Friday, December 31, 2010

Detail of 7th mosaic for book

Nearly done with the 7th mosaic! Just a couple more days and I'll be finished, but here are a couple of detail shots. It went really quick compared to the previous two. This design was much simpler and no people or animals to slow me down. I'm excited to get to the next mosaic because the rest will be indoors and I can't wait to plan out all of the details of the furnishings!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

My artwork has been published!

My mosaic, Portia, has been published in a new book called Mosaic Fine Art Portraits by Irit Levy and Pam Givens (Mosaic Fine Art Books, 2010). It is a beautiful book with some gorgeous portraits, many by mosaic artists who are new to me, so that was a nice surprise. The next book in the series will be Mosaic Fine Art Abstracts (tentatively named). There is currently a call out to artists to submit for this book. If you're interested, click here for more information. Deadline is February 10, 2011. I won't be submitting for that book as I don't create abstract art, but I hear one of the future books will be on animals and you can bet I will be submitting to that one!

This is the second time Portia has been published. The first was inside and on the cover of Mosaic Artist's Bible of Techniques by Teresa Mills (Quarto Publishing, 2009).
Also, last year, one of my cats, Pounce, was published in Laurel Skye's book, Mosaic Renaissance (North Light Books, 2009). This is one of my new favorite books, all about using millefiori in mosaics, so I'm very proud to be in it. If you work with millefiori in mosaics, you will love this book!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Happy Holidays to all!

This is most likely my final mosaic of 2010. It is called In a Pear Tree, it is 7x8" and is made with stained glass and millefiori.
Also, an update: I am getting close to finishing the 7th mosaic for my children's book. I should be finished with it by the end of the year and will post photos soon!
Happy New Year and thank you so much for following my blog!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Mosaic #6 for book is done!

Yay! Another mosaic for my book has been completed. I am now almost half way there! This mosaic took about 100 hours in a two month time span. Unfortunately I had many things slowing me down on this one. I'm hoping to pick up the pace on the next ones. It would be so great if I could have it ready to print by next summer! It is doable if I do nothing else, but that is not likely to happen. I had a lot of fun with the millefiori in this mosaic. I browsed Laurel Skye's book, Mosaic Renaissance, for inspiration in cutting the mille in different ways. Very fun! Here are a couple of detail shots. I will be able to show more in mosaic #7 so stay tuned!!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Day of the Dead ATC mosaic swap

I swapped mosaic ATCs with my super talented friend, Rebecca Collins! Rebecca creates such fun and creative mosaics with the most incredible eye for color I've ever seen. And I love her choice of subjects from dogs to beetles to octopi to robots - so playful and unique! Rebecca started a mosaic ATC swap blog if you're interested in joining in. The next theme is hearts or the color red. Here is the dog I received from Rebecca and the skeleton face I made for her.

Not only does Rebecca create awesome mosaics, but runs a fabulous computerized pet portrait business of which I took advantage of directly after adopting our cat, Raymi! She so easily and beautifully captures the essence of the animal and her skills in composition and color, I'm telling you, are to DIE for! I admire her talent so much and am so lucky to own two works of art by Rebecca. And I do intend on my collection of her art growing in the future. :)

Here's Rebecca's portrait of Raymi. Beautiful, huh?!!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Mosaic 5 of book is done!

This was a very challenging mosaic for me, so many details, I had to really stretch myself with this one. While the previous mosaic took 105 hours, this one took 120 hours - twice as long as the first two in the series! There were so many decisions to make each step of the way. I also redid some things once I finished gluing the final piece, so that stretched it out longer. Here's one more detailed shot. I'll take a little break and work on a couple of small commissions and then onto mosaic #6! (I'm about 1/3 of the way done with the book - woo hoo!)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Book progress! 5th mosaic well underway

I am so happy to be back at my book! I was away from it for about 4 months creating work for shows and small commissions. At the beginning of August I began working on the fifth mosaic and while I still have a lot more to complete on it, I thought I'd share a couple of work in progress photos. This is by far the most detailed mosaic I've done for the book and already I have spent more than 100 hours on it. The most detailed parts are done, so I'm hoping that, even though it's mostly background fill to do, it will go faster than the first half! Wish I could share more (boy, do I) but here's a little for now. :)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Second cat done

