I smell Spring in the air!

I realize that I missed last week’s post–I am moving my life (and my studio) to a new location on a trendy little artsy-fartsy street in St. Paul and I’m  super excited. That said, I am also completely overwhelmed, behind-the-eight-ball, and exhausted. A week from tomorrow, I will meet the movers and thank my lucky stars that they are hauling up those large boxes filled with all of my glass supplies. Uff da.

Don’t get me wrong–I will do my fair share of lifting, but I figured I would love myself a heckuva a lot more if they handled the furniture and really heavy stuff.

Anyway, with all that moving, I haven’t been creating as much as I might like to, but I did manage to finish one piece earlier this week. No name yet, just my tribute to the warm weather and early spring that Minnesota has been having lately.

Here’s my Gerber daisy–not grouted yet–but that is my “reward” for getting my life packed up and ready for the movers this weekend.

Gerber daisy mosaic

It’s about 18″ square, give or take, and I haven’t decided if I will keep it and hang it in my new bathroom.  (This gerber daisy shower curtain inspired the piece and will hang in my new bathroom soon!)

daisy shower curtain

It’s not an exact match, but it’s close enough for me…so we will see if it hangs in my space–or if it goes to one of my friends who’ve already expressed interest in it!

Wish me luck as I get ready to move…

Rachel

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Mary, in Review

So, this week I finished “Our Lady of Roses” and will be grouting her this weekend. Here she is, completely mosaic’d.

A friend of mine told me she liked the piece I did on Mary and when I asked which one, she indicated that she hadn’t seen the others, so I thought we could review them here…

This one is “Our Lady of Shooting Stars.”

And here’s the one that started it all, “Madonna on the Rocks.”

I have two more that I don’t have finished pictures of now that they have been grouted, but you can take a peek at the “in process” pictures of “Our Lady of Cherry Blossoms” and “Fugue, Our Lady of the Streets.” I promise to get finished pics for next week!

I am also working on a giant interpretive Gerber daisy–pics of that too.

Have a great week!

Rachel

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Finished! (And Starting a New One…)

Last week I finished grouting “Tree” and had to do some shuffling to get her upright in my space so that I could get a picture of her. That took some doing–she’s BIG and HEAVY–but I finally have a picture of her, completed. Still hoping to get a pic with better lighting, but this is a start at least.

Here she is:

“Yogini #1: Spirit of Tree”

I am looking for a place to show “Tree,” so if you know of a yoga studio / art gallery that would be willing to give her a place to be for a bit or who might be willing to give her a permanent home, nudge me. I’d love to find a place where others can see her on a regular basis. (And truth be told, she’s HEAVY and I’m moving into a second floor walk up apartment and I would rather not carry her up the steps if I can help it!)

I’ve also started a new piece for one of my favorite people in the world and my very first friend, my cousin, Mirra. She has been eyeballing my recent works centered around the Virgin Mary and because I know she’s more of a “red person” than a “blue person” I decided to create a Madonna piece just for her, with reds instead of the traditional Mary blue.

Here’s the first picture of the piece where I’m just starting on the concept of stylized roses…

And here’s an updated shot of what she looked like this morning before I left the house:

Now I have to attack the challenge of the next chunk of empty space. I have a few ideas mulling around in my head, but which one?? I hope to work on her some more this weekend, although my weekend is starting to look a little booked! I’m sure I will sneak in some time for mosaic as well as for working on getting my studio ready to move in a month.

Here’s to an amazing week…

Rachel

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A New Piece and “Tree” Update!

I was traveling for business last week on Thursday and I couldn’t get to my blog post–so I’m posting two updates today. First, a piece you probably have never seen before.

I call her “Our Lady of Shooting Stars.”

 

I love how serene she looks…and there’s been a request for her in California, I think. We shall see!

The second update is on how “Tree” is progressing. Not only is she finished being mosaic’d….

 

She’s half grouted!

 

It always amazes me how grout changes and completes a piece…you can see the bottom portion of the image is half grouted. I plan to try and finish grouting her tonight. (Fingers crossed!) We might have to have a mid-week update!

Once I am finished grouting and finishing the rough edges, I’m going to be looking for a home for her–either to show her in a gallery or for private sale…so if you know someone who really, REALLY loves yoga or runs a studio or something and is interested in a large piece of art, let me know! (And there’s more where she came from…I can’t wait to start the next one!)

Cheers and happy Thursday! I can smell the weekend–can you?

Rachel

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Grouting!

This past week was a doozie. I got hit with food poisoning and that cramped my style a bit, but not before I got some serious grouting done! So this week’s update will show you all of my grouting efforts.

Here goes:

Remember my sugar skull? Started and completed sometime around Halloween?

It’s grouted now!

The photo makes the tiles on the bottom of the piece a little blurry, but they are actually perfectly clear in real life. One more coat of resin to the Scrabble tiles and then it will be ready to hang on the wall!

