Sunday, September 6, 2015

Happy Labor Day!


I’m pretty pleased with how the sky is coming along, although in this photo, the medium blues on the left are washed out by the lamp on that side of the table. I guess I was tired, I didn’t notice that in the photo until I got home.

The sky is taking longer than you might think. A) I have fewer days to spend in the studio now, and B) trying to keep a horizontal aspect to the sky without making it look like lots of straight lines, while also trying to shift colors on the diagonal is requiring a lot of trial and error. Lots of error, in fact.

I think next time I’m in the studio I’ll turn it upside down and go at the sky that way. It should help me disengage enough to make it go faster. Or that’s the theory, anyway!

So now I’m off to enjoy the company of family. Have a great Labor Day weekend!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Progress report

I was intent on finishing the tree today, but my back said “nuh-uh”.



IMG_1016_thumb[7]It doesn’t show in the picture, but the part of the tree that is above the line of the mountain is a very deep green stained glass, and below it is black. It might be my imagination, but I got out the magnifying glass and thought I could see a tiny bit of color in the tree tops that had sky as background in this photo:

I don’t know whether or not you’ll be able to see a difference in it once the mountains and sky go in.

And I have to say I think I’m in love. This little owl makes me smile every time I look at it.



Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Well Owl Be Damned

This picture is one my son took while hiking in New Hampshire last week. I had been looking at pictures of sunsets and sunrises for several days while pondering my next mosaic, so this seemed fortuitous. I decided to use it as a basis, although I have several other photos to pull from as well.

After pulling together a composition from those photos, here’s what I ended up with:

The substrate is 13” x 24”. So yes, I’m insane for attempting an owl on that scale.

It’s too soon to tell if it will be ok or not, but I will say that I have just used the smallest piece of glass I have EVER cut. (Beads don’t count!) It’s 5mm x 3mm.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Mulberry Wine

My latest piece, Mulberry Wine, is finished.
Mulberry Wine
12” x 12” smalti, stained glass and vitreous on MDF. $850
Because I have missed writing short stories, I thought a good way to get back into it is to write one for each mosaic I finish. If you’d like to read the story I wrote for this one, please visit my writing blog A Modern Dilemma.
I also did a quick little video about using the different colors of grout in mosaic. It seems that YouTube has changed their embed format and Blogger no longer recognizes it, so you can click this link to view it on YouTube -
Have a great week!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Almost done with…..uh…this thing.

The glass is done on the purple poppy. I can’t believe I don’t have a title for this yet! I usually have a title within a couple days of starting a piece, sometimes before I even begin. I’m open to suggestions if you feel like chiming in.
glass done
Had a studio visit from a lovely couple – they are artists from the NYC area looking to relocate in Asheville. She is an oil painter and he is a mosaic artist, so they came looking for me to connect with!   ~*happy dance*~   They came in and said “we’re looking for the mosaic artist” while waving the RADA Studio Guide. It’s a nice feeling when you get to see proof that your advertising dollars weren’t wasted!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Arts Adventure Saturday!

After reworking several bits of the poppy, I finally finished the flower. I wish I could have had the whole mosaic done by this weekend (you have the Riverview Station Arts Adventure on your calendar, don’t you?) but it’s obviously not happening.
Speaking of the Arts Adventure, I will be in the studio from 11 – 5 (from 10 – 11 I’ll be at the information booth in front of the building) so PLEASE stop in and see me! At 1:00 I will be discussing how to take your mosaics from flat to fabulous – this is an outline of a workshop I’m developing.

In addition to my original mosaics and prints, there is a new addition to the studio: Greg Petropoulos – Paint Misbehavin’. Come see Greg’s atmospheric landscape paintings – works that draw you in and make you want to see what’s down the road or over the hill.

                                 Ewes Lookin’ at Me

His other body of work is paintings of whimsical wordplay –  an “egg”ceptional collection of surrealism.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Unidentified Frying Object
Also, don’t forget to check out my Etsy shop – framed and unframed prints available as well as original mosaics!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

A little bit of nothing

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Is it age that’s slowing me down, or is it a realization that all that flurry and fuss for all those years was sort of pointless? I think it’s the latter.
I still occasionally find myself in a flurry and fuss trying to prepare for something, or trying to accomplish something by a deadline (usually my own arbitrary deadline). And then when I come out the other side of it I wonder “wtf was that all about?!?” I will be miserable, exhausted, and feel as if I missed out on the little every day things that make me happy – or even something not so little….like, y’know….. Spring.
Blogging is apparently one of the things that falls by the wayside when life accelerates like that. I used to be able to use my blog to keep track of when I started a mosaic, how long it took to finish, what the challenges were in the process, etc. Not so much over the last few months.
I’m not making any promises, because no one really cares about that but me. But I do hope to get back at it more regularly so I have better records.
At any rate, I’m currently working on a purple/magenta poppy, and hoping to give the
impression that the sun is backlighting the upper part of the petals furthest from the viewer. I don’t know how well this is working – I may need to see some background up against it to determine whether or not it’s a success. If I decide it isn’t, I will probably be impossible to live with for a few days. If you see my husband during that time, please give him a sympathetic look and a word of kindness. Better yet, buy him a beer.

