work with on a smaller scale.  It will be interesting to see all the squares come together. 

Another very cool opportunity is that my work is featured on the front cover of the Hopkins Center for the Arts Season Brochure. Our Minnesota Mosaic Guild is having a show there starting on March 7th.  Thanks goes to Janine and Barb for getting us in there!  I am sure it will be another wonderful event for our group.

I am just thrilled how my passions are intertwining and the amazing people that have come into my life because of art! 

Goals for November
-Finish Grid Project
-Work on "Nature's Grace" mosaic
-Go to Art Attack this weekend-I love meeting other artists and supporting others.
-Organize my drawing table-I have sketches, books, paper, colored pencils, etc. everywhere!

Quote of the month

"What is passion? Passion is surely the becoming of a person."   -John Boorman

Monday, October 1, 2012

Monthly Mosaic Blog

Ahhh, Autumn!  My favorite season.  I don't know if it is because of past school years but I always feel a need to plan out my next "school year" still.  So that is what I did this month.  I set a plan of 4 submissions I would like to be part of this year and wrote them down.  One is in November (Arts in Harmony Show), one in March (for our MMG show), one  in May (MCA's member show) and the last one is in July (I am going to try for the state fair).  Nice to have those goals for the bigger mosaics I would like to make this year.
Here is my "Autumn Sail" Mosaic complete.  I used Stained glass, vitreous glass, mirror and a few buttons.  I was not sure what title to give this piece until a white triangle glass shard dropped onto the blue when I was cutting and it reminded me of a shape of a sail.  I like the way the andemento gives the feel of a beautiful fall breezy day-good day to sail!
This is an 8 x 8 that I am finishing for a presentation I am doing this month with our local art guild.  I am going to get it all done except the grouting so this will be the piece I will grout during the presentation.  I am calling it "Morning Fill" 
Here is an 11x 11 piece for the community grid project.  It has been VERY challenging to figure out how to approach this as a mosaic.  I have 1/4" Wedi board that I'll adhere it to.  I have never done this before but thought I would just sketch it out first onto the board with what colors go where, which I think will help with color choice and cutting lines.

I did find a sketch I did last year that I thought would be interesting to do as a mosaic.  Just not sure how to make the stones look like stones.  This may be one that I will try to get done before the May deadline for the MCA Member show.  One of my favorite parts of being a mosaic artist is seeing my sketches come to life in glass!

A few other art/ mosaic related things I have been up to is:
  • watching the PBS series "ART 21" it is wonderful to get into the minds and hear the opinions and struggles of other artists.
  • Started reading "COLOR" by Victoria Finlay.  It is a book about the natural history of the palette and where these pigments came from.
  • I may have two of my music mosaics displayed for our community orchestra event! I'll of course be very honored if that happens!
  • I also may have a few pieces in a spiritual creativity event-I am still waiting to hear if I was one of the artists selected.

Goals for the month
-Get ready for presentation
-Finish Community Grid Project
- Start on large Sunflower mosaic :)  -I have been excited to get going on this one!
-Attend the CMAB workshop on time management for artists
-Attend the Community Orchestra Event
-Attend Creativity workshop event in town

Quote of the month
"There are painters who transform the sun into a yellow spot, but there are others who, thanks to their art and intelligence, transform a yellow spot into the sun."         -Pablo Picasso

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Monthly Mosaic Blog

This month was about finding balance with time.  How can I fit in time to do mosaics when family, house, meals,excercise and music practice are calling me also, (all priority things in my life)?  I was thinking of letting go of mosaics for a while and did not even want to blog (I can't believe I even thought that).  So onward once again and I am taking a deep breath and just enjoying each moment I can work on my art.  These are things that make up who I am-mom,wife,artist,musician, cook and I  realize that I cannot give up on any of those, I find if I do, I become numb to the pleasures in life.  I know as artists with busy lives it is hard to fit it in what we "really" want to do but if we just remember to take a deep breath and at least take 10 minutes to do a little sketch we feel like we at least accomplished something that fills us up.

Onward to mosaic info for the month and enough of that!

