CREATIONS: Special Announcement by Jacqueline Iskander Mosaics

Do you notice anything different about the cover? Other than that I have spelled Foreword correctly? 

That's right! The Mosaic Maven herself, Nancie Mills Pipgras, has graciously and enthusiastically accepted my invitation to write the foreword for the book. She has seen an early draft and is very happy to be a part of it!!!

To quote one of the presenting artists, Floy Height: "I'm so excited. And I just can't hide it."

Nancie has been supportive of this effort from the beginning, and helped spread the word in the mosaic community. I know, for a fact, that she is responsible for connecting some of the artists in the book with my Call to Artists. 

Thank you, thank you, thank you, esteemed Ms. Pipgras!

 

Keep Up With CREATIONS by Jacqueline Iskander Mosaics

To have a convenient source of information and updates for the book, I've created what Squarespace calls a Cover Page, which is like a single page website. It has three navigation options: Artists, Specs, and Updates

Select Artists to link to a pdf listing of the artists featured in the book, with links to their websites. For those who did not provide a website, the link will go to an email, unless/until they request an alternative link. (Artists: Feel free to make that request.)

Select Specs to link to a pdf that provides a bullet-style run-down of the the specs for the physical book and content.

Selecting Updates will link to the CREATIONS category on my blog, under which all things CREATIONS have and will be posted. 

Want to see it? Here it is!

RGB to CMYK by Jacqueline Iskander Mosaics

I've often been frustrated when I see some of my photos, that I have become accustomed to viewing on a monitor, in printed format. This is because of the RGB to CMYK conversion. I'm thinking about this now as it relates to my upcoming book, CREATIONS, and as I've been working with literally hundreds of images.

The above awesome graphic illustrates the difference between RGB, which is how we see images on a computer screen, and CMYK, which is how we typically see images in print. 

RGB, which stands for Red, Green, Blue, is a broader spectrum than CMYK, which stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black. In regard to printing, CMYK is also called 4 Color. The above graphic illustrates how much narrower the CMYK spectrum is than the RGB spectrum.

Most printing, whether digital or offset, is 4 color, or CMYK. Very high-end and/or custom printing offers CMYK + light cyan and light magenta, and possibly more, or CMYK + a spot color—whatever a customer is willing to pay for. Coca-Cola Red and IBM Blue, for example, are CMYK + a spot color, when in print.

Where the RGB/CMYK difference is most visible to me is in very vibrant blues with some violet. However, it is primarily noticeable in a relative sense: I notice it because I have seen the RGB representation, and I am aware of what is being lost relative to what I see on screen and with my own eyes.

Update on CREATIONS by Jacqueline Iskander Mosaics

I'm so excited to share this stunning book cover. The work featured is a table lamp by Brazilian artist Rosangela Kusma Gasparin, and it is titled Forgotten Glass. I feel like this mosaic expresses the creative, original, and explorative spirit that this book presents in its celebration of contemporary decorative mosaic. 

I'm still working on features for 5 of the 52 artists. Here is where it stands right now:

  • Artists from 20 countries
  • 104 mosaic works
  • About 200 photos 
  • Available late-winter 2018
  • Sold via J-MOSAIC or Amazon

In looking into shipping costs for outside the USA, I have found that Amazon can ship books internationally for much less than I can. So, I've decided to sell it through Amazon, as well as my storefront. It will cost a few dollars more, due to Amazon's fees, but the total cost of book plus shipping will be a good amount less expensive than if I were to ship it myself. 

All for now.!

Update on CREATIONS by Jacqueline Iskander Mosaics

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Wow! I am so pleased with how the book is coming along. It has truly been an honor and a joy to work with mosaic people from around the world. Part of the delight, as I have been receiving mosaic bundles of photos and other information from the artists, is to see so many countries represented.

Currently, approximately 1/3 of the 54 features are complete, although still preliminary until final proofing and approval. This is remarkable, considering that the deadline of Oct. 31 is still more than a week away. The artists have, on the whole, provided excellent photos; where there have been issues with not being able to provide quality photos, I have been able to work with the artist to resolve things and make sure that they are represented.

Out of all the stunning photos of all the amazing mosaics, I have chosen a tentative-almost certain cover image that I believe perfectly represents the spirit of this book. I feel it's too early to release the cover, but maybe in my next update, after the deadline and all the bundles come in.

Although I am not ready to share the cover, I can share a bit about the format of the book. 

