“Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.” ― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
Happy Sunday everyone!
I go to the mosaic studio twice a week, so I am always working on something. Often, even before I finish a project, I already have an idea of what I am going to work on next. This time I didn’t.
Looking around the studio I decided to do a star. But the star shapes we had there didn’t appeal to me, so I decided to use a square frame and draw a star.
Very often, the end project is very different from my initial intention, for a variety of reasons. Sometimes my initial idea is too ambitious (not in this case), sometimes the materials are not doing what I need them to do, sometimes I lose interest and I just want to get it done to start something else.
It is easy to dream up something… getting it done is the hard part.
I love doing mosaics, and the studio is my happy place, but there are times that I only focus on the result and not in the process. Mosaics is a my constant reminder to enjoy the journey and to stop focusing only on the destination.
I am, and forever will be, a student of mosaics and life.
Here is the star I made. It is done with colored glass, and some small mirror tiles. I used black grout, instead of something lighter, to make more of an impact. In the end it is not what I initially had in mind, but still I am happy with it.
“I know that I am mortal by nature, and ephemeral; but when I trace at my pleasure the windings to and fro of the heavenly bodies I no longer touch the earth with my feet: I stand in the presence of Zeus himself and take my fill of ambrosia” – Ptolemy, Ptolemy’s Almagest
“But the love of sisters needs no words. It does not depend on memories, or mementos, or proof. It runs as deep as a heartbeat. It is as ever present a s a pulse.” ― Lisa Wingate, Before We Were Yours
My sister became a U.S. citizen in November and I wanted to mark the date. While I don’t have the skills yet to do something more flattering, I came up with the piece below. My sister has long curly hair and round glasses. I think I have captured her essence, in a fun/funny way. She liked it. She cannot look at it without laughing.
I want to start doing more mosaics at home. I get great ideas and advice at the studio, but I am really interested in what I can come up with without anybody’s input and with the material I have at home.
For the record I adore L., the studio owner. She is the best and does the most amazing things. She has helped my love for mosaics flourish.
I have also finished two other project at the studio, that I will be posting next.
“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it may be necessary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye.” ― Jim Henson
These are all the mosaic pieces I made in 2022. I have already posted about all of them separately, but wanted to have them all together in one post. It is fun to see the variety of inspiration, subject and materials I used.
Trust me, they look much better in person. But then again, I am biased. They are all my babies.
January/February: This piece came out of nowhere. As I was gathering somes glass pieces, they looked like a face to me. That is how this very pensive and troubled woman was born. Her name was supposed to be Susie. But it is nameless for now.
February/March: This frame was not as I intended. I intended on a frame for my brother. But then came the flowers and sparkles. I don’t think I will be using sparkles again. It is very shiny, but also very messy.
February/March: I was inspired by a greeting card. Many band-aids later, this little bird was finished. It is hard to tell but it is made of glass pieces that I cut very small to give the idea of a snowy forest in the background.
March/April. I decided that my pensive and troubled lady needed a boyfriend. Just call him Jean Paul.
May/June: This pizza was inspired by the post I wrote called The Pizza Debacle.
May/June: I had just returned from the casino and saw some gambling inspiring ceramic at the studio, so why not?
June/July: I bought some old frames at a tag sale. This one had blue flowers on it. I let them guide me.
June/July: This next one also started with an old painting from the tag sale. It had a painting of fruit in it, so I decided on grapes for my design.
August/September: After doing the woman, and then her boyfriend Jean Paul, I decided to create a whole whimsical little family. This is a piece that a lot people disliked, but of course, I loved it.
September: This flower is made of mugs and plates. It has some texture and height to it. Originally I liked my work to be flat, but the more involved I get with mosaics the more I want to try different styles and techniques.
October/November: After doing faces using glass, I wanted to try to make a face using ceramic. It became a mask and I am happy with it.
November: In an effort to try different surfaces, this time I used a vase. While it is not my favorite, I am happy with the result.
November/December: This was based on a watercolor picture. It is very hard to translate watercolor to mosaic. I am happy with this first attempt.
December: This is one of my favorites. It is happy and it makes me happy.
This is the last piece I did in 2022. It is out of broken plates. I made this at home and grouted at the studio.
I am inspired now to make a post with all my mosaics from 20 and 21.
“I must try to enjoy all the graces that God has given me today. Grace cannot be hoarded. There are no banks where it can be deposited to be used when I feel more at peace with myself. If I do not make full use of these blessings, I will lose them forever.
