I am very aware that my mosaic style tends towards the abstract and interpretive rather than figurative or realism. I am not very good at drawing so this is probably reflected through in to the subject matter of my mosaics. I have mosaic friends who do amazing mosaics that could easily pass as paintings. I, on the other hand, feel I am more of an expressionist, going by my instincts and gut feeling rather than any formal rules and structures. I often let the mosaic take its own course, maybe by using an unusual tile or a piece of glass that I love and letting it build from there. Or it may be a colour or a curve that I want to convey and then I let the flow of the piece take over. Therefore I tend to shy away from mosaics of buildings or people, as you would expect them to look recognisable, like the real thing and I don’t have that skill……… yet.
However, when I made the sun/moon mosaic, I knew it needed a face so I had to give it a go. With this mosaic the main focus was the radiating rays and the face was the ‘link’. I am quite pleased with the result even though it does have ‘piggy eyes’ ! So far it is one of my favourite pieces.
I had the idea that I wanted to make a silhouette with long, flowing 1960s style psychedelic hair. I copied the face from a larger mosaic at South Bank Mosaics that they kindly gave me permission to do. So Baboushka was born.
I then wanted to make a similar piece but without the ‘wildness’ of Baboushka. Someone much more mellow and placid. I started by putting in the eyes then the nose and finally the mouth and was delighted with the results. She looked exactly as she should, peaceful, tranquil, almost transcendental – Jennifer Juniper just as described in the Donovan song. But, when I filled in the rest of the face she took on a rather angry, disgruntled look and has ended up totally different to what I expected. I am not sure why, maybe the angle of the pieces I had laid gave her ‘frown marks’.
I am now making another sun/moon, again it needs a face. This time I didn’t over think the process but went with my instincts. I am really pleased with this eye – I think it looks very realistic and I am hoping I can make another so I have a matching pair – otherwise I shall have to change the image to a cyclops!!
So hopefully I am learning all the time and getting better at interpreting the image I want to get across.