At long last, one year after my mosaics were installed, I've finally had a chance to visit the garden & see them in situ. It was a very hot summer day, but I wanted to take the opportunity for a short visit. The garden at this time of year was overgrown, yet still vibrant with colorful flowers.
A quick stroll thru the garden.
Photo by Mark Morris
Here I am, with Vaughn, who commissioned the mosaics.
Hopefully I'll be able to visit again in the spring and get an unobscured view of the mosaics from a distance. In any case, I'm very happy with how they look and were hung, as is Vaughn, which is really most important!
Soon, he began showing up to the ex-convent where we, the artists of the 3rd Contemporary Mosaic Art Symposium, Ploaghe worked. He quickly become a constant companion to all.
Thus, the inspiration behind my latest portrait . . .
The heart, is a play on the symposium logo, seen in the center of this sign.
Our Beloved Mascot, Poldo
My materials were a variety of colorful Italian & Mexican smalti, including some luscious large riven chunks which I love, dishes, and slate.
Once I finished laying all the tesserae, the real experimentation began. Flipping the work & reverse engineering a hangable substrate. Here's a time lapse of that process....
Thank you Zack!
For the past several months I've been working on a commission for the garden of a private residence.
In February I gave a talk to a local art group about my experience attending The 3rd Contemporary Mosaic Art Symposium in Sardinia Italy (subject for another post - long overdue). The following day I was contacted by a woman who had been at the talk, who commissioned me to create 2 mosaics for her beloved garden. She'd been introduced to a variety of materials during my talk, and as a result decided on Mexican Smalti, as her material of choice. OK by me!
I chose to use a lightweight, waterproof, substrate which comes in a variety of thicknesses. The Osprey was cut out of the 1 inch substrate which was latter attached to the 1/2 inch background substrate. I was thrilled to find that the 1/2 boards come in 4'x5' sheets, the size of the flower mural.
The Osprey flew off to his new garden home .... On to the flowers!
I started by transferring a cartoon of my design to the substrate, and began the setting here....
Being out in the country, Belinda assured me that I would see some of Australias unique wildlife. Sometimes, they just appeared in front of us, and to see others we had to go out hunting in the night.
Another fun excursion was taking a ride on the Puffing Billy Railway. The line is one of the most popular steam heritage railways in the world and is kept in operation through the efforts of volunteers of the Puffing Billy Preservation Society. The railway aims to preserve and restore the line as near as possible to how it was in the first three decades of its existence, but with particular emphasis on the early 1920s.
I was told that normally everything is lush green, but unfortunately what I saw was mostly brown, due to the recent drought conditions.
We were lucky to have Conductor Fraser, a friend of Belinda's, ride with us, as our personal guide.
Though I flew in and out of Melbourne, this is all I saw of the city, driving to and from the airport. Hopefully next time I'll get there!
Meet my wonderful host Kerry! She took great care of me during my time in and around Sydney & organized the 2 Picassiette workshop that I taught here.
I love the mountains!
I taught 2 workshops - Flowers and Portraits
Here are the results & happy creators.
It was a gorgeous day to take the train and then the ferry into Sydney. Approaching the iconic Opera House from the river was a treat.
Another huge thrill was meeting Julia Sattout and her family. Julia is a fellow member of Julia Kay's Portrait Party, an online art group. It amazes me that I can walk into someone's home, and recognize, not only her paintings, but the subjects of each painting, all of whom, I have also drawn or painted myself. Another JKPP artist met, and signature in my Portrait Revolution book!
& a few random shots from my final walk around the city.
Here you can see some of the lovely mosaic, glass on glass, spinners that Catherine makes. I love how they brighten up her studio, and garden.
We had a super lovely group of people for the workshop. Several of them had extensive experience with stained glass, 2 of them being instructors at the Brisbane glass guild. Everyone did great work, while enjoying themselves and helping each other.
On the second morning we all met before the workshop at a local gem and stone shop. AMAZING.....
For a special treat, on my final day, I took Catherine for her first ever reflexology session. I love having a foot massage, especially after being on my feet for days, teaching and touring. Ahhhhhh!
And finally, A mandatory excursion to visit the Koala sanctuary..... pretty much impossible to spot them in the wild. Australia has so much cool wild life!
Farewell Brisbane - It's been fabulous!
Right off the bat, I managed to lose my glasses. Bifocals.
I realized this as we were driving from the airport to my host's home. I'd dropped them in the airport when I put on my sunglasses to walk outside. I can picture exactly where & when it happened.... but, try as I may, with many calls to the airport and airlines, they were never recovered.
Consequently, a visit to the opthomologist who was very accommodating and made me a quick pair of distance glasses. Fortunately I brought along my prescription reading glasses. So, I'll just have to get used to juggling 3 pairs of glasses, for the remainder of my time in Australia!
My first full day, I spent enjoying Brisbane's riverwalk. It's a really beautiful city, with a lovely manicured park, with an urban beach at its core....
Of course, I was delighted to find several mosaics along the pathway.
These strange looking birds were everywhere. Apparently they're quite annoying, noisy and dirty.
Just a couple of the names I heard locals call them, bin chickens or tip chooks.
If you want to know more, check out this song/video!
At the end of the river walk are the Art and Natural history museums. Both excellent. Just a few pics of exhibits, art and nature that made an impression.
This is where I stayed while in Perth! It was amazing for me to stay in this idyllic and beautiful location, with a view of the Indian Ocean. The little blue building on the right is Pat's mosaic studio.
Pat & Horst, were my incredible hosts! They were so generous, kind, and knowledgable. Horst, being a professional chef, made sure I didn't go hungry! He cooked many a fine meal, presented on carefully arranged plates. (I can't believe I didn't take any photos of his beautiful & delicious food!)
Speaking of plates... Here's Pat collecting goodies for my picassiette portraiture workshop.
Thrift store shoppers of the world unite!
Another amazing person who was instrumental in getting me to Perth, is Dorothy. I so loved having time to get to know her. Both Dorothy and Pat are active with MAANZ, the Australia/New Zealand mosaic community.
The Art Supply store where my workshop was held, was aptly named Friendz. And, to my great surprise, located on Pensacola St!
Hey! That's where I live!
Inside, the workshop begins, with everyone drawing. It was a wonderful 3 days. The room was soon full of laughs and learning as everyone worked diligently on creating thier portraits, over the next 3 days.
I just love the diversity of their work and all their smiling faces!