This is a mosaic I am currently working on-It will be called "Autumn Sail"  This will go into the gallery since we are having an Autumn theme in our "L" area as you walk into the gallery.  I am using the technique for cutting that I learned in Yulia Hannanson's class last month.  This is on Wedi Board and I am using mostly stained glass with a few buttons and mirror shards in it.
This is an area in our front outdoor entry.  Imagine that, I am thinking of doing a mosaic for myself!  I have been so caught up with making things for the competition, shows and the gallery that I have not taken time to make one for our home.  This will probably be about a 2' x 3' rectangular piece.  I am thinking of a waterfall scence with flowers and a bench.  The biggest challenge will be to make the boulders in the mosaic-how do you make rocks look like rocks, there are so many colors to them.

This is a sweet little piece that I just finished for the gallery.  It is based off my Mundo de la Musica piece.  The title of this one is Acoustic Nocturne.  I still can't get away from using the bright primaries-I am just drawn to the those colors for now.

Goals for September
-Finish Autumn Sail mosaic
-Draw up idea for entry mosaic (and hopefully start on it)
-Attend Mosaic Guild Meeting
-Attend a workshop on career planning for artists
- Start putting together a plan for the October presentation I am doing for the art guild
-Start on a small mosaic to have ready to grout for the presentation
Quote for the month
"The best thing about the future is that it only comes one day at a time"
-Abraham Lincoln

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Monthly Mosaic Blog

I will be away from my computor for about a week and did not want to miss mentioning on my blog everything that has been taking place in July.  I did finish my "Orange Wave" triptych.  This was done on those little mirrors from IKEA.  I am selling this in the gallery as a set.  Each one took about 2-1/2 hours including the grouting.

I had an interesting change in my monthly goals.  We were doing some changes in our backyard and came across some free stone slabs.  What else is there to do with free material but make a mosaic!  My husband and I were quite the team.  He framed in the stairs, tamped down the sand, layed the large square stones and I broke up and placed the rest.  Some were pretty heavy and large.  I came up with a way to break them using a medium stones edge as an "anvil".  I would then throw down a large piece and they broke pretty nice that way.  It was hot, heavy and tiring work and I can't beleive how much fun I had doing it!

Yay!-the finished product after 4 days of work

Here's a small mosaic that I started, it will be interesting with figuring out colors on this one.

Another challenge and exciting project I will be working on is a grid project.  I am part of the Buffalo Art Guild and there are 18 of us each doing an 11" x 11" square of part of the picture below.  We get to choose which medium to work with, of course my square will be a mosaic.  This project is not due until November so hopefully plenty of time.   I am looking forward to seeing all the squares come together then.  This will eventually be a community piece of art that will be displayed locally.

I will be taking a class with Yulia Hanansen on mosaicing flowers.  I am excited to meet and work with her at the Cape Cod Mosaic School.  She is a second generation mosaicist and has won many awards for her beautiful work.  This is a picture of a rosebud I took a few years ago and thought it would be interesting to do a mosaic with it for the class.

One more thing (I unfortunately did not take a picture) I am part of our Minnesota Mosaic Guild's group show in Stillwater, MN.  It is at the 310 Gallery.  We had our opening last weekend and it is an amazing show.  I feel very proud to display my mosaic art among so many talented artists.
Well...lots of challenges behind me and more to come my way in August.  That is why mosaics are such an exciting medium to work with! 

Goals for the month of August
-Finish rosebud-hopefully in the workshop
-finish small mosaic for the gallery
-Head up our mosaic guild's field trip to St Michael church-there are bueatiful mosaics by Christine Carlisle there.
-Start my large sunflower piece

Quote of  the month
"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.  To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable."       -Helen Keller

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Monthly Mosaic Blog

Happy July!  I am amazed how quickly these months go by.  I was able to meet my goals I set for myself for the month!  I finally finished my Koi mosaic.  This is a 12 x 12 on Wedi board.  I used stained glass and vitrious glass for the body and the water in the background was vitreous glass.  I used Karma for the swirls-thought that would help them stand out more.  This is obviously a complementary color theme-I seem to be using a lot of blue and orange in my work lately.  I did frame it in a floating frame.  The adhesive I used was gorillas glue to adhere into the frame but I would NEVER use that product again for that purpose.  When it dried it foamed up and I had to go in with my tools and scrape it all out of the inside of the frame along with scraping it off the back.  I will definitely use liquid nails next time.  This one will be going in the Buffalo Art Gallery for a few weeks, then if it does not sell I may put it in the Stillwater show July 20th.

This next one is going to be a tryptich and will hang the long way. I still have the one square left to finish.  This will be sold as a set at the Buffalo Art Gallery also.  I thought it would be fun to do a small monochromatic piece again.  The squares are only 3" x 3".  I have the wave pattern running through the tryptich.