Finished just in time for the group show I am participating in at the end of this month. This mosaic, entitled Please, Can I Come In? is 8x8" and made with stained glass and millefiori. I was originally going to do the background in blue, which would've been gorgeous against the brownish orange of the cat, but I thought the cat would rather want to come in from a snowy, cold outside than a beautiful sunny day! I worried about that choice, thinking it would be too white or too stark, but now it makes the composition interesting to me. Plus the different shades of white, the mille, and the andamento keep it from being a boring background. I like it!

This mosaic and the other mosaic cat will be at the Cabrillo Arts Pavilion in Santa Barbara, CA from July 27 to August 29. If you are a local or are in the area, stop by! I will have three or four of my older pieces there as well.

Friday, July 23, 2010

New mosaic: Lookit What I Can Do!

I'm participating in a local group show next month (details coming soon) and so will have two new cat mosaics to show. This is the first, inspired by the funny things cats do to get your attention. Sometimes my cat rolls over and just acts cute (well, IS cute) to get me to come over and pet her. Other times she does amazing acrobatics, then looks at me for approval and applause. Well, she IS talented. Second mosaic to be posted soon. Just adding the whiskers. :)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Burano: New Mosaic For Donna

I created this little mosaic (about 3x8") for Donna Van Hooser, an amaaaaaazing mosaic artist I met on Flickr. It is inspired by the wonderfully colorful houses of Burano. I just love how they are situated by the water with the little boats. As soon as I drew the design, I knew exactly where the mille was going! I even found some teensy, tiny, seriously almost microscopic mille for the door knobs! I'm finding one of my favorite parts of creating my mosaics is determining where I will be putting millefiori. :) And I have been saving these two shades of fabulous mottled blue glass for just the perfect occasion and found it with this mosaic. I really like how it gives depth to the sky and water. The sun is a little fused piece of glass, given to me by Jane Denison (master mosaicist of houses, who I thought of often as I made this piece!).

Donna made me this mosaic, with lovely, lovely blues, my favorite color, and look at the andamento!! She does the most perfect cuts. And of course I love the mille. I don't know if she meant it or not, but I see a leaf blowing in the breeze - maybe because it is a recurring theme in my mosaics of nature! She framed it, too, and I always appreciate when artists do that. Thanks so much, Donna!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Trade With My Buddy Barb Keith

I have long wanted a mosaic by Barb and finally I've got one! And oh how much I love it. She made me a mosaic of our family cat, Raymi, and it is just beautiful. The colors are fabulous, and the expression is so her. I love the whiskers! And she framed it and got cards of the mosaic made for me, too. So cool! She put so much thought into it all and I just adore it.

It's funny because I had considered making a mosaic of one of her pets, too, but since she has a few, I didn't want to single one out and make the others feel bad, haha. So I picked birds, as Barb has made many mosaics of birds and so I felt pretty confident she loves them. :) When I was getting close to finishing the mosaic, Barb and I had an email discussion about how long we've been penpals and friends. We came to the agreement that it was sometime in the beginning of 2007. The next time I worked on the mosaic, I saw us in the birds, and then it was only fitting to name the mosaic, "To Friendship." Thanks Barb, for the mosaic and the friendship!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

New Mosaic, New Trade!

