Tuesday, August 11, 2015

A Mosaic Tribute to My Mom

Five years ago I was commissioned to create a mosaic triptych for the Sacred Space at Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital in California. After several years of delay, I began working on the design of a whimsical tree and colorful sky. It had just been submitted for approval when my mother suddenly passed away. My mosaic project quickly became more meaningful to me as I requested additional time to change the design and pour my love of her into it.

My mother adored nature and one of her favorite trees was the Jacaranda. She also had a tremendous love for daylilies, buying them, selling them, creating her own hybrids. She was deeply and enthusiastically involved with the daylily community with daylily pals all over the country. My original design had no flowers but I knew my redesign absolutely must.

My mother had more than 100 potted daylilies as well as maybe 100 more in the ground.  I couldn't possibly take them all home, so took 25 of her favorite potted ones and dug up 10 more. They had just finished blooming so had no flowers when I brought them home.  I used my mom's photos of them as inspiration for the design. 

A year later, as I was cutting glass for the flowers, they bloomed for me for the first time. As they were all different, I had no idea what colors or type they would be. For the next two months, I couldn't wait to go out in the morning to see what had opened that day. Sitting on the deck with my coffee and my cat, I was with my mom and her beautiful creations all around me. They are each magnificent and unique, as she was, and I am so grateful to have this part of her with me always.

After months of working on the mosaics, they were installed last week while I was out of town. I will be at the hospital this Thursday for the dedication ceremony to commemorate the opening of the hospital. The lighting is beautiful in the Sacred Space and I can't wait to see the mosaics in their new home. It will be another place I can go be with my mom, but nothing compares to being in my garden with the flowers she and I both love!

Monday, May 25, 2015

New Mosaic Installed at Children's Hospital

My latest mosaic, Joshua Tree, has been installed at Children's Hospital in Madera, CA. It is 20x30" and made with stained glass and millefiori.

When I learned the hospital wanted a desert theme, I immediately thought of Joshua Tree and how my father would take my sisters and I there on the way to visit my great grandmother who lived in Yucca Valley. Camping and being out in nature is something my dad loves probably more than anything, and my favorite memories of him in my childhood always involve him sharing this love of the outdoors with us.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

My Art Featured in Bonnie Fitzgerald's New Book

I just received my copy of Bonnie Fitzgerald's new book, Guide to Mosaic Techniques - what a great resource and inspiration, check it out! 

Thank you for including my artwork, Bonnie, and congratulations on your new book!

"This complete resource of mosaic techniques and design ideas is sure to become your go-to reference. With clear step-by-step sequences, mosaic artist Bonnie Fitzgerald shows how to draw up an idea, cut and arrange tiles, and lay designs successfully. All tools, materials, and equipment are clearly explained, and you'll find helpful hints on setting up a comfortable workspace, as well as essential information on installing your finished mosaics.
Includes 10 project descriptions, such as a mirror frame, table top, house number, and two- and three-dimensional artworks. Plus, you’ll find tips and sample mosaics from some of the world’s leading mosaic artists throughout the book!"

Buy Bonnie's book here

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

SAMA in Philly!

Sunrise over Philly from my hotel
Just got back a couple weeks ago from my seventh SAMA conference, this time in Philadelphia.  Seven!  And each one has been unique and memorable. 

This year I didn't take any workshops, but I did go on two fabulous day-long bus tours, visiting some amazing places with beautiful mosaics, including the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral, the Glencairn Museum, and Philadelphia's Magic Gardens, just to name a few.  Here are a few of my favorite photos of those tours, and if you want to see all of my photos, you can visit my Facebook page here.

My favorite part of one of the mosaics at
Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception
Mosaic designed by Lily Yeh at
The Village of Arts and Humanities

One of my favorite photos I've ever taken. 
I did a back bend to get this panoramic picture at
the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception
Mosaic fabricated by Stephen Miotto Mosaics at
The Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts
On the bus tour with buddies Carol and Susan
There was, of course, other wonderful mosaics exhibited during Mosaic Artists International and during the mosaic art salon.  I submitted my mosaic cat, Waiting on the Night, to the salon and it happily sold!  My favorite mosaic from MAI was by Mireille Swinnen, and I was so happy to hear it won Member's Choice Award.  Isn't it gorgeous?! 

L’Arte di Volare (The Art of Flying) by Mireille Swinnen

Me and my Mapei piece on exhibit
Also on display were the mosaics made by the 20 artists for Mapei's Invitational, including mine, whoop! 

Saturday I spent with my friend, Cherie Bosela, walking in the rain to the Barnes Foundation to see art by some of my favorite artists, and having lunch across the street from these fun mosaic sculptures fabricated by Stephen Miotto Mosaics.  A week of fabulous mosaics and wonderful friends, how does it get any better than that?!

Fabricated by Stephen Miotto Mosaics

Monday, March 9, 2015

New work - Waiting on the Night

My newest mosaic, Waiting on the Night, was made for the mosaic art salon for this year's SAMA (Society of Mosaic Artists) Conference in Philadelphia (March 10-15). The mosaic salon is where SAMA members can display their mosaic art to be purchased by the highest bidder. It's always fun to view all of the art and to possibly come home with one. My mosaic is 6x10" and is made with stained glass, millefiori, seed beads, and glass fusions.  This will be my first visit to Philadelphia and I'm very excited to explore the city and see my friends.  Maybe I'll see you there!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

MAPEI Invitational 2015

Untitled, 12x12", stained glass, millefiori
A couple of months ago I was invited by SAMA (Society of American Mosaic Artists) to be one of 20 artists to participate in the 2nd MAPEI Invitational. Each artist created a 12x12" mosaic interpretation of MAPEI's 2015 marketing campaign theme, The World of MAPEI, to display in their booth at the International Surface Event in Las Vegas in January. The mosaics will next be exhibited at the upcoming SAMA Conference (March 10-15) in Philadelphia so if you're attending, look for them in the vendor marketplace. Finally, they will be permanently installed at MAPEI's America's headquarters in Florida and the world headquarters in Milan, Italy. To see all 20 mosaics, visit SAMA's Facebook page here. Thanks, SAMA!

Display at International Surface Event, Las Vegas

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Mosaic for Hospital

I adopted my mom's cat, Red,
who is watching over two of the three panels
I recently received the go-ahead on a project I applied for more than four years ago! After much delay, I was able to start cutting glass for a triptych that will be installed at Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital. The three panels total 24 square feet and will hang in the hospital's sacred space.

The design was originally an anonymous sort of tree, but after my mother passed away in 2013, I asked if I could redo the design to reflect more of who she was and what she loved, to honor her in this mosaic. So I re-drew it as a Jacaranda, one of her favorites, and added day lilies, her favorite flower. She was so in love with these flowers, she joined an online community of other day lily enthusiasts who shared images of their favorites and traded their day lily seeds with each other. Many of them, including my mom, would experiment with hybridization to create their own unique species.
Mosaic detail

She left behind hundreds of plants, some in the ground, others in pots.  I took home about 35 of her favorites, which weren't flowering at the time, but began to bloom almost a year later. It became my daily ritual each morning to visit them with my cat and my coffee to see which ones had opened up that day. Each was a beautiful gift and I am so looking forward to spring when I get to see them again!

Some of Mom's gorgeous flowers.
One of my favorites