Category Archives: Emerging

Making Life my Bitch

You know how I said I was gonna grab life by the metaphorical balls?! Yep. I’m doing it and so far it appears I’m doing it right!! I decided earlier this year that I was going to choose different in life. Well not really different. Just to not be afraid of certain things and outcomes that may never be. Choose to live fearlessly perhaps, which was more my natural state when I was young. We condescend the young and tell them they are naive. I don’t know that it is a wise thing to be condescending! The battles of life have left their mark, to be sure, but I am determined to not allow them to rule my life. After having come out of a marriage that can only be characterised as abusive, I fell into a funk that I just didn’t know how to get out of. Looking back on it, hindsight being what it is, there were times I didn’t even know I was in a funk! I would often see these annoying quotes: choose happiness bla bla. It’s not that simple people. Grief is a necessary emotion. You have to go through all of it to be able to get to the other side and to the point of deciding that enough is  enough and that you are able to see it (whatever ‘it’ is for any given person) as a choice (which, mind you, is often not even a conscious decision at the time). Either that or you make the same mistakes all over again, which I will NOT do. Well, after 5 odd years I think I’ve finally arrived at that place and am thinking I might just make it my home!! One day at a time though. Trusting in people again does not come naturally anymore as it turns out. Humans can be so cruel and there are many a day when I wonder at human nature. But I’m still here and I have to live in Life. I think I finally understand that with all of my being (brain AND heart AND everything in between) and once again can see that there is such beauty lying there too.

A few years back I discovered some street art that I instantly fell in love with. In fact, the way I described my reaction at the time was “totally, completely and utterly besotted!!!”. I’ll admit that I don’t always see art that makes me feel. Truly feel something, anything! Understand, too,that Canberra has a very singular idea of art and public art in particular. After having lived OS for a number of years, in particular San Francisco, and having resided in the Mission District where (great) art was on every surface pretty much, returning to Canberra was a real kick in the gut in the sense of colour, fun, amazing, wonder was concerned. Anyway, I would come across this artist’s work and get excited. Like, excited-excited, butterflies excited. I always thought how cool it would be to collaborate – since their designs seemed mosaic friendly but pretty much left it there and enjoyed the moments when I discovered another piece out in the world, getting cranky when they’d get “cleaned” up and thinking how cool and how pure (for wont of a better word) that street art can be. Sometimes it’s such a gift and the artists are not asking for anything in return. As a series of fortunate events, I happened upon their work on the interwebs earlier this year, discovering at the very least the name they went by. Abyss .607. Hmm… I like it… Gimme more… FB page and yesss… An in! It took me almost a month to work up the courage to email the artist and ask if they might be interested in a potential commission where I would then mosaic their artwork. It’s a BIG ask and a lot of trust to allow someone else (you don’t know) interpret your work in another medium… In all honesty I probs would have said no (I was expecting a no) but he said YES! I picked up the work the other day… Am just a li’l excited (read: frikkin’ over the moon baby!). It’s massive. WAY bigger than I expected!!

Sometimes it really pays off to put yourself out there.

And now I have a responsibility to do another artist’s work justice. It’s pressure. I hope I don’t disappoint! He mentioned he’d like to come over once completed and spray some finishing touches on the tile. Does it get better than this? Nope. Not at the moment.

All of a sudden the Universe is conspiring to get my creative juices going again. Yes. When I am not being my cynical self, I’m some crazed new age freak (not really) who believes that there is a reason for everything (really)!! I’ve been very conscious of just how uncreative I’ve felt these last few years. Where once I was quite prolific in the work I put out, I suddenly lost my mojo. It is an incredibly disturbing thing to happen. But it’s back it seems and I do intend on having a love affair with it. I have the mural with Abyss to fabricate, as well as another mural that I sketched out one afternoon while in hospital with my Dad. Designs never come so easy. Designs are often my achilles heel – they take me weeks, months… It’s ready to go. Ready. to. Go!!! Not only that but the finishing touches is about to be applied to another mural – yet another collaboration with my gorgeous sister of one of her beautiful mermaids. She’s adding fish and an octopus to it. Then it needs to be scaled and enlarged and all the other stuff that goes into fabricating murals. Three murals yeah? And to top it all off? I have an assistant! Not to mention all the sculptural stuff I wanna try out. My house is gonna be the best on the block yo!

