Category Archives: Exhibitions

End of year classes, WIPs and an exhibition worth seeing

Just a quick one to mention that there are only 3 classes left this year!!

First up will be a week long intensive on fabricating large mosaic installations preferably permanently, but I will also go over how to go large with the possibility of later moving the mosaic.  It’s going to be awesome!!! I cover everything from design enlargement to fabrication to installation and grouting. November 15 – 22 in my Canberra home-studio. Details in image below.

Mural class Ad

Marian Shapiro is then going to join us from teh Blue Mountains for two, one-day workshops on December 6 & 7. If you register for both classes there is a discount! Workshop 1 is “Understanding Andamento” where Marian will go over the visual grammar of mosaics. Workshop 2 is one that she’s already taught a few years back with much success: “Bend, Fold & Undulate” where participants will learn to create their own 3D substrates that well… bend, fold and undulate!

More information on my website.

If you are looking for some inspiration of what you can create in the Bend, Fold & Undulate class I recommend you go see the group show in Bungendore by artists Caitlin Hughes, Kate Butler & Kelly Wild. It runs at the X Gallery until December 1. Well worth the visit if you are in the area.


I’m working on a couple mosaics at the moment – a mural in memory of my father and an awesome 3D piece that I can’t wait to finish creating the substrate for.

Poppy's wall

Hope you’re all enjoying this beautiful Spring!




Filed under Architectural Installations, Art, Artists, Australia, Canberra, Classes, Events, Exhibitions, Flowers, Inspiration, Kim Grant, Mosaic, Murals, My Home, My projects, Nature, Round the World, Works in Progress

Marian Shapiro’s Fabrication

In my last post I mentioned I was heading to Sydney for Marian Shapiro‘s solo exhibition “Fabrication”. As the song goes “oh what a night!…” It was a really great opening night – lots of people turned up, Marian glowed and her body of work was truly something to behold.

MAANZ president, Nola Diamantopoulos, gave the opening speech and what I loved about something she said in this speech was along the lines of how Marian is such a giver, but a quiet one… So true!

I think you need to go and see this exhibition, showing at breathing colours in Balmain, Sydney. The show ends this Sunday with a meet-the-artist on Saturday between 2-4 pm. Now is the time to buy art (may I also say at a great price!!).

Marian’s beautiful catalogue, with a lovely intro by artist Jane Denison, is also available at blurb.

Details and pics from the opening night below:


Filed under Art, Artists, Australia, Events, Exhibitions, Marian Shapiro, Mosaic, Round the World, Sydney, Uncategorized

Be Careful What You Wish For… and upcoming events

I take my dog (and kidlets) for a walk every day. OK so she actually takes us for a walk –  I know the Gentle Leader collar will show up some time soon. I’m pretty sure my dog has hidden it. For the most part we will take the same route. We walk past the back of one house whose garden I’ve always admired – lots of trees, no lawn, just paths and knick-knacks popping up here and there. A suburban version of a Secret Garden and I love a good Secret Garden! I spied a garden ornament a while back. It’s an owl. I have always looked for owls (and elephants) and they’re not ones I come across too often. So we admire the secret garden, we admire the owl and walk on. About a week ago the owl disappeared.

This past weekend, the owner was out gardening, as you do, and instead of just walking by minding my own business I stopped and told him how we admire the owl & admire the garden on our daily walks. I asked after the owl and if he remembered where he got it from. Alas no, but he still had the owl!

The conversation went something along the lines of: –

“It fell and there were too many spiders in there so it’s just sitting where it fell.”
“Oh…”. I’m sure at this point I grew 5 inches as my curiosity piqued. “Are you going to throw it away?!” {{insert Innocent Smile here}}.
“Well I was going to try and fix it, but you can have it if you want”.

Not wanting to sound too desperate I let a microsecond go by…

Now I know that it’s all bad to mosaic something structurally unsound and I would never teach what I will do (mosaic it), but you gotta love Bondcrete! I took her home, put her back together again and really! As good as new… well almost!

