BEAT 2019

 

BEAT – Borough of Ealing Art Trail will take place on 6-8th and 13-15th of September this year. Put the date in your diaries.

BEATING the drum for BEAT

This is the 4th year of BEAT and it seems to grow bigger and better each time. We have 200 artists displaying their work in 80 venues throughout the Borough of Ealing. I will be taking part again and am also on the Committee with the self appointed title of “Brochure Queen” as I will be co-ordinating the distribution of 25,000 brochures with a great team of Distributors. The brochures should be ready in July so if you have any good outlets for them, do let me know.

I have really enjoyed my last 2 BEAT exhibitions. I was delighted to receive more visitors in my second year but am being realistically hopefully about numbers this time.

I like to display a ‘demonstration piece’ each time. This is a great way of showing a work in progress and as such people feel they can ask questions (they can anyway but the demo piece seems to prompt them). I then display the completed piece the following year. The first year it was my Tree of Life and last year it was a giant mirror.

I am also thinking of having some ‘themed’ areas this year and am  working out the logistics – watch this space.

 

 

My Mailing List

I have created a Mail Chimp Mailing List.

Opening New Doors of Communication.

The reason for this Mailing List is that so many people ask me when I am going to do the next Beginner’s Mosaic Lesson, or what date is BEAT this year, or how do I commission a piece of work. It seemed to make sense to create a Mailing List so that I can easily keep people up to date with what is going on, quickly and briefly as and when I have something I want to get out there en masse.

I will admit that I have struggled a bit with Mail Chimp but I think I am getting there. The best way to prove it works is to create and start using it, which is what I intend to do as soon as you sign up!

I promise I won’t bombard you with emails and you can always unsubscribe at any point.

If you would like to be added to my Mailing List please complete the Contact Form below. Rufus and I look forward to welcoming you.

Rosanna and Rufus

Quarterly Update

I can’t believe we are at the end of March.  I love this time of year, the garden is waking up, the sun is shining and the days are getting longer and lighter. These past 3 months have been busier than usual for me, here is my update.

NEW YEAR – NEW GALLERY

I was delighted when The Links Art Gallery in Whitley Bay invited me to display my mosaic art in their lovely gallery/café. This is a very popular spot for walkers, art lovers and tourists, right by the beach and is always packed with people. I have decided that all my work with them will have a ‘sea’ theme. 

COMMISSIONS

Like buses, 3 commissions came along at once! The fish are now happily swimming along in Rita and Derek’s kitchen in Norwich. The Daddy and Baby fish are replicas of Mummy (middle) fish which is made of ceramic. It was quite hard to match mosaic to ceramic  but I am really pleased with the colour match and the result.

 

Sunflower

Ann asked me to make this outdoor sunflower which she wanted to give as a present for her friend Lesley to hang in her newly restored garden in Cheltenham. As it was for outside I used Mexican and Irridescent tiles with slithers of red glass and mirror, which will give it a lovely shine when the light catches it.

Tony and Wendy asked me to make a Nuthatch for a friend’s birthday. I decided to give them a choice of style. The first bird is made of glass with a ceramic tile background and the other had a ceramic tile bird with a glass background – same mosaic totally different result. Can’t show you the pictures until the client has received it so I’ll post later on.

MOSAIC LESSONS

Following a large response at the BEAT Ealing Art Trail last year, I have been giving a lot of Beginners’ Mosaic Lessons – since then I have delivered to 24 people! I like to work with small groups of 3/4 so they get a lot of 1-2-1 attention. Everyone has taken away a lovely first mosaic, all totally different.  I now offer a Follow Up Session for people that would like to make another piece but either don’t have the space at home or don’t want to make a big financial outlay for materials and tiles.  If you know anyone who may like a Beginners’ Mosaic Lesson please CONTACT ME and I can send you an Information Sheet.

So, clocks have changed and the days will be longer now so it must be time to get out into the garden to do some digging and get some inspiration for my next batch of work.

I always like to hear from you so if you enjoy this Blog, my pictures or want to ask a question do LEAVE ME A REPLY below.

 

The Grape and Ivy Table Top

 

Original Insert

It is always nice to have a commission. As well as giving me a new project, it usually challenges and stretches me as an artist. So it was a great start to the year when my friends Val and Bruno commissioned me to make them an insert top for their outdoor table.

I’ve known Val since we both joined UIP in 1987 and we have been firm friends ever since enjoying meals, activities, City breaks and ski-ing holidays together with our hubbies. Val and Bruno have always followed my mosaic progress with great interest and they bought one of my earlier mosaics at my first exhibition.