I didn’t work on the poppy mosaic much this last week because my air conditioning in the studio wasn’t working, and having the fans on at high speed dried out the thin set too fast. Instead I decided to get out the watercolors again. It’s been a really long time, and I miss them. This one is tiny – 4” x 5”. I actually drew out the design for another one, of Primrose Carousel foxgloves, and might paint it before going back to the mosaic. I grew those in my garden at Hidden Egg Herb Farm ever so many years ago. They are amazing pale yellow/cream flowers with chocolate brown spots on them. I’d like to try a new technique – pouring the background to get a very dark and  intense background without splotchiness. Or that’s the theory, anyway. We’ll see, eh?

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Monday, May 11, 2015

Livin’ in the Matrix, baby!

This past weekend was the River Arts District Studio Stroll, and Greg and Alex and I spent the whole weekend twiddling our thumbs. My guess is that because the weekend was a whole month earlier than it had been, and because there were so many other things going on (LEAF festival, UNCA graduation, Mother’s Day, and some sort of event downtown that had streets blocked off, although I never found out what it was) – turnout was abysmal.62009578_mtPpj90G

I started a new mosaic while I was there, based on a photo of a plum colored poppy – a scrumptious magenta/purple variety, but I was afraid I would have to make it a different color because that is such a difficult color to find in glass. I have one jar of these



(which are actually darker than they look in this photo) but I can’t make do with a single shade!


I was gifted with 3 boxes full of delicious stained glass by a photographer down the hall yesterday! They had been stored in his basement for god knows how long, so last night I soaked them in soapy water in the bathtub overnight. Today I cleaned and sorted by color, and voila! The Matrix brought me some purple and magenta and pinkyness:

And some big piles of other awesomeness too!

Can’t wait to get to work!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Getting ready for Studio Stroll May 9-10

Finally working on the pink dogwoods again, after a visit to New England to visit my son and daughter-in-law and to see the Boston Red Sox home opener. Our weather was fabulous for the trip and we walked all over Boston twice, and Portland, Maine once.
But now I want to hurry up and finish this! I need something on the walls in the studio for Studio Stroll. On our trip I took two pieces to The Kalled Gallery in Wolfeboro, NH, and about a month ago I took one to the Abbington Green Bed and Breakfast here in Asheville for their second floor gallery. That doesn’t leave much in the studio! Especially since Bellafiore is currently in Charlotte at Ciel Gallery until this weekend (BTW – I don’t think I mentioned here that it won Best of Show at their Back to the Garden national juried exhibit!). 
Studio Stroll is two and a half weeks away, and I have a lot of stuff going on outside the studio between now and then. This one is 12” x 12” so hopefully I can finish it this week, then get another little one done before Studio Stroll.
Why do I do this to myself?

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Inspiration and nostalgia

We get to a certain age and we all experience a certain nostalgia – for all sorts of random things that remind us of good times had. Some of those things are places (the Indianapolis Museum of Art), some are sounds (the squeak of basketball shoes on a court), some are edible (hominy – don’t judge). I think it’s good to have so many things to look back upon with fondness. It means I’ve done at least a few things right.
One of the things I remember with fondness is the piano room I refurbished myself when we lived in Knightstown, IN. I taught piano lessons and needed a place where the chaos of my elementary and middle school age kids could be shut out.  I replaced the section of ceiling that collapsed, stripped and replaced wallpaper, replaced the wood trim, refinished the wood floors and installed french doors. My husband was the destructor – tearing out all the old stuff that needed to go, and I installed all the new stuff. When it was done, it was gorgeous. This was also the home where I built an organic herb nursery. I have photos but they’re buried in the storage unit, so you’ll just have to take my word for it. We only lived in that house for 3 years and you’d think I would have cried when we moved, but the community was so hateful, especially to my children, that I was actually relieved.
That was nearly 20 years ago. I had a little bit of wallpaper leftover, and I have carried it with me through 5 moves because I loved it so much. I have spent all that time wondering what I might do with it. I think now that I will use it as the inspiration for a mosaic.
the herb farm
As lovely as it is, I think it needs a bunny, don’t you?
I love the pink cosmos,


the bluebird, but especially, the sage blossoms:
Sage blossoms are really blue, but they almost appear lit from within. They are really magical.
So anyway, today I spread out the sheet of leftover wallpaper and remembered all the scents, sights and sounds of the herb gardens I have had over the last 30 years, and decided to embark on this.
Then I left the studio, stopping at Whole Foods to pick up butter on the way home.
And outside the front door they had precious, little sage plants. So of course I brought one home.
All is right with the world.


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