Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Unfurled mosaic mural beginnings

I mentioned on my Faceboook page the mosaic mural I’m participating in – Unfurled designed by Lin Schorr Mixed Media Mosaics – and I see that I never mentioned it here!  Huh.  I have tried so hard to pull myself together and get more organized about sharing information, but I have reverted to my scatterbrained ways. 
Anyway, here is the design Lin came up with, which is being divvied up among something like 50 artists.  The completed design will be 8’ tall by 13’ wide.
Unfurled 3 panel
Currently, artists (myself included) are working on the section on the left.  I am assigned the flower petal on the far left.  The color scheme for the petals is to be pink/tangerine/yellow. 
Searching for inspiration, I kept coming back to look at the images I have collected over the years of the tulips, from centuries past and modern day, that have very pronounced striping.  I have been fascinated with the tulips that caused a major financial panic in Europe in the 1600s – as much for the bizarre behavior they inspired as for the flowers themselves.  Tulips were introduced to Europe in the century before, but in Holland an industry developed around their cultivation which produced a bubble like the dot com bubble or the housing bubble, although on an even more ridiculous scale!   

At the height of the mania, the Viceroy tulip at right apparently sold for 3,000 – 4,500 guilders.  A skilled craftsman, by contrast, only earned 300 guilders per year.   

I love these stripes,  but I was concerned about being too literal with the design.  In part because Lin has come up with an overall design that looks to me very Jacobean (click here to see some examples from the web), although the project information says it is Art-Nouveau inspired.  I can see that influence too.  Both are very stylized botanicals with lots of curves.  I wanted to be sure to incorporate lots of curviness because of that (and because I want to, dammit).  So here is the beginning of the petal:
And because of my fear of commitment, I have only very lightly sketched in a guide with pencil.  Many of the artists have added bold black marker guidelines to follow, but what if I change my mind?!?!?!  I tend to find that I like the finished piece better when it evolves organically anyway, so I’ll just let it flow and see what we end up with.
I plan to do the pinks first, then fill in with the yellow and oranges, but I couldn’t resist popping some in just to get a feel for how it would look.

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