Monday, December 28, 2009

Vine At The Arbors Mosaic Mural Installation

The installation of this mural, "Vine At The Arbors", began on the
Winter Solstice - a very auspicious time. It marks the end of the darkness and the coming of the light - a new beginning when all things are possible. I like that!

This mural is on the outside of a community building in a new housing
development in Richmond, California.
It's made of glass and high fire tile and measures 9' x 7'.

On the first day my assistant, Saundra Warren, and I traced the
paper template of the art onto the wall.

The second day was the one I had been planning for weeks
and it went smooth as
Each piece was adhered with thinset to the wall and held in place with tape.

By the end of the second day, we had installed all the pieces.

The third day was grouting day. The worst - the VERY worst - part of this whole process for me is the taping off of this kind of intricate art. It is painstaking and there are no shortcuts - the surrounding wall must be protected! It took us three hours to complete this taping job.

Unfortunately I ran out of the grout with one square foot left to go!
Because of the Christmas holiday the grout store was closed so I had to
wait several days to totally finish.
But finish I did!
Here are some close ups:

Vine At The Arbors
9' x 7'
Glass, mirror and high fire tile
December 2009
Special thank you to Saundra Warren for her much appreciated assistance!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Jazz Cats Mosaic Mural Installation

My latest mural is called "Jazz Cats".

It is on a small backyard garden wall and measures about 10 feet long.

My clients told me they love cats and music so I designed this for them. They let me create it and install it sight unseen. Gotta love clients like that!!!
A finishing touch were the musical notes I added at the end. I happen to know that their third love is baseball so those are the opening notes to
"Take Me Out To The Ball Game". A little subtle humor!

I created the mural on mesh and Easyboard in my studio then installed it in a few hours on site. The process begins with tracing the design onto the wall.

All the pieces are stuck with Thinset and held in place with tape for a little while so they don't slip.

After the Thinset has set - about 24 hours - the next
step is to tape off the entire piece for grouting.
This is my least favorite step!
It is a painstaking process on an intricate design like this.

But once the grouting is done and somewhat set, the "reveal" begins.

Peeling away the tape is my favorite step!
I use a small knife to get into the smaller spaces.

The grout can be left rough by this procedure so I sometimes smooth it out with a popsicle stick.

Here are the "figures" close up:
Two cats and the notes:

The third cat and one of the two guitars:

And Voila!

"Jazz Cats"
Ceramic tile and glass
10 Feet x 1 foot (approx)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Southwest Mosaics Series Begins

Steer Skull
Mirror and stained glass on Easyboard

36" wide x 28" tall

Magic Feathers
Mirror, stained glass, leather and beads on Easyboard
16" - 18" long approx

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Calla Lily Mosaic Mural Installation

My latest project happened because of a breast pump.

A friend of mine was looking for one on Freecycle and ran across a woman she had known a few years ago who was giving one away - Amy Blackshaw.
They reconnected with mosaic talk and Amy voiced her dream to do a mosaic on her large garden wall.

The face is 9' x 4' and the side is 8' long and tapers from 4' to 2' tall.

However, she didnt feel that she had the knowledge or skills to do it alone so my friend got her in contact with me. It turned out she lived close by so I went over to meet her and VOILA the Calla Lily Mural was born.

Luckily for me Amy has a great sense of fun and adventure so she let me design whatever I wanted to.
All she asked was that I teach her the process from beginning to end.
She and her two kids - Maya, 7 and Milo, 4 - liked the idea
of using a theme of things one would see in a garden.
So I created a whimsical, large-perspective design of calla lilies,
nasturtiums, insects and their cat!
First I cut a butterfly, bee, lady bug, dragonfly, cat and small butterfly
out of Easyboard and mosaicked them with glass in my studio. The next step was to adhere them to the wall with thinset and connect them all with mirrored "flying lines" as I call them!
After that, the direct tiling began! (Amy did the nasturtiums).

Here are close-ups of the "grass":

Here are close-ups of the Easyboard insets:

Amy proved to be a great worker, tile setter and learner.
Maya, her daughter, helped with the buffing too.

This is me on the left with my "student/assistant", Amy:

The final result: a 56 square foot backyard mosaic mural
(front and side walls)...

...made by:

Summer of Art - Sacramento's 2nd Saturday & Jingletown's 4:20 Gallery

My art summer started with Open Studios at the 4:20 Gallery in Jingletown.

The 4:20 Gallery looked great!

The first two weekends in June saw Jingletown packed with
art lovers and party goers.

On Saturday, a street party rocked with the music of two bands and
a fundraising bar-be-que.

This is me with my dog, Kali. She loves to mix and mingle!

Cynthia - "the mayor" - had beer on sale in Jingletown glasses
as well as selling other memorabilia.
Nothing happens in Jingletown without beer.

A brand new art event in Oakland is Estuary Art Attack, an art walk in Alameda and Jingletown on the second Friday of each month. The first one coincided with Open Studios so, happily, the 4:20 was packed again! Many new faces came through the doors and were pleasantly surprised with the
quality of the art in this little neighborhood.

Some Alamedans organized a bike brigade to cover the miles of art galleries,
restaurants and events.

My third art event was Second Saturday in Sacramento, August 8th.
Also an art walk, it brings out thousands of art, music and food lovers every month.

My mosaics were in a show titled "The Art of Broken Pieces" in the Phantom Gallery at 1616 Del Paso Blvd.
The curator was Mariellen Layne.
She did a great job bringing 10 mosaic artists together because, as they say,
organizing artists is like herding cats!

It was great to be part of a mosaic show. I jumped at the chance to show my nudes.
Check out a video of the evening by Mariellen Layne.

The other artists in this show were
Madeline Behrens-Brigham, Donna Billick, Lynn Dowing, Frankie Hansbearry,
Mariellen Layne, Wenia Lee, Marsha Rafter, Sandy Weaver, Diana White.