Thank you Mosaic Godesses for hearing my wishes 🙂 I owe youse a big fat one.

I’ll also be heading up to Sydney on Friday to attend Marian Shapiro‘s solo exhibition, ‘Fabrication’ in Balmain. If you are in the area it shows at breathing colours until the 21st of March with a meet-the-artist on Saturday March 20 from 2-4pm. I’m looking forward to it, looking forward to seeing Marian again, all her beautiful work, the glass adventure trip to Finns and IKEA and generally getting the heck out of Canberra for a little while 😉

On another note, if you have nothing better to do this coming Sunday I suggest coming out to the Government House Open Day, run by the Smith Family. Details below. I’ll be setting up a stall again this year and looking forward to another day under the gorgeous, shady trees…


Filed under Animals, Art, Australia, Birds, Canberra, Events, Exhibitions, Fundraiser, Mosaic, Nature, Round the World, Sculpture, Sydney, Uncategorized

MAANZ 30:30 Vision Exhibition

Been a while since I even entertained the idea of exhibiting and didn’t feel at all inspired by this year’s theme, Crusty Oceania, but decided at the very last minute to give it a go… Two night’s work produced this:




Amazing how a mosaic can look so different dependent upon the lighting…

This year’s exhibition is being held in Brisbane, in conjunction with the Symposium which I am also going to. Cannot wait!! It will be a well deserved break… October can’t come soon enough.

Spring is springing here now, well beginning to at least. It’s been a long Winter… but the cherry blossoms and daffodils are a welcome distraction. In fact, so is the rain. I’ve just marked my son’s 10th b’day (!). Holy Dang Snot (a la Bamasusana)… it’s frightening to think 10  years has slipped by almost unnoticed…

I am looking forward to some upcoming work I’m planning. Mostly for me, with any luck. It’s time I start covering my house 🙂

Mosaic classes are shaping up to be a busy schedule, with some possibilities of travel too! My two favourite pastimes rolled into one?!!! Almost too good to be true!


Filed under Art, Artists, Australia, Brisbane, Events, Exhibitions, Finished pieces, Kim Grant, Mosaic, My projects, Nature, Rant, Round the World, Travel, Uncategorized, Wall Hanging

Artist Watch: Irit Levy

I only recently found out about Irit Levy‘s art. I immediately felt a sense of shame as to how I could have possibly allowed her to fly under my radar! The first mosaic I saw of hers was the tree she made for Christine Brallier, a tree trade 🙂 I’ve been hooked ever since.

For as long as she can remember, Irit always painted and drew. As a young child, she surrounded herself with all sorts of paper and different types of paints and crayons, even creating art from glass as an older child. “With no internet or TV this was my easy escape from boredom”. Irit discovered her local glazier who would give her some coloured glass offcuts which she then cut and glued, “Of course it didn’t hold long. Who knew then about different types of glues…”.

As a young adult, Levy studied painting at the art academy in Israel. She later went on to pursue Economics and worked in this field for a number of years before returning to a different art academy, again in Israel. It was here she met Doron Bar-Adon, who she claims has the most influence on her art today. It wasn’t until leaving Israel that she discovered other mediums, taking pottery very seriously. “Though I had done pottery before, it was actually the first time I dived into “brushless” art. I think that without knowing it yet then, it was at this moment that I was opened to different types of art”.

It wasn’t until mid 2006 on a visit to New York City that Irit discovered mosaic as an art form. “I stumbled, by chance, onto the Sicis showroom. The beauty of this place really hits you. After I started breathing again I knew I was going to do THAT. It took me a few more months and in April 2007 I did my first mosaic.”

“The process of making a mosaic is totally the opposite of painting, of the way I was painting. I was painting big and dirty, no plans in advance, no early sketches and very quickly. With mosaic I am going more and more into the direction of no planning. If I want to make a rhythm in mosaic I need a little planning as I can’t have that rapid brush stroke as I did while painting. I am still dirty and messy but the process is slow and I feel so good with it. I feel that I am growing into the work, that it becomes more and more a part of me.”