Here’s a close up of the skull if you are interested:

Okay, next up is a piece that I originally called “Pondering” I think but I’ve had two people saw the form in the picture reminded them of Buddha. Hmmm. Not my intention, but interesting observation. Looking for a good title for this piece–I’m taking suggestions!

The little cloud looks rather stormy in the big picture, so here’s a close up–it’s actually a friendly little cloud!

Ever have one of those days? Here’s your piece! Makes me think of “Calgon, take me away!”

This little guy is 4″x4″ and is just screaming to be put on someone’s desk somewhere in the great big Corporate Machine.

The next piece is the first of my self portraits, grouted finally!

Here’s an update on “Crazy Quilt”. Fun! (Even if I did take the picture upside down!

Last but not least a good shot of my mermaid, with grout this time.

I’m going to be putting a bunch of my art up for sale soon. Let me know if you  are interested in any of it!

Rachel

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“Tree” Update

I’ve been purposefully working on “Tree”–the piece that is based on one of my favorite yoga poses. The background is starting to fill in now–and I hope to finish the piece work by the end of the weekend. (In a perfect world, I would get it grouted too…)

Here’s an updated “headshot ” of Tree.

I’m very excited with how her face looks against the blue background of the moon. (I think that’s what that is anyway. LOL) Could be the blue eyes!

I feel like she has a look of calm about her and I like that. I never know how a face is going to turn out…I just sort of build it as it comes to me. The true test will be when I grout her, as that is when she effectively pulls together and reveals her finalized look!

We will see!

Here’s an updated full body shot that is a bit blurry–I was standing on a step stool above the table trying to get a shot that caught the entire piece. Unfortunately, the camera was nearly above my head–hence a bit of movement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This one is not the entire piece, but at least it isn’t as blurry!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Okay, one more–sort of a mid body shot.

So, that’s my update for this week. I plan to work feverishly on this piece this weekend with the idea of getting it done. Wish me luck!

I’m also going to go to Mosaic on a Stick tonight to spend some quality time with the artists there…and I have two pieces that I will bringing home from the Goddess Show–one that you saw a process picture of and the other that you haven’t seen at all.

Happy Thursday!

Rachel

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The Crazy Quilt of Life

I’ve made the commitment to post on Thursdays each week over my lunch hour to keep the new art out there, rather than just hanging out in my studio space waiting for grout! Here’s to low-pressure resolutions! Watch for new art each Thursday!

Two new pieces today. The first is a piece that I’ve been thinking about making for some time now. After I complete a piece there are inadvertently little bits and scraps left over that aren’t enough to create another piece with, but that I can’t bear to think about throwing away. So, I have this little buckets of these bits here and there around my studio. I recently decided to dump them together and make a piece akin to a “crazy quilt” with them. For those of you who didn’t grow up with a gramma who sewed quilts, a “crazy quilt” was a quilt made of all the leftover fabric scraps from previous quilts that the quilter couldn’t bear to throw away.

Here’s my glass crazy quilt mirror:

Crazy quilt mosaic mirrorI have lots more “scraps” and so I am currently working on a picture frame in the same style and may very well create a few more–all bits and baubles and a crazy blend of colors and textures. (I’ve been told I’m a bit lacking in sharing of dimensions of my pieces…this one is 10″x10″ or so.)

The second piece is bigger–maybe 2’x2′ or so and started with a figure sketch in the center of a woman sitting in a sort of sloppy version of “easy seated pose” from my yoga practice. (My yoga teacher would be aghast at the figure’s posture, I’m sure.) I sketched her and then didn’t start the mosaic process for a couple of weeks. Some projects needs more time to marinate than others, I guess. Anyway, here she is:

I’m not sure what to call this piece–ideas that are floating around in my head are “Perceptions” or “Pondering” or “Easy Seated Pose.” It was fun to play with mixed media within each color to create a complete picture that had unique stand alone elements within it. I plan to grout this piece this weekend so that I can afix the final touches–some tiny sparkly stars on the tile stars at her forehead, her throat and her belly…plus a few more that will be added on her person somewhere.

Let me know if you think of an inspiring name I should consider.

Happy Thursday!

Rachel

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Happy 2012 and Thoughts on Balance

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted. I think I always say that–or at least I seem to be saying that a lot in the recent past. After spending all day long at a computer for my day job, it’s hard to want to hop on the computer at home, even if it is for something really cool like sharing my art on this blog.

What can I say? 2011 was a doosie and I’m sort of glad to see it go. Not that life magically changes or gets easier when the calendar resets to January 1st, but I’m letting bygones be bygones. Water under the bridge, you know? 2012 is all about balance for me–at least that’s the theme that I see emerging in the 19 days so far. With that in mind (and a gut instinct that the theme was balance–of life, of activities, of time, of mind), I started this piece on New Year’s Day. It’s big–the base is a repurposed door that I got off of Craigslist. 