  1. The book will be somewhere around 200 pages. It will be 11" x 8.5", portrait orientation, softcover.
  2. The book should be available no later than late winter-early spring 2018. However, it is coming along a little faster than I had anticipated, so it could be more like mid-winter, or late January-February.
  3. There will be a brief Introduction, written by me, and possibly an even more brief Preface.
  4. There will be a Foreword—fingers crossed—written by a very special someone with a broad and knowledgeable mosaic view, matched by their massive mosaic passion.
  5. Then, there is the heart of the book: the Presenting Artists. 
    1. Each artist will have either a two or four-page feature. I decided against three-page features as that created flow problems. Each artist's feature starts on a left-facing page. 
    2. Each feature begins with the artist sharing about themselves, in their own words, in their own fashion, about why and/or how they do what they do. Approximately 250 words provides several paragraphs on the first page of the feature. Depending on how long this narrative is, there may or may not be an image of their work on this page.
    3. Photos! You will immediately see the artist's work featured on the right-facing page, accompanied by a brief narrative—in the artist's own words—about each work presented. 
    4. There are a good number of photos that lend themselves to being used in a very large format, either across an entire spread of two facing pages, or filling a single page. These photos are chosen to be presented in large format based upon their size in pixels, on whether the subject matter lends itself to such presentation, and on my attempt to be fair. In fact, there are more than I can feasibly exploit, but I'm doing my best!
  6. After the Presenting Artists section, and all the hundreds of images, there will be an Index of the artists, providing contact information.
  7. There will be an index of the works, by category. For example: Furniture, Architectural, Public Works, Exterior Decor, etc.
  8. There will be an Acknowledgements at the end of the book.

So, that's it! I am so very happy and excited about how this is coming together. By way of this book, I am meeting artists from around the world, and seeing work that I've never seen before. It's completely awesome! AWESOME, AWESOME, AWESOME!

Cheers, Sold! by Jacqueline Iskander Mosaics

Cheers 2012! 12" h x 5" w x 5" d.  Mirror and Van Gogh glass.

Another birdie leaves the nest! This bottle has found a new home, and thankfully arrived there safe and sound! Cheers indeed!

Another reason to cheer is that the sale of this bottle was the first official sale via my new storefront, J MOSAIC. I'll admit that I was nervous packing up the item, and rewrapped it twice. Then, I nestled it in a bed of compostable packing peanuts, inside of a 500 lb. double wall box. Fortunately, all is well.

Mosaic to Music by Jacqueline Iskander Mosaics

Chaos Theory (2003) 18" x 18" | 46 cm x 46 cm. Smalti, mosaic gold

My musician son is writing a clarinet solo piece, inspired by this old mosaic. Isn't that cool?

When I look back at an old piece like this, I tend to be pretty critical. It's so easy to see the limit of my technical ability and mosaic education. There is a particular andamento issue that now stands out to me, in the light pink yin of the yin-yang.

Also, the circular pattern of the interstices, cutting through the petals surrounding the yin-yang, was not intentional, although I now consider it a happy accident because I think it adds something. It is interesting that the unintentional—and therefore unordered—petal cuts has created a somewhat ordered circle. Chaos creates order?

Something New by Jacqueline Iskander Mosaics

Adam and Eve (2017) 7.5" x 11" Marble, porcelain, mosaic gold, turquoise, amethyst, pyrite, agate, millefiori, contorno, viterous

Here's a preliminary photo of my recent commission. I'll get final pics after I frame it; it is currently shown in a digitally created frame. 

The client wanted something in the same style as On The Horizon, and especially wanted some amethyst. Almost as soon as we started discussing it, I had a strong intuition to abstractly express both her husband and herself, and their relationship, but I did not initially share this concept. I asked what minerals her husband was more attracted to, and he claimed turquoise. 

A couple of days later, I presented her with this idea to do two faux panels, one for each of them, and have them relate and connect with each other via the flow. She really loved the idea!

Decorative Mosaic Book Update by Jacqueline Iskander Mosaics


 
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I'm trying out the the above as a title for my book featuring decorative mosaics. What do you think? 

So, the book is moving along! I received submissions from 147 artists from around the world, and reviewed over 700 mosaics. Yikes! I have selected submissions from 54 artists for further consideration. 

In the next couple of days, notifications will go out to everyone that submitted, informing them yes or no.

I have pored over all the submissions, and made multiple passes. Even though the criteria for the project was as well-defined as I knew to make it, there were many works that gave me some struggle. The toughest decisions came down to making an admittedly subjective call on what I felt was the decorative nature of a work, especially wall pieces. 