Irit’s claims of being impatient and impulsive means she also works on several pieces simultaneously: “… otherwise I couldn’t survive the pace of the mosaic art process.”

Irit has experienced the loss of her art throughout her life, from destroying it herself to burglary: “I am very connected to all my art. If I don’t like something, I destroy it. I don’t keep things I don’t like and I won’t have others have them… Sadly, over the years, I lost a lot of art I didn’t intend to lose. My parents destroyed all the art I did until I left home at the age of 18. I could never figure out why. The second time I lost my whole work was when I was in my mid 20’s when burglars stole all my art in my apartment.”

Irit will be exhibiting 2 of her paintings in the prestigious Biennale in Italy soon. Here is an excerpt of what one of the curators wrote about her work, which Irit feels also applies to her mosaics:

Irit Levy is a highly thought provoking artist, whose art reflects a strong existential contemplation of the world and of ordinary objects. (…. )   “Over the years my art changes as I experiment with new materials and new approaches.  What remains most similar in my art is the backgrounds. My works often show a certain emptiness. The backgrounds are large and usually have a character of their own and at times the content of the paintings seem to be floating. For me, the backgrounds are no less important than the content, in the same way that unspoken words are no less important than spoken ones.”

Cool huh?!Check out her Flickr photostream for more visual stimulation and head over to her awesome blog where she documents her work.

The Kiss

Chez Christine

Smiling Nude

Big Steps

Le Mistral

Quiet - self portrait

Love her work… just love it!

Finally, meet Irit:

Irit Levy



Filed under Art, Artist Watch Series, Events, Exhibitions, Flickr, Inspiration, Irit Levy, Mosaic, Portraiture, Uncategorized, Wall Hanging

SAMA San Diego 2009

I am back. Back from near 3 weeks of mosaic mayhem! I had a brilliant time – there’s nothing quite like immersing oneself in something you love, are passionate about and couldn’t live without. Needless to say the highlight was meeting all my e-friends, who I now can certainly count as real-life friends 😉 It was kinda weird though because it didn’t feel like it was the first time we actually met, proof perhaps that making friends online and getting to know them without ever so much as hearing their voices or feeling their demeanour in person is, in fact, possible.

SAMA San Diego was a blast – to use an Americanism. I participated in 4 workshops – one of which was CRAP!!! And yes I did say so in the feedback. It was a relief to hear that most other people I met who did the same workshop had similar complaints. However, the other 3 were really great. I would have to say the workshop I benefited from the most was Sue Gianotti‘s Mosaic Design Basics. Basic principles I was not aware of, some that I even used in my work without knowing that I did… I am now a value-ho!

I am also now convinced that there is no business workshop that would do me any good. I think it must be a really difficult thing to teach (?) even arbitrary perhaps, but I havn’t done any kind of business class that has imparted any kind of useful information. Well I havn’t done Laurel True‘s class and I have heard it is a good one… I did do George Fishman‘s class, however. I must say that was useful – it was essentially dissecting the process of one of his murals. But it didn’t set about how to get that mural in the first place, if you know what I mean. I enjoyed going through the step by step of how the mural was made though, very interesting. In fact that class reminded me just how open I keep myself to my clients, in as much as I don’t cover myself with a contract ever… I know. The evil twin in me keeps whispering in my ear, waiting for the “I told you so” moment. Something I will change as of this year. I have been lucky enough to be supported by some wonderful fellow artists (Marian Shapiro being one) and am truly grateful…

I also did the 3D workshop with Sherri Warner Hunter and actually made something that looks like what it was supposed to (a snail!). I was quite chuffed 😉 That was a really fun day.

Not sure what I would say the highlight of the conference was – it was all rather overwhelming… probably meeting fellow artists. Being surrounded by like-minded people. The only artist I didn’t introduce myself to (I will say embarrassingly enough!!!) was Laurel Skye. I was just a little too starstruck… 😉 She is, after all, the sole reason why I continued to mosaic…

The Mini Salon was a great experience too. The work was amazing – all of it. Interesting to see all these pieces that I had seen online, in person. I’m happy to say that I sold my piece. It now resides in Tahiti 🙂 That was nice actually. Marian Shapiro was the one that convinced me to enter something in all in the name of trying to recoup costs of getting there. That sale and that of my guitar, Swan Song, certainly helped and made it all worthwhile!!

