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!