God knows that we are all artists of life. One day, he gives us a hammer with which to make sculptures, another day he gives us brushes and paints with which to make a picture, or paper and a pencil to write with. But you cannot make a painting with a hammer, or a sculpture with a paintbrush. Therefore, however difficult it may be, I must accept today’s small blessings, even if they seem like curses because I am suffering and it’s a beautiful day, the sun is shining, and the children are singing in the street. This is the only way I will manage to leave my pain behind and rebuild my life.” ― Paulo Coelho , The Zahir
“The earth laughs in flowers.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson
My last 2 mosaics of the year. The basket of flowers I made at the studio, and the picture frame I made at home. I am trying to get used to doing projects at home, for those times that the studio is closed.
They are mostly made from dinner plates and coffee mugs.
With each project I get more and more ideas. The mosaic world is huge and I want to explore it all! May you find a hobby you love as much as I love doing mosaics!
“I must have flowers, always, and always.” ― Claude Monet
“In joy or sadness, flowers are our constant friends.” ― Okakura Kakuzo
“If you want a forgotten corner to be remembered, a featureless place to be loved, a shadowy emptiness to shine, put some flowers there!” ― Mehmet Murat ildan
“There are no bad pictures; that’s just how your face looks sometimes.” ― Abraham Lincoln
A BLESSED HOLIDAY SEASON TO ALL! THANK YOU FOR GRACING ME WITH YOURPRESENCE, ENERGY, SUPPORT AND LOVE! YOU ARE APPRECIATED AND LOVED!
“You should be kissed and by someone who knows how.” ― Margaret Mitchell
My love affair with mosaics continues. For this next piece I used a painting that I saw online as inspiration. Watercolor paint and glass tiles are very different materials to work with, so I knew the result would be very different.
I am happy with this first attempt. I will try it again with different materials and colors. At times I still struggle with having the patience not to rush with a project, and the result usually reflects that.
Wishing you all a blessed weekend! And if you have the chance, kiss!
“When my date takes me home and kisses me good night, if I don’t hear the philharmonic in my head, I dump him.” — The Mirror Has Two Faces
“I didn’t want to kiss you goodbye — that was the trouble — I wanted to kiss you good night — and there’s a lot of difference.” ― Ernest Hemingway
“I kissed him hard. The few people in the bar must have been thinking that all they were seeing was just a kiss. They didn’t know that this kiss stood for my whole life – and his life, as well. The life of anyone who has waited, dreamed, and searched for their true path.
The moment of that kiss contained every happy moment I had ever lived.” ― Paulo Coelho, By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept
“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery each day. —”Old Man’s Advice to Youth: ‘Never Lose a Holy Curiosity.'” LIFE Magazine (2 May 1955) p. 64”
Hi everyone, I hope you all had a safe and fun Halloween. Growing up in Brazil there was no Halloween, so I never got into it. I never cared for dressing up in costumes, even at Carnaval, so last night was uneventful. I have been mostly glued to the news about the elections in Brazil.
Trump, I mean, Bolsonaro lost, and because he has been following Trump’s playbook, he has yet to call Lula, the president elect, to congratulate him and concede defeat.
I fear the protests. Not the peaceful protests, but the ones that aim to just cause chaos and disruption. Any kind of fanatical behavior scares me. Most of the ones protesting have really no grasp on why they are doing what they are doing. Blind allegiance is scary.
Don’t get me wrong, similar to the US, there was a lack of good candidates. But between the two, I am taking Lula. I didn’t vote, but I would vote for taking care of the rain forest, for the better treatment of the indians, the poor, the minorities and the women. My vote has been always for peace.
I pray. May there be peace! In Brazil, and in the world!
“The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science.” ― Albert Einstein, The World As I See It
Here is another piece I finished. I am having fun coming up with these weird stuff. It was not meant to be weird. Actually, I really had no idea what it would look like. It has been fun being creative.
My sister adored this one. She is my biggest fan, but she can also be a tough critic (she hates that pizza one). She says it is all about the eyes, that it seems to be staring back and looking in. It is hard to see that in the pictures.
I continue to fall more and more in love with mosaics.
“As a rule, the more bizarre a thing is the less mysterious it proves to be. It is your commonplace, featureless crimes which are really puzzling, just as a commonplace face is the most difficult to identify.” ― Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
I just finished this piece. I love it, but most people don’t like it. The only person that liked it is my sister.