I created this mosaic, "Gila's Tree," for who else, Gila! Gila Rayberg to be exact. She asked for a tree and I asked her for an animal, her choice. She picked a chameleon, well, actually, two (see the hidden one?). Another fun trade. Thanks, Gila!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Awakened One in Buddha Abides Exhibition

A little mosaic, Awakened One, is 5x5" and made with Mexican smalti and millefiori. It was created for a group show, Buddha Abides, which will open Saturday, May 1, 2010, 5-7 pm, at The Frameworks Gallery, 813 Anacapa St. in Santa Barbara, CA and run until May 29. If you're a local, come on by!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

New Work: Beautiful Anyway

My newest mosaic, Beautiful Anyway, got its start in a Martin Cheek workshop I took at SAMA in Chicago last month. The class, using Mexican smalti, millefiori and fused glass pieces created by Martin, was an opportunity for me to use some materials I've never used in mosaics before, as well as to meet one of my favorite mosaic artists! He was great fun and I loved trying out the smalti. It is so beautiful and much easier to cut than Italian smalti, though tricky still when I am so used to stained glass. The mosaic is 8x12".

The title of this mosaic can be interpreted in any way you like, but for me, after it was grouted I looked at it and had to laugh because the eyes (fabulous eyes created by Martin) were looking in slightly different directions. Though I did this on purpose, it wasn't until that moment that I realized that the cat and I had something in common: when I was four, I had surgery on one of my eyes because it was "lazy" - it didn't look in the same direction as the other one! This made me think about how else I am different from others: I've never felt like I fit in anywhere, and as a teen, hated that, but as an adult, embrace it! Although since I've discovered other mosaic artists, I'm finding a place I fit, while still being uniquely me. And despite all my differences from others (or because of them) and my crazy eyes, I think I'm beautiful anyway. :)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Mosaic Trade!

The wonderful thing about knowing so many fabulous mosaic artists and having them as friends is the trading we get to do! This is my fourth trade now and oh, am I a lucky girl! This beautiful mosaic is by the ultra-talented Jane Denison. As soon as she posted it on Flickr I fell in love with it. I thought it was made for somebody else, so I quickly decided it couldn't be mine. I did, however, let Jane know how much I loved it, and lucky for me, it was available! Isn't it gorgeous?!! It is about 5 1/2 x 8 1/2", entitled "Bursting at the Seams," inspired by Hundertwasser's work. I love the colors, the fabulous Mexican smalti and millefiori cleverly cut in half and using the centers for the windows, the fused glass door! I love it all. And now I own two mosaics by Jane!

So Jane suggested we do a trade, and asked if I'd make a mosaic of the little orange cat who starred in "I Gotta Be Me." This is the mosaic I made for her, entitled "What a Glorious Day!" also 5 1/2 x 8 1/2," and made with stained glass, millefiori and vitreous, with gold wire for the whiskers. It was a joy to make and I'm so happy Jane now owns one of my mosaics. Thanks Jane!!
P.S. Two more trades are in the works with two more of my favorite artists. Who could they be? Stay tuned..... :)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

At last Mosaic #4 for book is DONE!

I'm not really sure why this one took so long to finish! Started it in December and took a month off to make "I Gotta Be Me," but still took more than 100 hours to make. There were a lot of details in this and way more decisions to be made than in the previous three. This mosaic and the next three or four take place outdoors, and then it will be back inside again. I so wish I could share more details but I'm hoping the wait will be worth it! I'm having so much fun putting millefiori every place I can in the designs but with restraint! I don't want it to be TOO millefied :-)

I have a small mosaic to make now and then it's off to Chicago for the SAMA conference - can hardly stand the wait!!! So I'll start mosaic #5 at the end of next month. Guess I won't be finishing the book this year..... oh well....

Monday, February 8, 2010

New Work - I Gotta Be Me

I am still working on the book, I promise! Nearly finished with mosaic #4, but I had to take some time out to create this mosaic for the SAMA mini salon in March in Chicago (can I even express how excited I am to go?!). It will be my second conference and I've never been to Chicago but have always wanted to. Can't wait to reconnect with all my mosaic buddies and meet some new ones!!

I'm glad to finally make a mosaic with this theme. Not only do I feel strongly about being yourself in your art and not creating for others, only YOU, but too often I see people being affected by the judgments of others and letting them dictate how they feel about themselves, how they act and what they choose to be and do. I like to live like the little orange cat - knowing who I am and not being swayed by what others think I should or should not be, spoken or unspoken! It's a much happier life and I wish the same for all of you!!