My call had a very good response, especially after I extended the deadline. And especially in the last couple of weeks before the deadline. I am very thankful to the mosaic community for its interest and response, and for all those who helped to promote the call and get the word out! THANK YOU!!

Sometime in November, I will have worked enough with the 54 artists to offer more definitive information about the book—the look and feel, so to speak. 

Stay tuned...

A New Old Lesson, con't by Jacqueline Iskander Mosaics

Fullness, wip. 1999-2017. 60" x 36"

Alright, moving right along.

I've finished the water with the moon reflection. I studied a lot of images of moon reflecting on water, but admit that I did not study the mathematics of how the moon reflects upon water based upon where it is in the sky. 

Since I am not going for realism and perspective in this old piece, I chose the type of reflection that I thought I would have chosen back in 1999, if I'd had the wherewithal to imagine such a thing.

 

It's been enjoyable to work on this old mosaic and I may know why that is. I'm not terribly attached to an outcome and I feel free to experiment. I can't know how much this new mindset is related to the fact that I am finishing upsomething that I started back in 1999 and, in attempting to harmonize the new work with the old work, I am allowing myself to work in a more relaxed manner and with a sense of adventure. I am hoping that my interior work over the last couple of years has also been productive, but will not know the extent of progress on that front until I move on to new work. 

Soon, I'll start the several square feet of sky. First, however, I will take a few days away from this mosaic to work on a small commission I've got going. I'll post about that when I make a little more progress.

A New Old Lesson, con't by Jacqueline Iskander Mosaics

Fullness, in progress. 60" x 36" | 152 cm x 91 cm. Stone, minerals, vitreous, mother of pearl, mosaic gold.


In a previous post, I talked about my new iPad w/Apple Pencil and the Procreate app, which my daughter gave me for my birthday. Above you see my initial attempts with Procreate.

The Apple Pencil definitely takes some practice. Blending and shading are certainly doable, but I'm far from mastering it. This really is a powerful tool.

What I did was to import a photo of the mosaic in progress. I also took a photo of the tiles I have chosen and was then able to create a palette. From there, I just started coloring and trying out different pencil tip options and blending tools.

There is a marked difference in the sky between the left and the right photo, although both are very rough. The pencil is very sensitive and takes a lot of practice to handle fine detail. But, I think this is so awesome to be able to do this!

The photo on left shows my intention for the body of water at the bottom left. I'll be getting started on that moon reflection today. 

Prelude, in situ by Jacqueline Iskander Mosaics

Prelude, in situ (2014) 17.5" x 13.5" | 44cm x 34cm. Mosaic gold in shades of orange and violet, porcelain, glass. Inspired by Rachmaninov's Prelude in G Major, Op. 32, No. 5.

It's not often that I can get a pic of one of my sold works in situ, much less a perspective that highlights a textural element so well. Of course, the shot is into the light, which made the mosaic rather dark. I did my best to lighten it enough to see it, without it too adversely affecting the background. 

Here's a closer-up shot:

Sold! by Jacqueline Iskander Mosaics

Etude (2007) 24" x 40" | 61 cm x 102 cm. Smalti, mosaic gold in blue, green, and turquoise, glass and faceted garnet beads.

What an amazing thing it is when somebody loves something that you have created enough to purchase it and make a place for it in their home. How very wonderful! 

I'm somewhat sentimentally attached to this work, as it marks a pivotal change in my relationship to mosaic-making, so it's a bit sad to say goodbye. It will be missed, but it's found a new home.

Etude, alternate view

Etude is the first in a series titled Music To My Eyes, which is inspired by classical music forms. This mosaic generally expresses the etude form, and was loosely inspired by Chopin's Harp Etude, Op. 25, No. 1.

Drinks are on me, y'all!

Decorative Mosaic Book: Update by Jacqueline Iskander Mosaics



Two bits of news: 1)There will be a book and 2) The deadline is approaching! 

Based upon the submissions received thus far, I will be going ahead with a book featuring decorative mosaics!! However, I am still hoping for more submissions!

Do you need more time? Should I extend the deadline to September 1? If I hear from you that another month would help, I will be happy to extend the deadline. If I don't hear from you, the deadline remains August 1.

The book title, dimensions, number pages, and price are yet-to-be-determined. These decisions mostly depend upon the number of pages, which is primarily based upon the number of mosaics to be featured. More good news is that I will be able to sell it on my new storefront site, J MOSAIC, which will allow me to keep the price very reasonable for a softcover digital print book.

Keep those submissions coming!!

