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. :)