Beginner's Mind #4 / by Jacqueline Iskander Mosaics

Beginner's Mind #4. 10" x 8" | 25 cm x 20 cm. Smalti, porcelain, mosaic gold, vitreous, other glass

Beginner's Mind #4, detail

Beginner's Mind #4, detail

My favorite of all four exercises, I believe that this is the most successful attempt to get close to a beginner's perspective. My cutting is loose and I worked rather freely. I started this going a different direction than where I ended up. 

Of course, I can't work like a beginner; that ship has sailed. But I was able to allow myself to let things go, to not focus on precise technique, to experiment — especially with this one, and to let go of the outcome. 

I tried to make a space to learn and to enjoy. I've never quite done anything like this one before, having the blues and yellows meet in this extreme zig-zag manner — and I think it works very well. I'm so pleased with myself to have tried something different, very different. 

Now, could a beginner really do something like this? I think so. Certainly, on a bit smaller scale. I was actually surprised by how fast it went and how forgiving it was.

The blues are very nice mixed this way. I failed to capture it, but the blue glitter tile that I used has some pink/red sparks that show in certain light; the iridescent blue, as well, sometimes reflects pinks/purples, which I did capture some of on the full image.

What an interesting couple of weeks or so. Starting out too complex and controlled, I made my way to a place which reflects the spirit of working like a beginner — or, at least, like a student. This was also an enjoyable exercise which has helped me appreciate my skill level, and the fact that there is plenty more to learn, and unlearn.

I'm feeling prepared and excited for my class, and I'm happy to have four different examples for inspiration and instruction. I've also completely nailed down the materials, of which there is a good variety.