My Sketch

As it was for outside I used Hardie Bakker Board for my base which Alan cut for me, exactly the same shape as the current insert, rather than a clean circle, so that is would fit perfectly . I then drew a rough sketch of the piece, following the original design but enhancing the grapes and leaves in quantity, size, shape and colour.

I started with the bunches of  grapes using round glass discs. I then made the leaves with glass tesserae and Mexican tiles, which are lovely to cut and shape. Once they were all in place I joined them all together with the ‘vines’ which I used making long strips of brown glass. This meant I could cut really thin pieces to make ‘tendrils’. I then moved on to the background which, as always, takes ages. In fact it took longer to do than all of the elements of the picture put together.

When the background was finally finished (whew) I asked Val if she would like to see a picture of it. At this stage if there was something she was not happy with, I could amend it but once it is grouted that is it – set in stone, or rather cement! I was delighted when Val said she would trust my judgement and wait until it was finished. I much prefer this then client can have the WOW factor as they see the completed piece for the first time (hopefully).

Val and Bruno are delighted with the completed mosaics, and so am I. Although I am normally very critical of my work this is definitely a favourite. The picture, style and colours are all so very ME and I really loved making the piece for them.

Grape and Ivy Table Top

I am looking forward to seeing the piece in situ in their table and I hope they will enjoy lots of evenings sitting around it, with a nice glass of something white and chilled!

What the Client said: “We love our new table top, definitely better than the original. We are so looking forward to putting it in situ and the red wine is ready to be uncorked.
Thank you Rosanna, it exceeds expectations as always.”
Bruno and Val

 

 

Mosaic Surgery / Q&A Session

 

Last week I held a Mosaic Surgery / Q&A Session for 2 hours on Monday morning. I promoted the event through my Facebook Page and also 5 other Facebook Groups I belong to.  My aim was for people to send a question via my FB page or they could Message me.  It seems that people are a bit ‘shy’ to post their questions on FBook but I had a lot of Messages with a whole range of queries and requests for advice.

Rather than list them all, I have amalgamated a few and show my responses below.

THE TRADITIONAL ART OF MOSAIC MAKING is one of the most ancient art forms used by the ancient Greeks, the Romans and several other cultures throughout the centuries. Like any great art, there has been ‘phases’ and periods’ throughout history from the traditional Roman style, the geometric Greek patterns, Byzantine and Gaudi to name a few. Mosaic art is still relevant today and again, takes many forms. The end result is totally unique and very different to any other art form.

VERSATILITY: Mosaics are incredibly versatile. They can be used in both indoor and outdoor spaces. Extremely durable and hardwearing they last for ages. They can be decorative, practical, tiny, huge, delicate and robust, 2D or 3D. Traditional, contemporary, pictorial, abstract – they can be anything your imagination can think of.

KEEP IT SIMPLE: The first mosaic I ever made was a small coaster and it took me all afternoon. I still have it, my lucky mosaic that comes with me on exhibitions and demonstrations.

Whenever I give a Beginner’s Mosaic Lessons I usually ask people to send me an idea of what they would like to mosaic. To be honest, most people over estimate what they will be able to achieve in a first lesson. One person bought along a picture of Van Gogh’s Sunflowers. Another saw my ‘Robin’ mosaic and asked if they would be able to make that in an afternoon – I said ‘I hope not, it’s took me ages to make and I found it very challenging’!! So keep it simple, a coaster, trivet or small picture is a good starting point. You can then progress to pots, mirrors and door numbers.

INDOOR or OUTDOOR? Mosaics are great for indoor or outdoor spaces and look lovely in a garden setting. I have a lovely sun/moon on my shed. Make sure you decide in advance where it is going to go as you may need to use different materials and adhesives for outside display. Mosaic pots overflowing with herbs look delightful and just imagine a lizard creeping through your rockery, or a sunshine stepping stone.

MATERIALS:
Different mosaic artists prefer using different types of materials – large bathroom tiles, crockery and china etc. I personally prefer small ‘mosaic tiles’ that are called ‘tesserae’. They are usually 2cm square and are either made of glass which come in a huge range of vibrant colours, or ceramic in beautiful muted shades like sage greens, mustard, soft pinks.

If you have any questions – please do contact me and I will try and answer.

 

Pictorial Review of 2018

HELLO all my BLOG FOLLOWERS and a VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR to you all. I hope it is Happy, Healthy, Productive, Creative and Fun.

I always start the new year by looking back on my favourite images from the past year so here goes……

Review of 2018

As the year is rapidly disappearing and it will soon be time to focus on the festive season, I thought it would be a good time to look back on 2018.

The year started in January with me agreeing to join the Ealing Art Trail (BEAT) Committee. I had taken part in BEAT 2017 and was so impressed with how well it had been organised that I said to Kitty I would be happy to do the odd job to help out.  Kitty said she would really like me to join the Committee and although I didn’t really want to, how can you say no to Kitty! So reluctantly I joined as the self appointed ‘Brochure Queen’ and I have to say it has been a great experience. A lovely, dedicated, focussed team of people, who got on with the job and delivered another great BEAT event in 2018. Needless to say I will be staying on the 2019 Committee.

Brand New Studio – yipppeee

Early in the year I had my studio refurbished in order to give me more work space and I have been putting it to the test. I have 2 large work areas as well as a small desk/computer area and loads of shelf space for tiles, materials and all my paperwork. The layout works perfectly and I am able to work on several pieces at the same time. This was especially useful when I received my 2 large commissions in the summer and was able to accommodate and work on both of them. As I seem to be moving towards larger work the extra workspace is proving to be essential.

BEAT Ealing Art Trail was a great success for me again this year. People say that your 2nd year is not usually as good as the first but I found this not to be the case. I had more visitors, made more sales and had more people interested in lessons.

Following on from the success of BEAT I have had a spate of giving Beginner’s Mosaic lessons to people who came to view my work, liked what they saw and wanted to have a go. I really enjoy teaching people a new skill and as I work with small groups of 3/4 people at a time, there is lots of 1-2-1 time and I am able to give everyone my full attention and encouragement. As several people have asked for an intermediate lesson I am currently working on that so I hope to  come back in the New Year with some dates.

Hilary and Pauline with the Marple Mosaic

You may remember my lovely ladies who I made the Marple Mosaic for. We have all become good friends and this year we saw them 4 times! Which proves that a mosaic is not just for Christmas but for life! On their last visit I was able to present them with their joint birthday present – a Tree of Life mosaic. They were delighted with the piece and have already decided where it will go. I am looking forward to seeing a picture of it in situ.

Hours of fun

So another great mosaic year. I seem to be moving to bigger pieces, larger commissions and I have a fancy to try some 3D mosaic art next. I am still in 2 galleries: North East Art Collective and the Tower House Gallery which have regular sales and BEAT is now a fixed event on the calendar and my main showcase. So keep reading my Blog and do sign up to my Facebook Page to get regular news – always accompanied with a mosaic picture.

 

The Triptych Commission

At BEAT 2017 I got talking with a visitor who was very interested in discussing an outside mosaic project with me. She described the area  where she wanted it to go and we spent a long time playing around with various ideas and options.  Potential commissions are always very exciting at this stage as you can dream up all sorts of weird and wonderful things and they may or may not happen so the sky’s the limit.

2017 BEAT Profile piece

I had a picture in my mind of where the mosaic would go but as I didn’t hear anything over the next few months it was pushed to the back of my mind as other things took over.  However, in May this year I got a call “you won’t remember me…..” but of course I did. We arranged for me to go round and meet Sibel (who was also a BEAT artist) and we did a site visit – well it was nothing like I imagined, in fact it was an altogether much better location in her beautiful large garden surrounded by trees.

Sibel was very clear that she wanted a triptych as she had seen my ‘profile piece’ from BEAT and wanted something similar but on a much, much larger scale.  We agreed on all the details that morning and shook hands on the deal – something I still do – once a business women, always a business women.

I decided to make the piece on Hardie Bakker Board (also known as cement board) as is it perfect for outside and sturdy enough for the size of the mosaic.  I did a basic sketch which Sibel approved and then one of my favourite parts – shopping for the materials.

When I make a triptych I work horizontally so I always need all three pieces in situ. Now normally this is not a problem when I work on my studio but as it was our best summer since 1976 I wanted to be working outside in the sunshine as much as possible. So poor old Mosaic Roadie Alan had to carry this massive 3 part piece in and out of the house on a daily basis – obviously the more I mosaiced, the heavier it got!

I sent Sibel progress photos on a regular basis and she also had visiting rights.  The first parts I made were the tree and the boat and I was keen that Sibel was happy with those two focal points. We also had more site visits so that Alan could check how he was going to install the completed mosaic.

Almost there

It did end up taking me longer than I expected – partly because I ran out of sky tiles which was the last part I did. This entailed an emergency dash to West Norwood to see James at Mosaic Workshop – luckily he had what I wanted in stock. Once the mosaicing was complete it was onto grouting. Ironically grouting is such a messy job I usually do it outside but by now it was October and very cold. So in and out I went with the triptych again while it was grouted and cleaned – that part took 10 hours so you can get an idea why this was such a long project!

Sibel had been insistent that I had the mosaic on display for BEAT 2018 which was incredibly kind of her – it certainly was a statement piece at BEAT and people couldn’t ignore it. How will I match that next year!

So the final and crucial part was the installation.  Off we went with mosaic, electric drill and spirit level. It’s hard enough hanging a heavy piece anyway, let alone keeping it straight. This triptych gave us a treble challenge especially as it was going onto a brick wall that was quite uneven. So after a bit of chipping away,  and making sure it was straight, Alan screwed it to the wall.  I then returned the next day to fill the screw holes with mosaic and then grout them. A final clean and polish with my trusty duster and we are done!  Whew, Client delighted, Mosaic Artist relieved, pleased and proud, Mosaic Roadie delighted to have his dining room table back.

Sibel’s Triptych

What the Client Said: “I first came across Rosanna’s Mosaics in September 2017 on the Borough of Ealing Art Trail (BEAT). A small triptych depicting a sail boat bathed in brilliant sunshine and bobbing up and down on a cobalt blue sea was particularly memorable. It reminded me of my childhood holidays on the Adriatic. So, when I moved house in 2017 and was faced with an expanse of brick wall to fill, it occurred to me that a mosaic by Rosanna would liven up the space very nicely. A year later, Rosanna’s large triptych adorns my garden beautifully.
I liked the way Rosanna involved me in the project from inception to completion. We discussed all the stages of the project together. In the summer of 2018, I made several visits to her studio to help choose tile colours and approve designs. Rosanna was full of ideas and suggestions and sent me photos of work in progress on a regular basis. The triptych was installed in the autumn of 2018 and now brings a smile to my face every time I step onto my patio – even on a grey day!” Sibel Roller-Walach

The Bird and Flower Commission

Commissions are sometimes like buses – nothing for a while then 2 arrive at once!

The 2 new arrivals are both very different to what I normally do and to each other so I was very excited about the new challenges.

My friend Sarah, who lives locally and follows me on Facebook, called to say she wanted to commission me for a very specific piece so we arranged for her to come round to discuss the details. She arrived with a beautiful piece of material from her new curtains.  As always I had a lot of questions: size, matt or shiny, framed or not, indoor/outside, budget etc. Once we sorted out the detail we could then move onto the exciting part – selecting the tiles.

Sarah wanted me to re-create the picture from her curtains – a humming bird among flowers. This was a big challenge for me as I don’t often do pictures – I am usually an abstract girl, interpreting something rather than copying it. Also as we were reproducing the picture we needed a perfect colour match.

I got some lovely Mexican tiles which are rich in colour and texture and are very nice to cut and shape. I also decided to use glass to get the length in the bird tail and flower leaves. The background would be matt ceramic tiles which would bring out the vibrancy of the Mexican tiles and glass.

I traced the bird from the material, scaled it up and got to work on that first as it was the main part of the picture. I then worked on the flowers, buds and stems. As always the background went in last.

 

I am really pleased with the completed piece and so is Sarah. The mosaic is hanging up and looks great on a white brick wall, complimenting (and matching) the curtains. It was a very different style and colour palette to what I would normally do but I really enjoyed stepping out of my comfort zone to make the piece and I learnt a lot along the way.

p.s. we both agreed to change the beak – it wasn’t me using artistic licence!

Sarah bought the material from John Lewis, it is called Menagerie by Blendworth Furnishing Ltd,

The curtains were made by Sarah’s friend  Zandra Russell who runs her own business www.zandrarussell.co.uk

 

 

 

BEAT 2018 – A Successful Event

I really enjoyed taking part again in the BEAT Ealing Art Trail 2018.

As it was my second BEAT and there were 100 new artists this year, I really didn’t expect to have many people come along to my venue. However, I had 260 visitors – 10 more than last year! I made a lot of a sales, took 2 small, 1 large  commissions and had 30 people wanting more information on the beginners mosaic lessons that I run. So all in all a great success.

Again, everyone who visited was really interested in my work and as I had a demonstration piece on display, I could show them the various stages involved in mosaic making. It was especially nice to have return visitors from last year who brought their friends and were keen to see what new work I had developed during the year.

New Fishy Theme

New Fishy Theme

After the event I had one day to wrap and deliver my sales. I then went away for a well deserved rest. However, on returning yesturday I walked in to a house which still resembled a Gallery, bare rooms without any furniture, brochures scattered everywhere and bunting to be put away. As there are so many empty wall hooks it may be time to decorate!

We have a committee meeting on Monday so after having a de-brief on the event, I am sure we will start talking about BEAT 2019!

Thank you to everyone who came to see me and supported the event. Well done to all the artists who took part and congratulations to my fellow committee members in achieving another great BEAT Ealing Art trail 2018.