Winning at life biyatches!

Well. Sort of. I need to get busy and actually start. Ha!

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Filed under Architectural Installations, Art, Artists, Australia, Building, Collaborations, Design Concepts, Emerging, Graffiti, Inspiration, Kim Grant, Mosaic, Murals, My Home, My projects, Rant, Round the World, San Francisco, Urban, USA

Artist Watch: Cynthia Monica

I’d like to introduce you to Cynthia Monica. Her mosaics are so vastly different to what I think I could ever do – a lot of texture using a combination of natural materials, found objects, glass… Love it! Here’s her story:

“I am 58 (hard to believe), and I was born and raised in the West Los Angeles/Santa Monica area of California.  I think my first inkling of being an artist was as a child.  I loved to color in coloring books, and my claim to fame was being the “best colorer” on my block, along with being the best handball player in school, I should add.   I always loved choosing beautiful colors, and of course the pages in my coloring book were very neat and I never went outside the lines.  I adored my art teacher, Mrs. Shubue, in elementary school and loved to make things in her class. My first job at 16 was working at Pacific Ocean Park (POP) on the old Ocean Park Pier, that subsequently burned down.  It was a great adventure.  I had a blast working at the paint pots, squirting plastic bottles of paint onto whirling paper. When folks were finished, I matted their “masterpieces” in cardboard frames.  On my breaks I rode the rickety old wooden roller coaster, and I saw Sonny & Cher perform live when they were still wearing fur vests.  I think there were all of about 30 or 40 people watching them on that typical sunny Southern California day, standing on an outdoor stage right in front of the roller coaster.  I am definitely a child of the 60’s, as I went to “Love-Ins” and wore flowers in my hair.  I saw Jim Morrison and the Doors at After Hours on the Sunset Strip; Jimmy Hendrix at the Forum, and many other famous musicians of the 60’s.  What a “trip”.  I became a bit rebellious, cutting school and experimenting with drugs a bit, after all, it was the 60’s.  I expressed myself by making collages on my bedroom door, painting the inside of my closet purple, and putting my mattress on the floor.  My family always thought of my creative endeavors as “weird”, a label that still sticks with me to this day.  In high school my major was art and I started out in college as an art major.  I loved every medium I was introduced to; ceramics, print making, graphic design, painting, drawing, etc.  I just couldn’t get enough.  At that time I wanted to be a graphic designer.  I always had a fascination with logos and lettering and design.  I had a graphic design class and next to me sat a very talented young man, who had amazing drawing skills, and one day while we were in class he produced the most incredible drawing I had ever seen.  I looked at his work, and thought “I could never be that good”, and that turned out to be a very pivotal moment in my life, because there and then, I gave up my dream of becoming a graphic designer.  I ended up as a Philosophy major, and graduated from UCLA with a BA.  A lot of good that did me, as I did not want to teach, or pursue a career in academia which is about it, as far as philosophy goes.  So I floundered around for many years, working different jobs, in advertising, interior design, real estate, and others, searching for something, but not really knowing what.  I was always taking ceramics, or drawing or painting, interior design, graphic design, computer design, or any art class I could get my hands on in the evenings.  As I got older I decided I needed a “proper career”.  I was always interested in the psyche and the human experience, so off I went to USC for graduate school and I became a psychotherapist.  I worked in that field for about 10 years, but it always seemed like something was missing.  During that time I met my husband, Corbett, and after living in California for all our lives, we moved to Portland, Oregon, practically on a whim.  We have now been here for 11 years, and for the last 4 years, we have lived out in the country, on the Sandy River.  We have a couple of acres, and feel blessed to live in the midst of such splendor and beauty.  With the support of Corbett, I left my career, and through his encouragement began pursuing my long lost dream, to be an artist.   I started with crockery and taught myself how to mosaic through trial and error.  I graduated to glass and became enthralled with vitreous, smalti, and now mixed media.  I am still trying to find my “voice” it seems, but it is the journey, I have learned to love.  I am fascinated by the process of each piece, as well as the outcome.  Sometimes I paint, or work in collage and other mediums, as I love them all.  I am happiest when I am creating, and feel a bit lost when I am not.  As of late, I am trying develop my online skills and presence, joining various social networking sites.  It is a big learning curve for me, but I’m getting more knowledgeable, slow and steady.  I spend hours on  flickr, as I love to see the mosaics created by others.  I have also started a blog, titled “Outside the Lines”, which serves as a reminder that I don’t have to stay inside the lines anymore, I can even scribble if I want.  I have met some amazing people online, and feel blessed to a part of the virtual group of mosaic artists on flickr and CMA, for they are some of the most kind and generous people around. For a time, I had a hard time thinking of myself as an artist, although I have studied many art mediums through the years, and have always had the inclination.  But, finally, I just became used to the idea.  Yes, I am an artist, and I’m not sure where I’m going from here, but I know I will be fulfilled as long as I continue to pursue my passion – art.”