 

 

Smalti Jewelry w/Margo Anton by Jacqueline Iskander Mosaics

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Being a fan of Margo's work, my interest was piqued when I saw on Facebook that Margo was doing an online class through Mosaicartsonline.com. I looked into it and was fascinated to see so many courses with so many talented mosaic artists. Never having attempted mosaic jewelry in any serious way, I decided to try it out and I enrolled in Margo's class.

I watched the entire course one morning and then purchased her kit from di Mosaico. I received the kit yesterday and on right is what it looks like. 

I chose the Medium Blue mix from the extensive mix options. The pendant blank is very shiny and pretty, although different than the kind that Margo uses. Not sure which I like better. 

I've got a bit of traveling coming up, so I probably won't get to this pendant until mid-August or so. At that time, I will be able to rewatch the course segments as needed. I'll be looking forward to this little project.

A New Old Lesson, con't by Jacqueline Iskander Mosaics

Fullness, wip

So I did tinker with that hair today and I am liking it more than I did pre-tinker. We'll see if I can leave it alone now and move on to the water. 

Adding a double dose of new to this project: My daughter gave me a new, big iPad for my birthday this year, along with an Apple Pencil and the Procreate app. I'm heading out to San Jose, Oakland, and San Francisco in a few days and then, immediately after return from CA, I'll be heading to the Aspen Music Festival for about a week. While vacationing, in my free time I'm going to play around with Procreate and try out sky ideas for this piece on an imported photo, like one above. Should be interesting!

Both of the above photos were taken with the iPad camera, and I'm really impressed with the quality. Also, because of the size of the mosaic, it's pretty difficult to get a good straight-on perspective shot. With the iPad, however, I can stand on a stool and hold the iPad as high above the mosaic on the table as I can. Still, you can see I can't get the entire mosaic, but it's good enough for now. 

A New Old Lesson by Jacqueline Iskander Mosaics

Fullness Circa 1999? 60" x 36" | 152 cm x 91 cm. Photo on left is where I left it back in 1999, minus the gold wavy strips for the hair. On right is where it stands now. I'm not sure about the overall shape of the hair and will most certainly be tweaking it. 

Well, I'm feeling brave today, or at least brave enough to post pics of my current challenge. Embarrassment notwithstanding, I will share this project as I go.

I started this piece over 15 years ago. At the time, I wanted to do something big, so I impulsively rushed into what turned out to be a less than half-baked idea. I wanted to work with some stones but had no idea where to get anything but the small, tumbled, polished ones that you see. I had the idea for the moon, the full feminine, and the earthy palette, probably inspired by the small slate tiles that I used in the border. Ceramic trim pieces, in a dark gun metal gray—more of a hematite— make up the border outlines, along with small mother of pearl rectangular beads. 

It did not take long for me to get stuck on it, and then overwhelmed by the fact that I had not figured out several square feet. The hair is where I stopped, lacking the skill and the patience, as well as an idea, of how to handle it. 

Also overlooked was the fact that the cement board needed both hanging hardware and some kind of support structure on the back, as it had too much flimsy in it for it to be stable. So, it was relegated to various storage locations throughout the years. What to do! It was so big that I could not just throw it away—I would have had to cut it up or have it hauled off. I liked the original idea, however, so continued to hang onto it, hoping that someday I would know what to do with it. 

Finally, after moving into my new studio, it was time to make a decision. I decided to finish it and, in the process, treat it like an exercise. I've added both a support frame and hanging hardware, and have the hair mostly under control, but will work on it some more—it's too organized. I did those mountains this past week and enjoyed working on some andamento. They are meant to appear silhouetted and far in the distance, on the other side of what will be a body of water in the lower left corner. 

The photo at right is a bit like what I am going for. I've never attempted a water reflection—neither sun nor moon—so that will be a good exercise.

I'm not sure that the new and the old will marry well and be harmonious and whole. The perspective is not realistic; in fact, none of this is realistic. 

 

Photo Credit: Naoe Suzuki

Photo Credit: Naoe Suzuki

Then, there is all  - - -  that  - - -  sky. I want to try something in the sky that will be new for me and also challenge me in what I think will be some very beneficial ways.

I've been studying Menossi's Tramonto, on left, for inspiration, with both andamento and the way that he layers the sky.

I've got about four shades of vitreous in a kind of gray-blue, and may work in a bit of sheared smalti for scant clouds. Gee! Not sure I can pull it off, but I will give it a go. 

No, I don't like the apostrophe shape in the moon. It was meant to be a swirl, but I can't say what happened to it. There are other issues as well, too many—too many to change. That's the deal: I won't change what I did in 1999 and I will try to be true to it's beginnings.