This is a sketch of a larger piece that I have been wanting to do.  I drew it up a few years ago and found it again.  This was a study about Picasso's cubism and I thought instead of straight lines I would use rounded ones.  I would love to give "birth" to it as a mosaic.  I am still figuring out colors and what type of materials I would like to use.  Not sure where I want this to go yet.  I apologize for the direction of this picture it is meant to have the birch tree off to the left.

Another thing I have been doing this month is listening to my Podcasts when I go for my walk.  It is a great way to learn and get motivated creatively.  My favorite art blog right now is called Art and Soul radio.  It is such a nice way to listen to what other artists are doing and what keeps them inspired and motivated.  I usually pick up a few good tips each time I listen to it. 

Goals for this month
-finish tryptich
-change out pieces in the gallery
-get items ready for the stillwater show
-start on my new design
-finish another smaller mosaic for the gallery
-Attend a mosaic workshop at the Cape Cod Mosaic school with Julia Hananson!  (I am all signed up and can't wait to work with her)  We are working on flower mosaics.

Quote of the month
"All you need is deep within you waiting to unfold and reveal itself.  All you have to do is be still and take time to seek for what is within, and you will surely find it."
-Eileen Caddy

Friday, June 1, 2012

Monthly Mosaic Blog
This month went by very quickly!  I finished my mosaic for the CMA competition in the nick of time (a day before it was due).  The theme was music and I based my mosaic off a sketch I completed this winter.  I wanted to make it a lively piece with different angles and shapes of the instruments.  Also to play around with different shades of color to create a spotlight shining down through the piece, thus the title "In the Spotlight".  I was THRILLED to find out the within a few days I had won the members choice award!!  I was so honored to receive that from my mosaic peers on CMA :)

Also this month I now have a space in our local gallery.  I am excited to be a part of a gallery that has so many accomplished artisits in it.  I decided to hang some of my smaller pieces.  I found that I want to work faster and more often now that I do have a space to display and sell my work. I am finding on a normal week I can get in at least 4 hours a day of work in.  Like always, many ideas swimming in my head and not enough time.

Speaking of swimming this is a Koi fish mosaic I was trying to get done by the end of the month, but as you can see it is "a fish out of water".  I had other committments that came up.  I looked online to see what coloring the koi fish had and did some freehand drawings based on that and came up with this sketch.  The scales took awhile to complete, I spent about 5 hours on them, since I of course wanted smooth edeges  (love my glass grinder). I am not quite sure how I am going to do the water yet but it is obviously going to be a complementary color theme.  This is a 12 x 12 on wedi board.

Goals for the month
-Finish Koi Fish
-Attend MMG Meeting
-Figure out which sketch to start another larger piece for MMG show in July
-Organize my digital pictures of my mosaics (I feel like they are everywhere on the computor)

Quote of the Month
"Life is whatever we choose to make of it."    

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Monthly Mosaic Blog
I have had a wonderfully productive month in April.  I finished 3 smaller mosaics and started a 24" x 24" music themed mosaic to enter into the CMA competition.  
Also thanks to my friend Dawn Elliott I was able to have some beautiful business cards made along with a classy looking website.  She did an amazing job! 
The reason for the push to get all this done is that I am going to be selling my work in our local art gallery.  I start this Thursday and I am looking forward to displaying and selling my work in an environment with such wonderful artists.

Here is the 1st mosaic.  I was able to get it completed except for the grouting which I will do tomorrow, in 7 hours. I bought a few canvas boards at Dick Blick and thought I would try mosaicing on them.  It is a nice substrate to try out and they were on sale.  I just used stained glass.  What drew me to this mosaic is that I love the blue and green colors and just wanted to use them to make a samller mosaic to sell at the Gallery

Here is another Torii Gate mirror I finished to sell at the gallery.  I will be grouting this one tomorrow also.  I guess it will be a grout day tomorrow.

Now onto my 24"x24" music mosaic that I am working on.  I have had this sketched for a few months and finally figured out a plan for colors.  I am using different tones of each color so it looks like a spotlight is shining down on the instruments.  Once again I hope this turns out, but I guess its the journey of each piece that we make that helps us continue to develop our technique.  I am using wedi board as a substrate and for materials-stained glass, karma glass, beads, vitreous tiles and sunshine tiles.