I know I say it over and over, but really! People are soooooo interesting. Thanks Cynthia for sharing your amazing story. Now for the visual feast:


Meandering


Urban Relics


Emerge #4 – detail


Emerge # 2


Taj Mahal Birdhouse

Finally, meet the Artiste – 🙂


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Filed under Abstract, Art, Artist Watch Series, Artists, Cynthia Monica, Emerging, Female, Flickr, Inspiration, Mosaic, Mosaic Materials, Recycled, Uncategorized, Wall Hanging

Artist Watch: Ilona Fried

I’ve always been quite fascinated with Ilona and her work and I was excited that she agreed to be a part of this series. I’m deviating from the norm this time around – here’s her story, in her own words…

Although I used to do a lot of drawing as a child, I did not consider myself an artist for most of my adult life; periodically I would dabble in some art form or another, usually ceramics and photography, while working in various professions…I won’t bore you with the list!  I was drawn to art but was also a bit apprehensive about pursuing it – in fact, about 10 years ago one of my photography instructors pulled me aside and said, “I think you really want to be an artist.”  I felt as if he had revealed some deep secret and
although I did not pursue photography as an art form his words stayed with me.

Fast forward to 2001 when I was working as a management consultant and traveling a lot. When 9/11 happened I really woke up to the fact that life is short and that I no longer wanted to be doing a stressful job that I did not enjoy. To quell my anxiety about the future I started designing jewelry and months later worked up the nerve to resign and start a jewelry design business.  I loved combining color, shape and texture in my jewelry and finding new materials to use, but after awhile I felt limited by the jewelry format as a means of self-expression.  I wanted to work with color, shape and pattern on a larger scale and to create fine art. Although I had taken a few painting classes over the years, the medium did not grab me.  Mosaics seemed like the natural next step in my creative path, allowing me to continue working with my hands and with a wide variety of tesserae – beads, ceramic, glass, stone and more.

I took my first mosaic class in 2006 in a community education program – the instructor showed us how to cut and what adhesive to use, and that was about it.  Not completely satisfied, I decided to study with the experts and in the spring of 2007 went to the Mosaic School in Ravenna, Italy.  There I was very surprised to discover that even I could cut teeny tiny pieces with a hammer and hardie!  When I returned to the US I saw a call for an all-mosaic exhibit in the Boston area, where I was living at the time.   Back then I had only made a handful of mosaics and two were accepted.  I was thrilled! One of them sold after the show ended.  That helped me take my mosaic making a bit more seriously. And having one of my pieces published in Brit Hammer’s “Mosaic: Finding Your Own Voice” inspired me to keep going, as have all the many wonderful mosaic artists I’ve met at SAMA conferences and online. I really enjoy using an ancient medium to express contemporary themes and being part of an international community of artists; I’ve traveled to two dozen countries and lived overseas a few times – in Hungary, Ecuador, and Mexico – and so I welcome any mosaic-related opportunity to get on an airplane.

