January 13, 2012 § 1 Comment
I have been so busy making mosaics that I haven’t taken the time to sit down and write a blog about the mosaics that I have been making.
My first two mosaics on the go were to go to Jo Garner and Laura Pattison. They are nicely finished and ready to be sent to the post office. (I haven’t been online to get the addresses that I need to mail them) They look very nice and I am excited to get them sent off.
The third mosaic that I created was for a dear Aussie friend of mine, She is wonderful in all ways. She is honestly probably the strongest woman that I know and can survive anything. She has broad shoulders and can hold her own in any situation. I only wish I had half of her strength to get by in this world. The amazing woman that I am speaking of is none other than Karen Baker. I created her a beautiful happy yellow sun inspired piece that I hope makes her feel bright and cheerful when she looks at it. I put a lot of love into the piece and can not wait to let her know that I have a special piece just for her finished and ready to be shipped.
My next piece that I am going to start on is going to be a series of dots. This piece is going to be sent to my dear friend Marijke in the Nederlands!!! I will be excited to see how this piece turns out. This piece jumped into my mind today while I was finishing working on some zentangles. Marijke will be excited to know that her name has been drawn on my list of special mosaics to make.
Slowly but surely I am getting through all of the mosaics that I am creating for special people in my life.
Creating these mosaics has been very rewarding for me. I feel as if I am giving a little piece of myself to those who are receiving them, and I couldn’t feel happier.
I must sign off now so that I can get back to creating.
Thanks for reading.
January 3, 2012 § 2 Comments
I am now starting on my second mosaic of my “prize” mosaics, and it has come to me already who it belongs to. This piece is going to be going to Laura Pattison. I am not sure, but her name has been with my all day. Laura Pattison and I have shared quite a bit of “time” together this year, and I am so glad that she will be receiving one of my mosaics.
It has been really strange how these mosaics are calling for their owners. It seems that they know where they wish to go. I do not have an image up yet for her to see what her mosaic is going to look like, but I will get it posted tomorrow.
I have all of the designs planned out in a series. I just don’t know the finalities as to who is going to exactly get which design, but I am feeling as if this mosaic might stray off from it’s original path. Laura is a very unique woman, and she is such a sweet woman to get to know, and to talk with. She has helped me through many sleepless nights, and not to mention the fact that she makes me laugh.
Laura doesn’t fit into any certain mold, and while I look at the designs that sit in front of me, none of them seem to fit her. Since her name is the name that is in my mind, it seems that I am going to have to stear away from the “series” and make her her very own unique mosaic that will not be united to the others. It looks like I will not be starting the mosaic portion of this piece tonight, but instead, I will be drawing up new plans.
I promise you, Laura, this piece will be a special piece just for you.
There will be design images posted tomorrow (Wednesday)
I am now excited to get started on a new design. I must run so that I can get started on that.
Thanks for reading and be sure to subscribe.
January 3, 2012 § 4 Comments
At the end of a busy day today, I grabbed my paintbrush and started to paint the design of a flowing pale pink heart onto my substrate. I was so excited to be starting on these new mosaics that I am creating for dear friends.
As I started to paint, The thought “My heart is so mellow” came to my mind. That is a good thing for me as I can get too stimulated, and that’s no good either. Mellow is good. I decided right then that I was painting “My mellow heArt”.
I had originally stated that I was going to make a mosaic and then draw names as to who gets which mosaic, but as I started to lay the tesserae down on this piece, my friend, Jo Garner’s name came to my mind, and this piece was calling to me to be placed with Jo.
“My mellow heArt” is going to go to Jo Garner!! YAY!!!
I am loving it, Jo!!
I have this piece nearly completed now, and my hands and heart couldn’t feel better!!!
I will have this piece finished in about an hour, and then I will be all ready to start my next mosaic in this series of “prize” mosaics tomorrow.
I will be able to get “My mellow heArt” into the mail on Thursday – giving it enough time to dry.
This is all wonderful, and I am so glad to be back creating my art.
I will not be posting any more images of this piece. I want Jo to be the first one to see the finished piece. I do ask that Jo be kind enough to post pictures and send them to me when she gets her mosaic.
Thank you for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe. Comments welcome.
