I had a flurry of mosaic making in January and February in anticipation of the Orange Beach Art Festival in March. It's a wonderful venue, alongside the Intracoastal Waterway in Orange Beach, AL. Currently, a brand spankin’ new art center is poised to open in March of 2017, which will add to an already awesome location. I sold a few larger pieces at this festival, along with some smaller pieces and some mosaic jewelry. Rain on the first day hampered the crowds somewhat, but as a two-day event it was still successful enough for me to re-apply for 2017. (I have been accepted)! Here’s a link to the Center, and to the festival. Below are two of the pieces that sold.
On this year’s family vacation, I took a mosaic with me. This particular mosaic sat unfinished in my studio for well over a year because I wasn’t happy with its direction, so I forced it along for the ride to our cabin. As usual, my mountain muse came through, and I found inspiration to almost get the mosaic finished. But, as usual, the evil Vacation Vixen also paid us a visit. We had car trouble on the way up the mountain, had to switch cars and transfer paraphernalia between vehicles. On the way back down, we switched back to our newly repaired car, and we carefully loaded all the camping gear and luggage back in for the rest of the ride home. My nearly completed mosaic was to be the last item to be loaded into the bed of the truck. Because of rain, the mosaic had been carefully padded and packaged into a black garbage bag and leaned against the tire. We drove off. Without my mosaic. I discovered this while unpacking four states and ten hours later. Yep, you can thank me for giving literal meaning to phrase The Lost Art of Mosaics. It kind of sucked. I have no idea if someone found it and is now the proud owner of an unfinished two foot by two foot mosaic, or if it was dealt the death card and lives in a landfill. Tragic.
In August, I finally was able to make it back out to my studio to create two complementary fine art pieces. I will show separate process photos in a later blog post, but here are a few sneak peaks of the work.
I also created this donation piece for a fundraiser for the Coastal Art Center of Orange Beach. The historic building that formerly housed the center had to be torn down, and this mosaic was created on one of its old windows.
This past fall, I taught children’s classes at the Gulf Coast Arts Alliance. I’ve included photos of a few of the projects. It can be a challenge working with varying age ranges, artistic abilities, and interest levels, but I’m very proud of the work these kids were able to produce. My goal for these classes, which met once a week, was to have a take-home project for each class session by the end of the term. Some of these projects bridged more than one class, but in the end, we met my take-home goals for both sessions.
I am hopeful that 2017 will allow room for more art. Any art, and I believe mosaic art in particular, is therapeutic, and I am in desperate need of therapy. Ha! Only halfway into the first month of the year, and I‘ve had some really great news, and some not-so-great news related to my art. I’m trying to take the high road and keep my head up, but momentarily I find myself just shaking it along with a few suppressed eye rolls. Rejection is part of an artist’s life, but sensitive souls that we are have been known to take things a bit too personally.
Moving on toward positivity...Maybe 2017 will land me here at this blog more often, and maybe it won’t. At any rate, I’m confident my overactive brain will continue to come up with some self-professed brilliant “what if…?” ideas, along with the inevitable “what was I thinking?” disasters. That’s okay. I really do enjoy the entire artistic process, from concept to execution. If all that 2017 will allow me is a few stolen moments of creative think time, I’ll take it.