About a year ago I thought about relocating to Colorado where I could pursue another passion: hiking.  The “Art Gods” were on my side – I found a terrific studio in an artist building during one of my exploratory trips to Denver.  So I packed up and moved here.  Being outdoors in stunning scenery helps me recharge and gives me ideas for mosaics. Some of my abstract pieces are inspired by mountains and how I feel when I’m at high altitude – completely at peace with myself and deeply connected to the world. Sometimes I am able to experience that same feeling when I am deeply engrossed in making a mosaic. Life doesn’t get much better than that!

Family Outing

Tamago

New Directions

Shades of Memory

Salmon Maki

My Analogous Self

Just love this portrait, everything about it is so great!

Ilona’s website is a treat: clean, organised and well presented, do check it out. It’s everything I love in a website, especially the art! 🙂 If you’re on Facebook, become a fan of her work!

Finally meet Ilona –

Eccles

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Filed under Abstract, Art, Artist Watch Series, Artists, Emerging, Female, Flickr, Ilona Fried, Inspiration, Mosaic, Portraiture, Uncategorized, Wall Hanging

Artist Watch: Rebecca Collins

I was looking through one of the mosaic forums the other week and came across one of Rebecca Collins‘ octopus pieces. Thinking I had seen it somewhere before (yup, flickr!!) it still struck me and I couldn’t stop looking at her work. There’s something so free about her mosaics and I can’t quite put my finger on it. Anyway, of course typical immediate reaction was that I needed to know a little bit more about her, the artist 😉 So here goes…

Already coming from a creative background (she’s a full time digital pet portrait artist – and I have to say I love what she does there too!! Check out her website), Rebecca discovered mosaics in 2007 when she took a class with a girlfriend on a whim. She’s been hooked ever since. Although she has mentioned before that her works are not intricate or exacting, I would beg to differ. She has her own unique style and it is free, but still very exact. There’s messy and then there’s messy! Of which her work is neither, in my humble opinion. “When I took my first mosaic class I was not sure if I would have the patience or the ability to sit still and work on a piece slowly. It turns out that my impatient nature does show through in my work as I tend to work fast creating loosely cut works with tons of tiny tessera. I do not get horribly bogged down in a desire to create elaborate intricate or exacting patterns. I love it when I see that type of work, but I could never go there.”

I love how she layers her work, how there’s such a bohemian feel to it (and I mean that as a compliment!, not wanting to categorise inappropriately here). She does what my anal self would love to be able to do but finds very difficult to just let go. This statement pretty much sums up what I love about her work: “My interest is in combining layers of collage images and text underneath glass. I use my computer skills to create digital paintings that get collaged with text and other elements for a rich look. I also will create watercolors from scratch and then scan those into the computer and work on them in Photoshop and then print them out to incorporate into my mosaic designs. I enjoy the back and forth of using traditional tools and media along with the computer and all that it offers.”

Her mosaics are, for her, an escape. Dare I say, a hobby. It is her part time passion and she is reluctant to really market her work as she doesn’t want to turn it into a “job” of any sort. “I do love my full time business of creating pretty dog and cat portraits and yet mosaics are my escape from that create-on-demand world. I think that is one reason I often choose squid and bugs as subject matter. I know that nobody is going to ask me to create a mosaic for them of their pet cockroach.” 🙂

However, due in large part to the generous support of her mentor and teacher, Katrina Doran, this year has marked the beginning of taking her mosaics more seriously. Doran curated a show called Exquisite Creatures: the Mermaid and Octopus show. “Seeing my work under gallery lights was just a great feeling. I hope to show more in the future and to start exploring new subjects. I have some outer space theme ideas on the back burner that I want to jump on soon. Like most artists I always tend to have more ideas than time.”

