Mosaic is an art medium with almost unlimited creative possibilities. Tesserae, (the little bits and pieces) can include anything from traditional tiles, smalti, pebbles, seashells, and glass to vintage jewelry and three-dimensional objects. Painstakingly pieced together like a collage or puzzle to a complex whole, they are created on various bases or structures, for various purposes. Mosaic can range from functional craft to fine contemporary art.
The eye loves complexity. It is fascinated by detail. From the time a baby is born, its eyes study shape, symmetry, pattern, and detail. Mosaic, with its myriad of tiny bits and pieces of colors and textures, is the epitome of complexity. Repetitive shapes of the individual pieces can convey a sense of movement, emotional tension, and drama, or a calm, structured order. The smaller the tesserae, the more detail can be achieved. The finished piece with its light-grabbing abilities is a delight to the senses.
Every true artist eventually develops a style and voice of his/her own, but individual style does not come instantly or full-blown. It is created by choices—choices of themes, color palettes, materials, shapes, sizes, detail, and genre. It is often an arduous path of twists and turns and dead-ends, but then, an Aha! moment. Every medium has its advantages and disadvantages, and the materials can dictate choices and parameters. As one explores the medium, the parameters of the rules can often be stretched and challenged in unique and surprising ways. Through the patient exploration of his medium of choice, the artist can find a voice to communicate to the world through art.
Most of my mosaics utilize stained glass and mirror because I love the sparkly glints and bold colors. Palette and color choices are often considered symbolic. By association with colors in the natural world, colors evoke basic emotions and mental states. For example, yellow is associated with light, sunshine, and happiness; blue with water, sky, and tranquility and green with spring, nature, rebirth, and health. Turquoise is considered a healing color, and pink is associated with femininity (and culturally with the dreaded b/c -Ugh). Symbolically, colored mirror reflects sub-conscious thought, emotions, and one’s self or psyche, but I often use it just to grabs glints of light because I like shiny :)
My love of sparkle leads me to often incorporate lots of vintage costume jewelry pieces into my work. Their texture, faceted colorful rhinestones, and light-grabbing metallic gleams have a particular affinity with the smooth stained glass and add a delightful three-dimensional aspect. Figural pieces are chosen for their symbolic attributes—butterflies for Hope, watches and clocks for the passage of Time, pink ribbons for... (you know), and lots of other things add a touch of whimsy.