As of right now, it’s called “Tree” after my favorite yoga pose by the same name. You know, this pose:

Okay, now here’s a picture of the actual art. Here’s a snapshot of the upper part of her body:

And no, she isn’t stinky–my sweet labrador puppy brought me my deoderant out of my gym bag just before I took this photo. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the foresight to move it before I took the photo! (Doh!)

Here’s a close up of her face:

Now, I need to get a good full body shot to post! It’s been fun to play with greens and browns…not my usual go to color scheme, but it seemed fitting for a tree. I have a few ideas in mind for her background, but I haven’t decided on one yet…so I will save that for later.

There are a bunch of other pieces that I’ve been working on–and some that are even grouted now! I will see about getting pictures tonight so that I can post them here.

Here’s to a happy and balanced 2012. May it be your best year yet!

Rachel

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More challenge pieces and trying like heck to be “floopy”

I know it’s been a bit quiet here, but the good news is that is because I have been working dutifully on my art. I currently have nine pieces waiting to be grouted, three of which I am going to share with you today!

Life being what it is, I’ve had my hands full and I’ve been battling the dreary sadness that comes with trials and hardships and an impending winter. Uff da–I am not ready for snow! Anyway, the other day I posted that I was feeling down on Facebook and a wonderful friend from graduate school where I was the odd-guy-out (an artist at heart in a room full of professed business types) reminded me to be my “floopy” self.

“Floopy” means creative, different, silly, joyous.

It was a good reminder when I wasn’t feeling my floopiest. So, I got to work and channelled my woes and here’s some of the results. Three new pieces to share (not all created since the “floopy” reminder, but three new pieces just the same!)

Here’s the first one:

I call her “Our Lady of the Cherry Blossoms.” Lilly found her at a yard sale this summer and she’s the finest bisque china…stamped “Japan” on the bottom. I did a little research and it appears that there were a number of figurines made in this style in Japan. I cant wait to grout her to seal up the white gaps that you can see between the pieces…

Here’s the second one:

I found this prayer card at a church basement sale and was taken with the fact that Our Lady is holding a female child, presumably, based on the pink gown. A little Google research shows that this image is known as “Our Lady of the Streets” and so that seems fitting for my name as well, with a twist. I call her, “Fugue, Our Lady of the Streets.” For those of you that aren’t musicians by nature, a fugue is a short melody or phrase that is introduced by one part/instrument in a piece and is successively taken up by others. Seemed fitting.

Finally, the third piece:

My first sugar skull, in honor of the coming Dia de los Muertos celebration next week. The first, but certainly not the last sugar skull that I plan to do, this piece has a few more finishing touches to add once the grouting is finished, particularly in the eyes which are just plain mirror right now. These final embellishments are a little too fragile to hold up to the grouting process…so, I will soon post the finished product! And, a second sugar skull is drawn and started on my table right now! I can’t wait. They are joyful and whimsical and traditionally not the least bit scary, which suits my lack of interest in the gory and spooky side of the Halloween season that is upon us! I promise to try to get some close up detail shots too–there’s lots of little details in this piece that the picture doesn’t show off very well.

Anyway, I am back at my work table, funneling life’s experiences into my works and trying my darnedest to be “floopy!”

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” ~Pablo Picasso

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Location:Lakeland Ave N,Minneapolis,United States

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Challenge piece #3, plus a few others for good measure!

Again, I’ve been tardy in posting my works as they are completely tiled and ready for grout. But I’ve been working! This challenge has morphed a bit, changed into a way to start working on the pieces that have been bouncing around in my brain for awhile–and those that occur to me out of the blue.

Here’s the 3rd challenge piece–my very own self portrait. When I took photography classes in college that was one of the assignments–at least one self portrait. I figured it would be a cool challenge to do in mosaic as well…so here it is, not yet grouted.

It looks a bit like me, I think. I was inspired to create this piece by some amazing vitreous tile that I found at Mosaic on a Stick. It’s this cool dark brown shot through with glittery copper. Lovely colors that I hope to add to my short mop soon!

Here’s another piece–one from the spur of the moment category. I call this one “Little Old” as in little old lady. LOL

I just sort of started piecing bits and pieces together, little bits and baubles that I would expect to find in the house of a cute little old lady. It wasn’t something that I thought much about…just put it together. I’m interested to see how it looks grouted!

Here’s a miniature piece the echoes my star themed pieces from last year, this year with a little Scrabble tile love.

This time I’ve used antique vitreous tile instead of my usual stained glass and glitter glass tile instead of my mirror tiles. The scrabble tiles will get their special coating soon and then, grout!

The last piece for this week is a business card holder for my cube, mosaic style! Can’t wait to get it finished and to work. Loved that the colors in the Japanese china and the ceramic flower pot I found were such a cool match!

It’s been a busy week…and the weekend is upon me…so there is sure to be more soon! (Also, I’ve found a few pieces that I completed but haven’t posted here yet, so I will need to do that as well!)

Happy Friday night!
Rachel

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” ~Pablo Picasso

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