I am absolutely enamoured with her work!!! Colour, texture, layers, vibrance… it has it all!!

More info about Rebecca and her work  can be found via her blog and Etsy shop.

Tommy and the Octopus

King Squid

Queen Octopus

Fig. 3 Bug

Blast Off
One of my faves!!!

And finally Rebecca, with Ajax…

rebeccacollins_with_ajax

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Filed under Art, Artist Watch Series, Artists, Dogs, Emerging, Etsy, Female, Flickr, Inspiration, Mosaic, Ornamental, Pets, Portraiture, Rebecca Collins, Uncategorized, Wall Hanging

Artist Watch: Linda Martin

Next in line, good pal Linda Martin who I had the pleasure of meeting in Sue Gianotti’s class at SAMA. It was a huge (but silent) wave and YAAAAAY!!!!! 😉 We hit it off immediately – but I think she has a way with people and hits it off with everyone she meets. Really a very special person – warm and generous.

Linda has always been creative. Always. In high school she carried around a sketch book with her everywhere she went. Whilst living in Hawaii, she sat on the beach crocheting bathing suit tops she sold for “gas money”. She came across mosaics while perusing a craft store with her then 8 year old son: “He always got inspired on a trip to the craft store with mom so I picked up a little mosaic garden plaque for him to do. We started to do it together but I think he lost interest, or I took over, or maybe he lost interest because I took over, in any case I caught a mosaic fever.” 🙂

After that venture, Linda borrowed books from the library and studied them, researched the internet and spent hours studying other artists’ work. “I began to play around with breaking glass, dishes, and tile, ordering supplies and tools from the web, experimenting with everything I could get my hands on.” One of her first projects was covering a lava lamp with broken dishes which she called Shab-a-delic. “At the time I was quite pleased with myself, but looking at it now…. Ahhhhhhh!” LOL!!! Don’t we all have a million of them somewhere?!

Linda also made lots of picture frames, and a license plate cover for her car, all of which she says fell apart as she was using the wrong materials. “These early projects took me forever to complete and were not very good, but I was having fun and learning.” I always say there’s no better way of learning than by doing… Her “coming-out” was with a mannequin titled “Courting Laura” which Linda entered into a fundraiser for breast cancer.

After moving back to her native California, she was conveniently located an hour or so from the Institute of Mosaic Art, in Oakland. “I started taking classes there… lots of classes. That’s how it all began…”

Her future direction is in therapeutic mosaics. Linda has been an Occupational Therapist for a good portion of her life and has done a few projects combining both – mosaics with her patients: “I have the license as an occupational therapist, the skills as a mosaic artist, and the time and resources to go further”. Producing community murals is big on her list of to-dos. I love that. I’m such a fan of art-with-meaning, as opposed to art-for-the-sake-of-art. Not that I don’t appreciate that either…

Linda says, “I want to focus on mural projects with parents and their children, bonding, communication skills, and improvement of quality of life. Now, when I say parent/child relationship, parents of younger children comes to mind. But I want to work with the older population, the elderly parents and their adult children. That’s the bond I want to facilitate with the murals.”

Linda reminisces, “I remember once when working in a skilled nursing facility, aka nursing home, I was doing water colour paintings with the patients. This one female patients’ daughter loved her mother’s picture so much she had it framed and it looked stunning! Two months later the mother died. Her daughter came up to me and thanked me for the work I did and especially for the painting, a final memento of her beloved mother. It’s bonds like this I want to continue.”

Linda’s mosaics can be seen this summer in the juried show “Art on the Wharf”, July 19th at the Santa Cruz Pier. A show consisting of only 30 artists.

Fido

Reef(er) Madness

Coexist

Courting Laura

Backsplash

Flowers

And finally, the artiste herself, sitting atop her community arts project she led also as an occupational therapist.

Linda Martin with community arts project she led

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Filed under Architectural Installations, Art, Artist Watch Series, Artists, Community Projects, Emerging, Female, Flickr, Garden Mosaics, Hospital, Inspiration, Linda Martin, Mosaic, Public Art, Uncategorized

Artist Watch: Suzanne Steeves

I had originally meant to post this before SAMA and for some weird reason my email dumped Suzanne’s response to me in my spam… grrrr! So apologies to you Suzanne, for not having gotten this up sooner… *sigh*

Suzanne Steeves was born in New York to Canadian parents. She had a fabulous career in television overseeing the launch of a couple of specialty channels, running entertainment production, heading up sports. “Very rewarding and endlessly all-consuming.”  Suzanne met her ‘soul mate’ ten years ago –  husband Aiken. “We left our full time careers behind, and ran off to Bora Bora to get married.”

As a child, Suzanne was constantly drawing, painting and actually did her first mosaic at age ten. “It was a gift for my grandmother. A picture made from all different types of seeds: pumpkin, poppy, sesame etc. My grandmother kept it hanging on her wall until she left this world.”

After the demise of her first marriage, Suzanne became a single parent with a demanding career and had little time to pursue her passion – art. “I did paint, but sporadically. Now I am making up for lost time. Initially I picked up my paint brushes and went back to oils. I had always loved mosaic but had never really considered it … until one day I happened to see a used mannequin with a uniquely beautiful shape. I immediately envisioned Eden Rocks. The idea of telling the story of the Garden of Eden – on Eve herself…” Suzanne claims it to be a ridiculous choice for a first project (scoff!) but considers herself an over achiever. “After starting her I realized I had no idea what I was doing. I spent the next several months reading everything I could get my hands on. I completed her last year and haven’t looked back.”

When describing her love for the medium, Suzanne states: “I can’t begin to describe the pleasure I find in working in mosaics. I love everything about it. The possibilities are limitless. I would need dozens of lifetimes to even begin to tackle every project I have wandering around in my head! When I’m in the zone it is my meditation.”

Suzanne left the city behind and now lives with Aiken and their two dogs on 100 acres north of Toronto. She has two beautiful grown children, a son Stefan and daughter Sasha and a wonderful stepson, Taylor.

Eden Rocks

Eden Rocks

Polar Prayer

Polar Prayer

Bird in the Hot Sun

Bird in the  Hot Sun

The Wave

The Wave

Finally meet Suzanne, pictured with her daughter…

Suzanne Steeves

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Filed under Animals, Art, Artist Watch Series, Artists, Emerging, Female, Flickr, Fused glass, Inspiration, Mosaic, Mosaic Materials, Nature, Ornamental, Suzanne Steeves, Uncategorized, Wall Hanging

Artist Watch: Natalie Warne

Jumping right back in, the next mosaic artist I wanted to highlight is Natalie Warne.

Most of you, I’m certain, are aware of her work. I love how her art makes me feel. Don’t quite have my finger on exactly why… Anyway, let’s meet her! I must say reading through the info Natalie sent me, it was uncanny how many parallels there were in both our lives… it’s this weird occurrence which has happened with alot of the artists I’ve written about here.

Natalie was born in Cyprus and resided there for the first couple years of her life. She moved around a fair bit until her parents settled in Plymouth, England at around the age of 5. Not being terribly excited by school, she went to college to do a ‘Nursery Nursing’ course and ended up studying art – this was her favourite subject.

At the ripe old age of 18 she made the move to London (Wimbledon to be precise) to become a Nanny (I did this too… in Wimbledon!!! For 3 weeks, but went for longer!!!). This did not work out for her and she returned to Plymouth to work in the bingo hall in the city. This is where she met her partner, Keith. After toiling in jobs, buying a home together, doing all the things we do they decided to pack up and travel: ” Keith & I had become unhappy with the same old routine of getting up at 6am, getting caught in traffic, doing the same stressful but boring jobs. (we were earning good money, but realised that is certainly not the most important thing in life!)”. So they sold up all their belongings, bought a VW camper van and hit the road 🙂

