Friday, July 31, 2009

Update on Mosaic #2

Making some great progress on mosaic #2, pages 3 and 4. What I am loving about these mosaics is the detail, and, of course, the mille! I'm big on detail, and these mosaics will be even more detailed than my usual detail, which is really making them fun to do. I get kinda bored if a mosaic design is uncomplicated (or if I have to make 40 of the same design, aka San Diego trivets, haha). Barb has been researching printing costs (thanks Barb!) and I think I've decided to go hard cover on my book. Yes, it will be a higher price, but I think it will be so worth it!

Can't wait to see this puppy finished!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Got started on second mosaic of book, pages 3-4

I finished Lin's puzzle piece and I haven't heard back yet from the woman with the 2 portraits, so I'm back to working on the book. Yay! (Thanks for the photo, Lin!)

The second drawing took some doing. I had some perspective issues! I'm not the best drawer so I had to redo and redo and redo the drawing. I like my compositions interesting, and for this book there are several pages with a bit of a crooked perspective, I guess you could say. Anyway, I finally got it to where I am happy with it and I think it's going to be really sweet!!

So the first bit I mosaiced today was..... hmmmm.... a cat! (Bet you didn't guess there would be a cat in this story, haha) And who am I modeling her after but our family kitty, Raymi. I've already made two mosaics of her since we adopted her a year ago. What can I say, she's a beautiful cat and a great subject for mosaics!

Here she is! She will figure prominently in the book, so look for more mosaics of her. I'm soooooo excited about this book. On the one hand, I can't wait for it to be done, but on the other, I am really enjoying the process, too, so it will truly be a "labor of love!"

Friday, July 17, 2009

Finished 1st Mosaic of Book!!

Today I finished the first of the mosaics for my children's book - woo hoo! It is 15x24" and will be the first 2 pages of the book. It took me almost 70 hours, which is close to what I estimated, so I'm happy. What surprised me was that I was able to put in mostly 4-7 hour days, despite it being summer and having my son home with me. Although it took exactly 4 weeks, I worked only 18 days of it (due to vacation or simply needing a day off!). Imagine if I were to work completely uninterrupted! I could be done in 7 months! So that's not gonna happen. Moving on...

Here is a teensy peek at the mosaic. I know it isn't much at all, but this particular mosaic gave me little to share because any part of it gives too much away on what the story is about. I promise to share more with the next mosaic!!

Unfortunately I won't get started on it for maybe a month as I have a mosaic puzzle piece to make for Lin Schorr's collaborative jigsaw puzzle mural, as well as a commission I just got yesterday for a cat and a horse. I'm really excited to start the next 2 pages of the book (there will be people in it and that will be my greatest challenge for this project), but I'm happy to still be making money, too. :-)

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Start of My Children's Book!

So.... I've embarked on a project I've wanted to do for nearly twenty years: illustrating a children's book! Before mosaics I painted and thought, one day my paintings will be good enough. Wrong! At least in my eyes. So I kept painting, hoping to get better.

In 2005 I discovered mosaics. After creating mosaics for almost 2 years, I suddenly got the brilliant idea of doing a children's book in mosaics! I was so excited because I had never seen it done before. I went online to see if I could find such a book and who do I find but Barb Keith! Her book, The Girls and Boys of Mother Goose (Brownian Bee Press, 2006), is a collection of nursery rhymes illustrated in stained glass mosaics. Since then, her second book has been published, Mosaic Zoo, An ABC Book (Brownian Bee Press, 2008).

I was so impressed with the book, all of the wonderful details, the different borders, how she did the faces. I wrote her immediately to tell her how much I admired her work, and to order a book, of course. From there, a new friendship began.

So Barb, amazing and talented in so many areas, published the book herself through her own company, Brownian Bee, and offered to publish my book, should I ever get to it! But, I still didn’t have an idea.

Well, about 9 months later in December 2007, I got an idea! I wrote Barb and said, “You should do this!” She wrote back saying, “It’s a great idea. YOU should do this!”

Yes, a year and a half went by before I started. I got distracted with marketing myself in every way possible, which included producing as many new mosaics as possible so I could get my work seen in galleries.

Last month I posted two new works on Flickr: a skunk and a mouse. Among the feedback were many comments telling me how perfect they’d be for a children’s book. Wellllllll, I have to say that lit the spark that made me say, “If I don’t start, it will never happen.” I knew it would take me a year to three years to finish it (depending on other projects that would come up meanwhile) and I like to focus on one thing at a time, so this thought contributed a lot to me delaying this project.
So I want to say a huge thank you to those who posted on Flickr for getting me started on this, as well as Barb, who continues to encourage me and support my ideas. Thank you!

Now, as many of you know, I am a FLICKR ADDICT! And I am a lover of documenting my works in progress. I post almost daily the work I accomplished that day, as well as my thought processes and decision making as I work. Therefore, this book is going to be a huge test in self discipline because I really want the book to be a surprise - soooo I won’t be posting daily WIP photos. :-(

However, I WILL post cropped bits of my mosaics every so often. I simply cannot NOT share! I’m too excited! Plus, I hope by having an audience, it will continue to motivate me to finish the book even sooner. And it will definitely make me blog more frequently.

I can’t share too many details about the book but I will say this:

There will be 15-18 mosaics, each 15x24”
The printed book will be 10x16” when open, so each page will be 10x8”
I’m estimating each mosaic to take about 60 hours
They will be made of stained glass and millefiori (lots of mille!)

And that’s pretty much all I can tell ya! Here's my first photo to share, a teensy part of pages 1-2. I am nearly done with this first mosaic and have spent about 45 hours on it so far. (That is another OCD thing I do – log each and every minute I work on a mosaic. But in the end, I can tell you exactly how long it took me!) So it’s possible I can finish sooner than I am estimating. We’ll see! Stay tuned for more on this exciting adventure of mine ….. :-)