I am looking forward to another productive month learning and growing in mosaics.
Plan for the month:
-Get my space at the gallery all set up
-Work a few times in the gallery
-Finish Music piece and enter it into CMA
-Finish a fish mosaic

Quote of the month:
"What is passion?  Passion is surely the becoming of a person."
-John Boorman

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Monthly Mosaic Blog

With missing a month of blogging I have a lot to share this month. First I'll share the latest mosaics I have finished.

This one is a study I did for a larger piece I would like to do for our bedroom-I love the style of the prints I have seen for the Jacobean flower so thought I would of course try it in a mosaic. I love blue and green together and I pulled in colors from a rug we have. As far as the process of this, I thought I would break free from my glass grinder and not use it at all! (how scary-since I love to have my shapes perfectly round,ha) I think the overall look is just fine, a good lesson. Also I was not real hip on using just white grout but since most of the mosaic is white it pulls together nicely.

This was another 8 x 8 study I did-which is a nice tip to try a mosaic idea on a small scale first.
I love circles and thought this composition pulled together nicely. The substrate is plywood and I framed it with 1/4" x 1" tiles I get from Wits End. I like doing this so that the tesserae have something to butt up to. Now deciding colors (which I have the hardest time with) I drew up many different color ideas and this was the winning decision. I like the double complementary colors and the warm/cool together. I also like the flow of the andemento I used. I would like to try this larger now with a different color theme. I used black grout , my favorite with bright colors!
Now for a 12 x 12 study for the CMA music competittion. I wanted to bring in nature and music together. Within the piece I wanted a harp, guitar and piano along with the moon, tree and water. I tried a complementary color theme with orange/blue. I like how the tree is the harp and cirles around to keep your eye moving around the piece. I used many different materials. I think if I do attempt this larger I will just use one type of material. The grout color I decided what natural gray. I was a little nervous how it would turn out with the white moon, but once again I find I do like one color of grout throughout a piece-I feel it gives it a cleaner look. It's also less of a hassle. I am calling this piece "Acoustic Moonlight".

Well, another new event is coming up. I decided to have some of my mosaics for sale at a local gallery. I start May 1! So...needless to say I have been wanting to figure out how to work a little faster and make some small mosaics to sell there for a reasonable cost. I am really looking forward to it.
Goals for the month
-Start next music mosaic piece
-Finish two small mirrors to sell
-Get new business cards made
-Get larger photos printed and put into a portfolio
-Go to MMG meeting
Quote of the month
"There is nothing better than being yourself" -Christina Fernandez de Kirchner

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Monthly Mosaic Blog

First off, yesterday I spent my morning grouting. I have had three smaller mosaics sitting in my studio. So...thought I should finally get to them. I have had fun with the IKEA frames and these are three more that I have finished.

The first one is called "morning cup" I have been wanting to do a larger version of this one so thought it would be nice to start small and get a feel for colors.
The 2nd one is called "fairy tale" mirror. I love swirls and so this one I had a lot of fun with. I happened to open up a drawer of colors I don't use a lot (pinks and purples) and thought it would be nice to have a change of colors. This would be cute in a little girls room.

The 3rd one is "Tori gate" mirror. I had fun using more of a analogous color theme, this is my favorite way to do mosaics lately, with the rectangles and squares.

Besides finishing these I started an 8 x8 which I will post next month. It is for our mosaic guild meeting. Each member was asked to bring an 8 x 8 to display when we have group shows. Its nice to do since it gives a sample of our work.

Next projects are a triptych for the Hospital. I was thrilled to be asked to do another comission for Allina and have been busy sketching many different water scenes for the project. It will be a challenge as always but not due until June.

Another mosaic I would like to make is for the CMA competition. It has to be a music theme, I may do a scene with my piano in it or one based off of a picture I took at the MacPhail center for music.

Next month I may not be blogging since I will be soaking up some sun on vacation! I plan on bringing my camera and playing around with different shots. I also will be doing a lot of drawing-looking forward to filling up my sketchpad more!

Goals for the next two months

-Get started on Hospital mosaic

-Sketch a music themed mosaic and get started on that

-attend the MMG meeting

-Finish my 8 x 8

-Finish my last small IKEA mirror

-Figure out how to do a website inexpensively

-sketching like crazy

Quote for the month

"There are only two ways to live your life.

One is as though nothing is a miracle.

The other is as if everything is a miracle."

-Albert Einstein

Look for my next blog on April 1st!