Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Buggy Garden Mosaic

I am currently finishing a commission for Hug A Bug Preschool in El Cerrito, California. Here I just have to stop and show you the breathtaking view of San Francisco from their front door!! 
 I was asked to create this piece to commemorate their 30th year in business. On November 17th I led a group of 15 parents in a mosaic bug making workshop held on-site. They were each asked to bring little pieces that reminded them of childhood - or in some way were special to them - to incorporate into their "bug". This was a wonderful and warm event held on a grey and drizzly Saturday morning.
 I designed several different insects - like butterflies, dragonflies, bees and even an inchworm! I mounted them so the "artists" would be gluing their tessarae onto mesh. 
 Afterward, I took the mosaic bugs home to dry. In a few days I mounted each one onto a lightweight substrate called Easyboard. (I used the last of my stash because it is no longer being made.)
 I knew that my design idea would be a simple one - a garden with bugs and flowers. I really like the work of the artist Hundertwasser so I allowed myself to be influenced by the psychological freedom that his art expresses. 
 The finished size of this is 6' x 3' so I split the design in half and used the mesh method to create it in my studio. The usual types of flowers didnt interest me for this "garden" so I just went with my own vision of "flowers" instead. I created them on a substrate (Easyboard again) to give them depth. I envisioned the large middle one first. In this photo, it is on the right. I "saw" a lollipop-like spiral in red and white.  
 While I created that flower, the vision of the next two, on either side of it, came into my head, with three petals each and stripes on one but checkerboards dominating the other. Nancy, the head of Hug A Bug, asked me to incorporate some small figurines into each flower so I did that too - you can see some of them here. And after those were finished, the last two flowers were created - rounding out my design.
There is nothing like the first time you lay out your mosaic as a whole piece to get a good look at it.
The next step? Installation.

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