Monday, March 9, 2009

What's taking you so long?

I ran across an interesting quote on Contemporary Mosaic Art blog that really gave me food for thought. As part of a testimonial on another mosaic artist's work, the collector said "I was never much into this kind of art until I saw her work and she explained to my husband and I all the time and effort it took. I would recommend her work to anyone." I know there are painters who can whip out a painting in a day or two, but most of them I believe take much longer to produce a work that expresses their concept and passion accurately. But with mosaic art, I believe it's not even possible to consistently produce work in short periods of time. It is an incredibly time consuming art form. There are exceptions - for example, an artist friend of mine created a mosaic in one day for an exhibition, which turned out beautifully. I'd post a link, but she doesn't have any public pictures up yet. But in order to do that, it had to be a small, simple work with lots of large pieces of glass. So I decided to estimate how many pieces of hand-cut glass are in the Indian Summer mosaic I completed last year. After blocking off a 6" X 6" section and counting the pieces in that, I then multiplied that number by 12 (the piece is 18" X 24"). I found that there were were over 3,000 pieces, which surprised even me! So that explains why it took several months to complete. And why, since this piece contained tesserae of a typical size for my work, I tend to take a very long time to complete EVERYTHING.

For those who have wondered, the designs are never really complete until the piece is complete. I start with a very rudimentary sketch, and will often add or substract design elements as I go along. In fact, with the piece I'm currently working on (which has no title yet) I intended to put an abstract background behind the dragonflies. But when I put the slate pieces in, I didn't think I'd like the way they would look with abstract design above, so I redesigned the upper section to include tree trunks and pine boughs. I hope to have it done in a couple of weeks.

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  1. This is a terrific article Lee Ann. It is amazing how long it takes to make a quality mosaic and I know you are right that the design isn't really finished until the mosaic is completed.

    This is a lovely blog.

  2. I love your mosaic. I'm very happy to have come across this Blog, fabulous work!



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