Here’s a slideshow of my best photos from our time in Europe in September.
Someone wanted to know why I thought the andamento for my recent mosaic, Homage To Kilauea, was so difficult. I must clarify that just because it was difficult for me does not mean that it would be for everyone. I doubt that someone like Giulio Menossi, who has truly mastered a very refined andamento in his stunning portraiture work, would have been as challenged on this piece as I was. This kind of refined andamento requires, I believe, a whole lotta practice.
Looking back over my years of mosaic experience, I feel like I have only dabbled in this kind of andamento. Without years of experience doing this kind of thing, I find it is vital to draw out the andamento, piece by piece. I did not do that with this mosaic because, when I started it, I was just playing around. As I progressed on the work, my innate sense of seriousness and challenge led me to take the andamento more seriously than I had initially intended.
So, what was so difficult about it for me? Three things:
- The spaces, which I'll call channels, around the large shale pieces and the small stones are very narrow. That's a quarter in the pic on the right, which is about the size of a euro. (It's cloudy today so the image at right is on the dark side—apologies.) The channels primarily range about 3/8" wide to about 1 1/4" at the widest, not counting the lower right area where the blue flares out to the edge.
- The average size of the smalti pieces is quite small, the majority being between 1/8" and 1/4".
- It is just very tricky to express flow around sharp curves and into and out of areas of varying size—small to large/large to small—and where the flow goes in all directions.
With such small spaces in which to work, I felt like a more refined andamento would best express the flow that I wanted. My study with Menossi doing portraiture is the most refined andamento I have ever worked with, and the most difficult. Expressing the contours of the face, flowing in and out of the shadows and angles and fullness and hollows of a face, using andamento as well as color and shading, is a demanding technical skill.
I worked with this kind of refined andamento on a recent work, Storyteller, but to a much lesser degree than I attempted here. After completing this work, I've decided to do another work incorporating this kind of andamento. I'll blog about it as I go, starting with my next post in the next few days. The piece will be similar to this one and will present the same andamento challenges. Let's see how I do.
In the last few days since finishing Stabby, I've been playing around with simple patterns and color combinations for decorative 2" frame options. I've put them all together on these two idea boards.
The bottom board includes corner option patterns. I've come to prefer a continuous pattern around the frame, without any corner deviation of the pattern, but—surprise—not everyone is like me. 😎
I was able to primarily use remains from previous projects that I have accumulated over the many years of making decorative frames, bottles, magnets, and a few boxes.
Now, it's time to get back to an art piece that I started before Stabby came into my life. I'll also be transitioning to working on an easel after 20+ years of working on a table. I guess I'm ready for an adventure!
I really can't believe that this mosaic is 11 years old! This was my first serious attempt at working with these gorgeous materials, and was the beginning of a love affair that lasts to this day.
It seems that most people think that the title refers to the biblical Old Testament which, although not intended, is understandable. The title actually refers to the fossil's voice, its story, which is very old indeed.
Old Testament now sings its song in the beautiful home of a Tulsa architect.
I was fortunate enough to attend Lynne Chinn's recent class at Julie Richey's studio in the Bishop Arts District in Dallas. It was an outstanding class. Lynne is such a good teacher and a super fun person as well. And Julie really has the hosting thing completely under control.
Julie's studio is really in a fabulous location, with food and lodging options within walking distance in the lovely artsy area that is the Bishop Arts District. This was just a wonderful workshop experience.
Adding to my small but growing collection, I acquired a piece each from Julie and Lynne. I think they are just perfect for my studio, don't you? (Just click on the images for a larger view.)
Final proofing for the book is moving along quickly. This is due partly to my desire to wrap it up before we are deep into the holiday season, and partly due to the responsiveness of the artists. There are just a few to be finalized.
Originally, I had chosen 54 artists for the book. I suspected that I might lose a few who might have difficulty providing good enough images. Strangely, I did not lose any for this reason. As it turned out, I did lose 2 artists, but for other reasons.
The first one declined to participate due to needing to help with hurricane recovery. At that point, there were 53. So, I decided to include myself in the book and keep the number at 54. Unfortunately, I lost one more who simply failed to respond. So, we are at 53. Let's hope that's a lucky number.
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!
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.
What a nice surprise!!
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.!
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.
- The book will be somewhere around 200 pages. It will be 11" x 8.5", portrait orientation, softcover.
- 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.
- There will be a brief Introduction, written by me, and possibly an even more brief Preface.
- 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.
- Then, there is the heart of the book: the Presenting Artists.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- After the Presenting Artists section, and all the hundreds of images, there will be an Index of the artists, providing contact information.
- There will be an index of the works, by category. For example: Furniture, Architectural, Public Works, Exterior Decor, etc.
- 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!
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.
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?
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:
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.
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.
I know I'm a little late i getting to this, as I thought I would have been ready before the spring. Well, so much for plans. Various things, including our dog's ACL surgery, have reordered my life a bit. Ah well, life is surprising that way.
It's time, now, for me to start thinking about offering instruction here in my beautiful, new studio! I've had inquires throughout the years, but never really had the studio space, and was otherwise not ready to tackle it. I'm ready now, to at least start thinking about it.
To that end, I have created a survey that I hope will be helpful to me in determining where to start, and what may meet people's needs. If you are interested in mosaic instruction here in my Tulsa, OK, studio, please take a few minutes to complete the survey below. I will be very grateful in you do!