My new fave mosaic artist: Jeannie Houston Antes. Check out her work. Of course, so much better in person… but I love her style + she’s really cool. Am hoping to write her up on this blog some time soon – so stay tuned!

For more pics, please visit my flickr site and also Crystal’s flickr set – she was quite the photographer at this event and took some great pics! These are just a few of my faves…

Flickr Fest – love this photo!!!

Me & Crystal
Me & Crystal Thomas in Sherri’s 3D class

Spiritual Hands - My Homies, My Peeps...
Photo by Carol Shelkin

Christine Brallier and Suzanne Steeves
Photo by Crystal Thomas

Mosaic Marathon
Photo by Crystal Thomas

The Exhibition itself was located at the Museum of Man. Great setting, but I found it difficult to get through with 400 other people around – let’s just say I’m one of those annoying people who don’t do particularly well in crowds and much prefers to go at my own pace and let it all soak in… Nevertheless it was just awe-insiring to see a collection of amazing mosaics in the one space. My top 5 (in no particular order):

Waves Adrift by Sophie Drouin
Waves Adrift by Sophie Drouin

Dreamer by Carole Choucair Oueijan
Dreamer by Carole Choucair Oueijan

Stinging Colours by Roxana Nizza
Stinging Colours by Roxana Nizza

Paradigm Shift by Brian Felix
Paradigm Shift by Brian Felix

Day One: The Birth of Light by Bill Buckingham
The Birth of Light by Bill Buckingham

Carol Shelkin
In a Village by Carol Shelkin

OK so top 6! Though my top 5 should be a top 10, top 15… so many pieces I would have in my home 😉 More pics can be found in my Flickr set.

Some of my faves from the Mini Salon:

Viscus Stimulus by Karen Ami
Viscus Stimulus by Karen Ami

Voices in My Head by Jeannie Houston Antes
Voices in My Head by Jeannie Houston Antes

Ulrike Martinez - detail
Venezia by Ulrike Martinez

The conference, for me, wrapped up with a tour of Niki de Saint Phalle‘s Queen Califia’s Magic Circle. Let it be known that I was speechless. It was really fantastic and a great end to the 5 days (daze?) of mosaic mania. Bring in capital punishment for those effwits who find the need to vandal the place, I say 😉 More on flickr

Queen Califia's Magic Circle

Queen Califia's Magic Circle

Queen Califia's Magic Circle
With the beautiful Susan Crocenzi

Lynn & Susan
Susan Crocenzi and Lynn Adamo

Queen Califia's Magic Circle

All in all, a great time!! Don’t know about doing this again next year, but I highly recommend it to those of you who can go. Next year it is in Chicago, brrrr… I think I will opt for my trip to Spain, Italy and maybe Turkey & Morocco. I think I need to go to all these other places I want to visit versus visiting the US over and over 😉

Any takers?


Filed under Events, Exhibitions, Flickr, Inspiration, Meeeting of the Minds, Rant, Round the World, San Diego, Travel, Uncategorized, USA, Workshops

Government House Open Day

Government House Open Day and Art Exhibition

I’ll be exhibiting and selling some of my work at the Government House Open Day next Sunday March 1st. If you are in the area, stop on by. It should be a good day!

I’ll have alot of my “fine art” pieces on display, as well as selling smaller pieces. I also have a shipment of one of a kind polymer clay jewellery by esteemed Californina artist, Susan Crocenzi. Come along, peruse, be inspired and support a good cause (proceeds from the event support the Smith Family).

Hope to see you there!


Filed under Art, Artists, Australia, Canberra, Events, Exhibitions, Kim Grant, Mosaic, Mosaic Materials, My projects, Polymer Clay, Round the World, Susan Crocenzi