October 18, 2011 § 5 Comments
Today, we are exploring the art and life behind Earth Mother Mosaics with Cindy White. She took a small hiatus but is back at it and I wanted to showcase her and her work with a snappy little blog about her and her work. This blog will explain a little about her, her artistic style, and the things that make her art uniquely her own. Please sit back and enjoy yourself while you take a small walk through the life of Cindy White.
Name Cindy White
name of art store / shop: EarthMotherMosaics
when were you first introduced to being around art in your life: Art has always been a part of my life. Living close enough to walk to a town filled with artists was a blessing although I didn’t appreciate it at the time. Growing up in Lambertville, NJ a river town only a small bridge away from New Hope, PA in Bucks County, I had the pleasure of walking over the Delaware River daily into a whole universe of creativity in my teens (late 1960’s, early 1970’s). My bio on Etsy and on my website explains this in greater detail.
do you strictly make mosaics in your work: No. I do a little bit of abstract painting using acrylics, toothpicks and lots of patience. I’d like to do more painting but I don’t have all the supplies I need at the moment to do much. I had to get rid of a lot of things recently during a major life-altering move. At some point I’ll build up the supply again. I have a lot of inherited material (some vintage now) that I have plans for. I don’t have a sewing machine but I have been known to use a needle and thread and do some fun things that way, like add embellishments to jeans, blouses, even make pillows and may do that again at some point with it.
what sorts of materials do you use: For mosaics, my favorite to use is stained glass – all kinds – it all has a beauty to it in one large sheet down to the smallest piece that we call “frit” along with recycled silver mirror. I almost always have mirror in everything I do even if it’s just one small piece and add it to both stained glass pieces as well as pique assiette ones. The second favorite is dish shards or tiles that I nip up myself creating a folk art look to the finished product. I have a framed piece of stained glass that was given to me in a box filled with scraps in blue, purple and white. It looks like a sandy beach with water and sky. It was so beautiful I knew I could never cut it. It hangs in my window and when the sun comes through it the colors are mind-trippingly beautiful.
how long have you been creating art: I’ve done a lot of creative things over the years, so I would have to say the real answer to that question is almost all of my 57 years. Mosaics have been in my life since 2005 when I broke a Blue Willow dish that was part of a set owned by my Grandmother. After she passed away and I broke the dish, I cried for 2 days. I decided to hold onto the shards and see what I could do to use them in some way. After doing a search online for “broken dishes” the first thing that popped up was mosaics.
do you see yourself as an artist: No, I’m creative but not an artist. I’m just a vessel for the artistic muse. She is the artist, I’m just along to ride the wave. To explain: I have a muse who takes over my hands and mind and I’m smart enough to step back and allow her genius through. She, in turn, allows me to use my name on her creations. Does that make sense or does it sound crazy? I don’t think it matters. I’ve known artists all my life. What is normal? Who WANTS to be normal? Not me. I do feel that I am creative and can often find a use or do something with things that are a bit unusual and often called creative. Taken something broken as it was and make it into something else either useful or artful is a lot of fun. Being called an artist would be too stressful and serious. If it’s not fun, I’m not interested.
what role does art play in your life? Therapeutic? Financial means? Stress relief?: It is definitely therapeutic first and always. I use mosaics to meditate calling it my Zen time. It is a daily practice just like most all things good for us; I make sure I do something every day that is art-related. It has not been a great financial success but frankly I don’t care about that. That’s not why I do what I do. I do what I do because I know I’m supposed to do it and it’s enjoyable. I had to stop teaching because I was putting out more money than I was getting in. I didn’t really teach anything unique or anything that people couldn’t do on their own. Most folks could learn the same thing from a good library book on mosaics basics. I always suggest to those that are interested in learning to find a book and look through it, then searching online and find some videos. It’s not hard to do. You just have to want to learn to do it and enjoy it. When I was teaching a basics class last year, I saw one woman visibly relax after about 10 minutes of laying down glass onto a coaster. The next week when she returned, she zoomed into the room filled with “static” and once she started grouting, again she relaxed. Before the first class was finished she said she knew it was helping her and was so therapeutic she knew it was something she would continue to do on her own after the classes were finished. I don’t know if she still does mosaics, but I hope she does. Actually seeing her shoulders lose their tenseness and watching her get into Zen time was a real trip. It is how I feel too, so yes, it is absolutely good for stress relief.
do you recall the first piece of art that you sold: Yes. It was a trivet made with dish shards. My Dad placed a few of my mosaics around a booth he rents to showcase his antiques business. He took trivets, a birdhouse, flower pots and a few small wall hangings and placed them within the booth around the furniture he had placed there for sale. It was great that he was responsible for the first sale!
