March is here and Spring is in the air. Despite the fact that today we're having a final blast of cold, there's spring in my step & lots going on in my studio. I'm excited to fill you in on some of the highlights!
Friday night I attended the opening of the Pensacola Museum of Art Juried Member's Show. Like many people there, it was the first time in over 2 years, being out and about mingling face to face, which felt really nice & little extra special.
I really loved seeing my work, "Forward Thinking" hanging in the large gallery where he looked quite striking from across the room! He was created last year as I thought a lot of the uncertainties of the pandemic situation &what the future might bring. I find him quite compelling, with many little details that are hard to see in a photo. Modeled after a Scottish artist, he's #64 of 68 in my ongoing series of contemporary artists from around the world. The exhibit runs thru May 29, 2022. I hope you'll have a chance to visit.
Quite a bit different than my usual style, "Beyond City Limits", is currently in a Mosaic Landscapes online exhibit. The show runs thru March and can be viewed here: https://tinyurl.com/LandscapeMo.
There will be a viewer's choice award, which you can vote for while you're there. If you like my work, I'd love your vote 😍😉.
Here's a little detail....
Both works above are available for purchase.
On the teaching front, I'm looking forward to conducting a workshop in my own studio, the first in 5 years, in a couple of weeks. Thanks to those of you who let me know of your interest in more of my home based workshops, following my last newsletter... more dates to come!
Here's a quick list of my current workshops coming up On the Road ...
They're filling fast so don't wait if you're interested!
Dallas TX - April 21-24 - sold out
Dallas TX - April 27-30 - a few spots remain
Austin TX - May 3-6 - 2 spots remain
Fullerton CA - June 2-4
Tijuana Mexico - June 16-18
All workshop dates, locations & links to register can be found here
I hope all is well in your world. Until next time...
Be well & stay creative!
Lots of love,
Earlier this year I was invited to create a portrait for an ongoing, international collaborative mosaic installation at The Ruins Project in Western Pennsylvania. The project, located on the Great Allegheney Passage, at an abandoned coal mine site, celebrates the rich history of the coal mining industry.
My subject, John Moskal, was born in 1887 in Poland, and immigrated to the United States in 1907. He joined other family members who already lived in Whittsett PA and began working in the coal mines. He, and other members of his family, worked in the mines, until it shut down in 1946.
This small black and white photo is the only one I received of him with a horse, to use as my reference. Definitely a challenge!
These are a couple other photos of a younger John with his daughter
& later in life with his wife, Kathryn.
I began by drawing several freehand sketches, coming up with a simple "cartoon"
from which to begin the mosaic work.
details of the work & color pallet
For his face I used Italian, Mexican & Chinese Smalti.
I started with the eyes, and worked outwards from there.
Next I moved on to creating his hat, altering the cap from the original image into a hard hat. I used the bottom of a crystal glass to represent the the miner's light. Ceramic & crockery shards were used for the remainder of the hat. I love the texture & interest that the crockery rims creates.
Next came his shirt & sweater, using a combination of marble and unglazed porcelain, to create additional textural contrast. I was delighted to find this horse image, in my stash of dishes, to button up his shirt.
Next came the all important horses, flanking the portrait/
Again starting with simplified drawing as my guide.
I felt the need to use some metal pieces for the horses' bridles. I was thrilled when Rachel, the proprietor and creative genius behind The Ruins , found & sent me a few wonderful rusty bits (below) that were scavenged at The Ruins. Equally fun, was finding a way to incorporate them into the mosaic.
Rachel sent 3 small rusty circles, but I needed one more. I created a 4th, faux rusty ring, using metallic Mexican Smalti. The horses themselves are all marble and stone, cut by hand with the traditional hammer & hardie. I also found glass taxidermy eyes in my stash, which give them a realistic look. One in particular, is forever staring back at the viewer!
Once the horses were complete, I moved on to
grouting the hat & sweater sections.
The portrait of John Moskal, Master of Horse, complete & pieced together!
It was my intention to visit The Ruins in early September to install the work myself, but due to the ongoing pandemic situation, alternate plans have been made. The mosaic will be shipped to The Ruins & installed by Rachel, before the cold sets in!
To get ready for shipping, I laid out all the pieces, taped & marked them for installation alignment, and wrapped each section for safe shipping.
Next time we see Mr Maskal, he'll be part of The Ruins Project landscape!
Thank you Rachel for inviting me to be a small part of your larger vision.
It's an honor to hang with the ever growing international list of artists
whose work is already, and has yet to be, installed there!
I anxiously await what comes next & being able to visit in person!
My Australia Adventures begins - A late start!
My first flight, out of my home airport, was delayed. I finally arrived in Dallas as my flight to Sydney was taking off. 24 hours wait until the next flight!
Back at the Dallas airport, I was happy to have a bit of time to check out the mosaics in the International terminal, as I waited for my flight.
& finally.....in the sky.... headed Down Under!