Monday, July 11, 2016

Mosaic Monday / On Starting New Projects

Self Portrait
Work In Progress
Countless times over the years I have seen students sit in front of a new project and move at a snail's pace to really start. They take their time getting their mind around where to begin to even begin because they can not see where they are going and they know that due to the nature of mosaic there will be twists and turns and detours within the journey.  They are fearful to even start because they can not see it finished and totally designed in their mind.  I felt all of that when I started this project. I glued nothing down yesterday; zero, nada, zilch! I played with glass rod, smalti, big thick clear glass with spray paint on top, and I fretted a lot. I worried that this might be a big waste of materials and time. Then I slowed down and started thinking about what I knew was true about this project. I came up with a list and it will be my starting guide post.

• I want to use glass rod and round pieces to echo the half-tone dot pattern in the digital print.

• I want glass circles to be used, circles that make me think about cells, healthy happy cells.
• I want to use thick clear glass and spray paint a dot pattern on top to tamp down the shininess of the glass. I can brush off some of it with a scrubby sponge so that it has a nice grunge effect.
• I do not want to have this be just another painterly portrait like the one I recently finished of my husband.  I love that mosaic, but I want to try something new. I want to experiment with having some of the paper showing, and having paint on the surface of the glass, as well as below.

• I want paper and spray paint to move to the top of the project and mix in with the final layering of materials.
• I will not grout and so I plan to work tight and allow myself to layer upwards with my materials, placing glass on top of glass.
I want this to have the feeling of a glass collage with paint on top.

So my advice when you are not sure where to begin is to make a list of what excites you about the project, and what things are for sure the things you plan to use or incorporate into the piece. Write it down an then dive in ... go to the deep end of the pool and dive in. That first jolt of cold water is a shocker, but then it starts to feel really nice after awhile.