what goes on in you, or what is it that drives you to make a certain piece of art: What drives me always changes. I don’t think I’ve been driven very often to do something specific but I do have dreams of colors or a design idea and need to do it as soon as I can. It’s always during quiet times away from the work station. When I’m taking a nice long walk, sleeping, watching TV with my grandson. Living my life away from the studio is when ideas come to me. The studio, by the way, is a small dresser in a corner of the bedroom. I believe strongly that when I work on mosaics either at the kitchen table or on this small dresser top I consider it my studio. I have a small section of the room that is a dedicated art space. Many feel they need a big fancy spot and give excuses as to why they can’t do their art because they don’t have the right setting. I don’t feel that’s necessary to do what I do. As long as I create something, I have a studio no matter where it is or how small or large the area is. The cubic feet in space isn’t as important to me as actually doing the work. It can get crowded in the room if I’m working on big pieces (like now I’m doing 10 custom gazing balls all 12 inches in diameter … they take up a LOT of room!) but I’m working on them. That’s the important part.
what/how do you feel about your art ( before, during , and after you have finished a piece): I love everything! It’s about the process, not so much the results but I do have some I’m not all that crazy about. However, I always learn something; it’s all good. There are some pieces that make a deep connection and as I’m cleaning off the grout I can’t help but smile because what I saw in my head was exactly what I was seeing before I started on it. Every so often one will not be going the way I want it to which is when I know I have no control over it. Depending on my mood, I’ll either put it aside and go back to it when I feel I’m ready to look at it differently or I keep going and allow it to create itself. A lot of me goes into every piece I work on. Each piece gets talked to, told how beautiful it is and hugged often until it leaves my home. Nurturing my art allows the art to nurture me. I mourn the larger pieces I’ve worked on when I’ve completed them and when they leave me. I have that empty nest feeling for a few days or even a few weeks depending on how long it took me to work on it. I’m not ashamed to say I feel the loss.
what would you be doing/ would have done with your life if you never started creating any art: I’ve known art in some form all my life but I’ve not always been an artist. I have been a secretary, a word processing operator, a data entry operator. Now that I am a full time Nana and part time Crafter, if I couldn’t do art right now, I’d be okay with that. I would miss it and probably get really grumpy without it but I have a full life that involves my family and a very large circle of friends through the internet. Mosaics are a part of me but not all of me. I am not what I do because on days when I don’t do it, I am still me. Get it?
do you have long periods of time where you are not creating: When I first started doing mosaics I used to only do them from around April to October. Then the muse would slumber for the winter and come out the next spring. When I decided to try opening an Etsy shop I was a wreck because I thought she’d go back to sleep and I’d have nothing to add to the shop during the winter or be able to handle it if someone wanted a custom order. But once I made the decision to put items online, she has stayed awake and helped me all along the way. Some times I do a lot of work, other times I don’t. I allow it to ebb and flow just like everything else. I think it’s important to give myself a break once in a while to allow new things to be dreamed of.
do you get preoccupied with your art? ( does your art take up your thinking during most of the day and night even when you are not creating): I suppose so. I have found myself looking at counter tops, cabinets, walls in buildings, wall OF buildings, streets, garbage cans, homes and restaurants and thought it would all look better with a mosaic or two. When I see something discarded I’ll look at the shape and wonder how I can use it to create a mosaic with it or cover it with some glass and mirror and make it into something else. I see shapes and colors more than actual “things”. I am preoccupied with what I could do to what I see as a blank canvas and add a mosaic to it. That is something I didn’t start doing until a few years ago when the muse stopped napping.
does your art come to you in visions? Can you visualize what you are going to create before you are going to make it or do you just wing it and create it as it feels right at the moment: Both. I see colors mostly that I know have to be placed together often in a specific pattern or design. It’s not uncommon for me to get out of bed at 4 AM after “seeing” something in a dream and grab pieces of glass along with something to put them on and leave them on the work table and then head back to sleep. If I wrote things down for the morning like “red piece of glass with silver mirror” for instance and not leave the bed, I wouldn’t remember exactly WHICH piece of red glass I wanted, what I wanted to use with it or how. I learned I have to go and do it after I wake up no matter what time it is and not write it down. Other times I will have the need to create just for the sake of it and grab as I go and just keep going until I’m finished. I do both almost equally but there is no routine to it.
do you have a book of ideas that you refer back to while you work: No. I tried adding 5 ideas to a book nightly as was suggested in one of those “how to be an artist” books I read a few years ago. It was a horrible experience. What happened was it did the opposite of what they said it would do. It stifled me, caused me stress if I couldn’t come up with 5 ideas at once and even caused me to doubt I should even do anything at all. I would stare at the page for hours and doodle something just to tell myself I did something. It’s not how I’m comfortable with my work and not how I create. I put the book aside and listened to my inner voice. I dream about what to do or will get an idea in the middle of the day and put it all together right as I see it if it’s possible. If I have more than one thought or idea, which is rare, I just place the items together as I mentioned above and do them in the order I thought of them.
do you work on one piece at a time, or have several pieces on the go at the same time?: I’ve done both but normally I do one piece at a time. I have no regular way of doing things and it truly depends on what I’m making and how busy I am as I often donate work. When I re-opened my shop this month, I wanted to make a few things for it and had 2 art auctions to give work to at the same time. I tend to use the calendar for deadlines and might have 4 pieces to do but I do them in order according to when they are needed even if I’m struggling with the creative process I can’t move forward, I have to do them in order. Very systematically, they get completed on time. I am on the cusp of Virgo/Libra. I see it as a cusp thing both signs play a part in how I approach things. While the first is drying after gluing and waiting for grout I move onto the next and so on until they are finished in the order they are needed. Then I grout one at a time in the same way in a very organized way. Chaos is all around me in scraps of glass, dishes, substrates, boxes of things like buttons and broken jewelry, but the order in which they get created is not chaotic at all.
do you have a reoccurring theme that is present in your art: absolutely. It should come as no surprise to learn that my design preferences involve suns, crescent moons, sparkly stars and swirls or wavy lines of intense color used in an abstract way. Living so close to New Hope in the late 1960’s, early 1970’s helped me find a style I’ve never forgotten. The strawberry incense and Hendrix guitar licks wafting through the head shop just off of the bridge into town is my most distinct memory as a teenager. I found the psychedelic posters and trippy music within that store a favorite place to go and hung there often. At the time I didn’t realize that everything has an energy to it but even as a young teenager I felt an electric spark that would stay with me forever during those early years walking through such a creative town filled with artisans. The colors were vivid and saturated all around me.
has your art evolved and changed since you started creating: Yes and no. Some folks think I’ve gotten better. I don’t know that I have. I think I’ve honed in on some areas and do pretty well when doing them. I work with so many different kinds of tess it is hard to say if I’m better than I used to be. I think when I do pique assiette it looks the same as it always has but I’ve gotten better with placement and color choices. With stained glass sometimes I am surprised at what I’ve done because it looks damned good but mostly I don’t see it evolving. I just think the more you do, no matter what it is, the better you get at it. You know that old joke/saying: How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice. It’s true. The more you practice, the better you get.
have you changed with the evolution of your art: I would assume so. I think change is necessary in everyone but I don’t take art or my life very seriously any longer. It would kill the mood. In all honesty, change has to happen in order to be creative. I think it’s vital.
do others around you understand your need to be creative: indeed they do – there are almost all artists in my family so it’s actually more odd to NOT understand creativity around here. Those that aren’t artists understand how important it is to those of us who are. I have a large support system in place online with many within the mosaics community as well as artistic people from all over the world; I’m very grateful for every single one of them.
are you addicted to your art? Do you suffer when you are not able to create and feel a sense of loss when it is not a major part of your life: Addicted is a strong word and I don’t think it describes what I feel exactly. There were periods in my life … long periods … when I didn’t do anything artistic at all and I managed to get through it. I am happier, more at peace, when I’m artistic. Those around me suffer more than I do when I don’t create. I’ve done a lot of different artistic things. I was part of the chorus in high school, did some theatre in my early 20’s, started embroidery/needlepoint from my teens into my 30’s, raised kids as a single Mom (that calls for being very creative, doesn’t it?!!), did some latch hook rugs, made theme cakes for the girls for special occasions and birthdays and dabbled in many other things before mosaics came into my life. In between the actual doing of each new thing was a time away until I felt drawn towards what I wanted to do next. I always know I’ll do something in some creative way and mosaics aren’t the end of it. It is an extended part of a very good life and it brings me happiness which makes my life more tranquil, which makes me a better person. And I want to learn a few more things, other things in the years to come.