It is interesting that people normally try to be kind and say they like something when they really don’t. I get it, I don’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings either.
But with this one piece, there is no hiding their feelings. Everyone at the studio said, straight to my face, they didn’t like it. One said it is the ugliest baby she has ever seen (true lol) and the other said I made Sonny Bono (kinda of lol).
I love that! I feel honored to have people’s honest opinion. They know me, they know I can take it. I rather have honest opinions and not sweet lies. I like that we can all joke about it. What I love most is the realization that I don’t feel the need to make only “pretty” things.
I love when people look at something I made and have a reaction, good or bad.
This piece to me represents a lot different things: family, diversity, beauty, love, among others. With this piece I feel I am beginning to find my creative/artistic voice… and it is not pretty! 😉
“There is no exquisite beauty… without some strangeness in the proportion.” ― Edgar Allan Poe
“It is amazing how complete is the delusion that beauty is goodness.” ― Leo Tolstoy, The Kreutzer Sonata
“Sometimes people are beautiful. Not in looks. Not in what they say. Just in what they are.” ― Markus Zusak, I Am the Messenger
“To see something different gives you a chance to be something different!” ― Mehmet Murat ildan
“No one escapes some degree of chaos for it is so ever prevalent; it is the human experience. This realization does not mean we can’t improve. It does mean we can accept our state of chaos, lighten up on ourselves, have fun, and work on improving…we are a work in progress. Enjoy the journey.” ― David W. Earle LPC- Love is Not Enough
It turns out, as you may know, that the entire short relationship didn’t turn out well. I don’t want any reminders of that, but still I don’t like to leave things unfinished, so I finished it.
Below is a frame that was born out of a broken ceramic container that had play cards on it. I had just returned from the casino, so it seemed fitting.
“The beauty of being shattered is how the shards become our character and our marks of distinction. This is how we are refined by our pain. When the storm rips you to pieces, you get to decide how to put yourself back together again. The storm gives us the gift of our defining choices. You will be a different person after the storm, because the storm will heal you from your perfection. People who stay perfect and unblemished never really get to live fully or deeply. You will not be the same after the storms of life; you will be stronger, wiser and more alive than ever before!” ― Bryant McGill, Simple Reminders: Inspiration for Living Your Best Life
I thought she was lonely, so I made her a boyfriend. The moment I created a boyfriend for her, I got myself a boyfriend.
He still needs buttons on his shirt, to match her necklace, but I haven’t found the the perfect ones yet.
Here he is:
“If you’re lonely when you’re alone, you’re in bad company.” –― Jean-Paul Sartre
“Solitude is fine but you need someone to tell that solitude is fine.” ― Honoré de Balzac
“Maybe ever’body in the whole damn world is scared of each other.” ― John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men
“being alone never felt right. sometimes it felt good, but it never felt right.” ― Charles Bukowski
“The most terrible poverty is loneliness, and the feeling of being unloved.” ― Mother Teresa
“Remember: the time you feel lonely is the time you most need to be by yourself. Life’s cruelest irony.” ― Douglas Coupland, Shampoo Planet
And here they are together. I think they make a lovely couple. 🙂
“I am awfully greedy; I want everything from life. I want to be a woman and to be a man, to have many friends and to have loneliness, to work much and write good books, to travel and enjoy myself, to be selfish and to be unselfish… You see, it is difficult to get all which I want. And then when I do not succeed I get mad with anger.” ― Simone de Beauvoir
“I would like to paint the way a bird sings.” ― Claude Monet
Here is my newest project. It is supposed to be a bird in a snowy forest, as you can see on the Christmas card (1st pic below) that inspired me.
Each little piece of glass was cut by hand. At the end of every session I had some nicks and cuts. I love working with mosaics so much I don’t mind a little pain.
I am just glad that it does resemble a bird, or does it?
“The reason birds can fly and we can’t is simply because they have perfect faith, for to have faith is to have wings.” ― J.M. Barrie, The Little White Bird
“For thought is a bird of space, that in a cage of words may indeed unfold its wings but cannot fly.” ― Kahlil Gibran
“In order to see birds it is necessary to become a part of the silence.” ― Robert Lynd
“Some birds are not meant to be caged, that’s all. Their feathers are too bright, their songs too sweet and wild. So you let them go, or when you open the cage to feed them they somehow fly out past you. And the part of you that knows it was wrong to imprison them in the first place rejoices, but still, the place where you live is that much more drab and empty for their departure.” ― Stephen King, Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption