Friday, June 17, 2011

It Starts with a Stone

Literally. The making of a mosaic begins with one piece - a tessera - and you just keep adding more, changing the position, the size, the color, the texture until this organic form begins to materialize into a tangible form.

It started with a stone for my father's garden.

Getting on in years, I realized that he could not plant and care for his garden and his frustration materialized in grumpiness and depression. For my father, his garden became his refuge from the world. - A pediatrician by profession, his heart was always in the land. I remember him stealing moments from his day, between patients, to care for his garden.

A son of a middle class farmer from Sicily, he was the only one of his siblings to go on to higher education- all on a scholarship. It was my grandmother, along with her brother, a priest, that determined he would continue with schooling. My grandfather did not want him to continue. He needed my father for the farm. Having only one other son, study meant the loss of another pairs of hands for what- an education?

And so my father always has had his garden- his connection to the earth.

I, on the other hand, was looking for excitement in so many different places- I couldn't be bothered with taking so much unnecessary time to spend tilling, planting, pruning and harvesting.

The moment came always starts with a moment... when I accepted what was being presented before me- a chance to connect with my father in his twilight years. And it was through his garden.

And so, combining love of art with love for my father, I decided to help him take care of the garden. And the first thing I saw was the path- a misshapen avenue made with wood, stepping stones and pebbles- not pretty at all- what had to happen? A place for my first mosaic. A garden stone.

The process then started- how to make a mosaic- but I wanted to do it right- learn from a master, as all the great Renaissance Artists and Artisans did. And so the journey to finding the perfect mosaic master.

The internet is truly a wonderful thing.... a search resulted in Unicorn Art Studios.
And Yakov Hanansen and his wife Angele gave me the fertile ground and watering to create my first the time I did not really think it would turn into a calling, but there was something incredibly stimulating and enticing about the studio and the world of mosaics...I finally felt at home and at peace.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Staying the course

I created this blog quite a while ago, but did not know what to do with never ceases to amaze me how a moment can change everything. Leading up to today, I have actually had many "moments" that have brought me to "now" I defined myself as something I have always wanted but was afraid to do - call myself an artist. More to the point, I am a mosaic artist. I went to art school and studied commercial art to make a living and then proceeded to be just that - a designer, not an artist. The distinction may seem small, but for me it has been massive.

There was not one form of art I felt I could call my own. As one of my careers, I was an art teacher, able to create lesson plans and show techniques to students across a myriad of media. I had a friend, who asked me if I wanted to display my "art" a few years ago - but I did not. Nothing stuck.

Now, in this moment, I say with all my heart and soul..."I am a mosaic artist"...and I feel peace.

There were many moments in the year that I made the decision to "do mosaic art" something I sniffed around for quite sometime, but never had the courage to explore.

I hope to express the joys and frustrations as I begin this new journey- one that started with a simple first mosaic piece accepted into a juried national mosaic art exhibition.

And so the journey begins.

In the Moment

In the Moment