who inspires you to create today: Not so much a “who” as “what”. Nature inspires me. Now that I’m living in an area I enjoy so much surrounded by trees away from the city I did not enjoy at all, I have found the large tree outside my bedroom window my biggest inspiration. Other than that, “who” inspires me … I have to say Dr Wayne Dyer helped me discover who I am and how to be comfortable with that. He’s been a huge inspiration to me for close to 30 years. I’m still learning from him.
who is your favorite artist: I love them all. I truly don’t have any one favorite. I like some works less than others but I like anyone who has a creative nature and can express it in a way that makes them sing – either literally or metaphorically. I believe we have to do what inspires us; we all have a song to sing. I also believe it’s very important to listen to only your own voice. Inspiration itself comes for the words “in spirit”. Listen to your inner voice and follow your dream no matter what it takes. Don’t let others dictate what you should do, no matter who they are. If it feels right for you to do it, do it. One of my favorite songs has the following lyrics: “Don’t worry that it’s not good enough, for anyone else to hear … just sing … sing a song”.
does their style reflect in your own creations ( see 24): No. My style is uniquely my own. I have taken an idea someone else tried and with permission tried it on my own but in the end what became my style is just that. Mine. I have never taken a class but taught myself through reading, looking at books and things online and of course I listen to the muse, so everything I do comes from inside me. I don’t do anything odd, unusual or ground breaking either. There is nothing I do that anyone else couldn’t do too if they wanted to. I cut up stained glass, mirror and broken dishes and make something with them because I enjoy it. If others like what I’ve done, that’s awesome. If they don’t, that’s okay too. I always create things for myself first; for my spirit, for my soul and I always will. When others tell me they like what I do, that makes me happy but it doesn’t define why I do mosaics. I spent time creating something and had Zen time and that’s the most important thing; finding the peace that comes from it.
You may contact Cindy or follow her in the following ways.
http://earthmothermosaics.wordpress.com Studio blog
http://earthmothermosaics.tumblr.com Blog called “Eye for Design and Color” about vintage, mid-century modern home decor:
http://earthmothermosaicsstore.blogspot.com/ Blogger online shop
email@example.com Cindy’s email
Cindy leaves us with a quote from Dr. Seuss
October 14, 2011 § 9 Comments
Have you ever wanted to make a mosaic on mesh but didn’t know how to? Well, here’s your chance to. I’m Rayna Clark, and I am here to instruct you from A-Z through the mosaic mesh making mysteries.
What you will need to begin.
Me…your teacher. Rayna Clark
(you will need two patterns. one you will cut into pieces for your glass to have a pattern, and you will tape one to your work surface.)
You need to tape saran wrap down over your pattern.
apply pattern to your glass pieces so that you are able to cut out tesserae in the correct shape and size.
nip and cut glass to size
repeat the last few steps until you get all of the way through the pattern with your selected glass.
Gluing each piece as you go, completely finish your mosaic butterfly in this same fashion. The glue should be going through the mesh and onto the saran (plastic) wrap.
Once the butterfly is finished, set it aside for a day for the glue to dry to the mesh. The glue will still be wet on the saran wrap. Flip the mosaic butterfly onto it’s face. Peel back the plastic sheeting and discard. Leave the mosaic laying on it’s face until it is completely dry.
Flip it back to it’s original side. (face up) once dry. It is now ready to be mounted to it’s substrate and grouted.
Thank you for reading.
Any questions, please ask!
August 24, 2011 § 1 Comment
I’m here and there. I’m on and off. Life and working get in the way, but I’m always around, and I’m always back. It’s so chaotic right now, but I’m settled.
I have spent the last week sorting glass into smaller containers! Everything is broken down into colors. Nothing is assorted anymore. Gems, stones, and beads that come assorted are all now in color order. Each container now is a mosaic in it’s self….. of goodies. Each item different, but the same color.
Now that I have everything in it’s place, and my book in good order, I can start making some art again. I feel like it has been ages since I have touched my glass other than to move it from one location to another. I felt so energized last night that I pulled out a blank ATC (a wooden blank that measures 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches) and mosaiced a pink heart onto a black background. Pink and black is my absolute favorite color combo. I made it entirely of millefiori.
It feels so good to be back at it. I finally feel at home.