They used the Netherlands as their base, mainly there in the warmer months and travelled off to warmer pastures in the Winter months – Italy, Greece, Cyprus, Israel, Egypt. “…from Luxor we joined with some other travellers & hired a falucca to go down the Nile to Aswan. This was one of the best things we have ever done, we slept on the deck & it was amazing, the scenery, the floating hotels!!…”. Sounds divine! They continued on using the Netherlands as their base for another 6 or so years, during which time they also managed to get away to parts of South East Asia, India, even Hawaii. “Travelling to all these places & experiencing the diverse habitats, people & man made works of art (especially the Wats (temples) in Thailand, which are stunningly beautiful) & learning meditation & yogic breathing along the way, changed us both & led us towards a more spiritual/less material way of life.” Amen.

Throughout this time, Natalie had started making jewellery: earring, necklaces etc all with semi-precious stones. Her Mum and herself decided to open up shop back in the UK – Totnes to be precise which is down in Devon (I lived in Salcombe for a short while, a beautiful little place close by…). This is how they ended back in the UK.

Discovering mosaics four years ago, her hobby soon turned into her passion: “At the beginning all I could afford to use were ceramic tiles, so most of my earlier work is in that medium. I then started buying vitreous glass tiles in mixed colour kilo bags, which gave me different colours & textures to work with.”

Just over a year ago, she thought to give mosaics a more serious try, quit her day job and working part time with Keith allowed her the freedom and flexibility to give it a serious go. “I cannot describe how happy it made me feel to get the time to really concentrate on trying different methods & materials & to start stretching myself creatively.”

Natalie is a self taught artist and believes this enhances her work as she is not limited by the rules that are applied in art. ” I did find the groups on Flickr & have found it most helpful to read the help & tips on these forums.” She has been concentrating on exhibiting her work over the past year, a solo show in her hometown of Totnes as well as sending off a piece to Ciel Gallery, located in the US.

As for her where she feels she is heading, as an artist: “I seem to be moving towards doing mixed media mosaics as I love the textures & play of light on a piece that has many levels, I am not so keen on the grouting part of these types of mosaics and sort of heave a sigh of relief when I am doing an easy grout job. Saying that, it doesn’t stop me from doing them!!! I had a lot of beads & semi precious stones over from my time making jewellery so I love to incorporate them & any other little bits & bobs that I pick up all over the place (charity shops etc). I also really enjoy using stained glass & when I go to a glass shop I am like a kid in a sweet shop!! I have recently discovered tempered glass & am at the moment doing a series of Ladies (seasons) & am using tempered glass, along with other materials, to bring these to fruition. Colours are extremely important to me, & I LOVE bright primary colours, I love rainbows. Sometimes a mosaic design pops into my head just because of a certain glass colour or texture. I think I sort of work instinctively & go with what feels right & mostly that works out for me. I sometimes have a whole design in my head when I start to work on a piece, but often as I start to draw things out on the substrate things change & evolve as I go along. I do not like to be too rigid with myself & just let the creative process morph into being. I have also enjoyed making things for some challenges on the web, as these often take me in a direction I have not tried before & make me be a bit more disciplined. I feel I am so lucky to earn a bit of money doing something I love & it would be great to be able to sell more! I have so many ideas for mosaics in my head I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to do them all in my lifetime, but I’m going to give it a bloody good try.”

Well here’s to you Natalie! I think you are giving it a bloody good try too 🙂

Here are some of my favourites, but I do think that you should go check her flickr site for more…

Sun Birdbath

Mr Wizard

Lady of WInter

Rainbow Swirls

Lava Flow

And finally, meet Natalie:

Natalie Warne

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Filed under Art, Artist Watch Series, Artists, Birdbath, Emerging, Europe, Female, Flickr, Garden Mosaics, Mosaic, Mosaic Materials, Natalie Warne, Nature, Round the World, Tempered Glass, Uncategorized, United Kingdom, Wall Hanging