Monday, September 26, 2011

Golden Opportunity

I have just finished another mosaic, I am getting the hang of it!  The fact that I try to work three hours a day certainly helps and it makes that I often work longer hours too.

I read somewhere to spend time in your studio daily, even if you just move things around (maybe I am repeating myself, apologies) and that is exactly what I do, I move things around, look at forgotten stuff I still have, dig up old plans, hang them on the walls, just stand and look at these plans and fill them in in my thoughts, imagine hanging them on my walls when they are finished.  It is a matter of visualizing what you want to accomplish.  You have to SEE it before you execute it and you have to WANT it badly enough to go through the trouble of sorting all these little stones to the perfect image.

The fact of working ofter and longer also gives a better continuity to your work, more fluidity and a better range of colors.  I was amazed how easy it was for me to keep this cat-fish image going and to pull it off from a reasonably difficult and photoshopped photograph.

I work from photos that I find on the internet.  They haunt me for a while, until I "get them out of my system" by transforming them into mosaics.  I think it is a pity that my work is often very realistic, but in a way it is something I have to grow out of.  For now, I still have loads of images I need to act upon.

Some humor is nice, so you can keep coming back to the work of art with a smile and with wonder.  You would think that I side with the cat, but I don't.  The actual power is with the fish.  He is in his element and the cat is being transformed out of proportion into something which is no longer cat.  Part fishbowl, part human with its smile.  Not sure how much of a threat that is to a fish.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Roman copies QASR LYBIA

I just finished another mosaic of the QASR LYBIA series, the second one in the row of two (so far).  Fourty-eight to go ...

I have improved my work in respect to the first one by using not so straight cuts and more leftover materials, by mixing my colors better, especially in the background.  It gives a more romantic feel to the art work.  The first one appears too rigid to me now.

I'll give you all four images so you can compare.  The first one is the original, the second one my copy (:)).

Friday, September 9, 2011


When I was a child I kept a diary, in English.  Every evening before going to bed, I would write a full page of what happened to me that day, or what I needed to review and re-think before going to sleep.  It was a way to practise my English, but more so to sort my thoughts and to rejoice in the story of my life.  I wouldn't skip a single day, no matter how tired I was.  My story would always end on the last line of the page, never before.

I want to use this blog much in the same way (to practise my English :)) as I used my diaries.  To sort my mosaic thoughts at the end of the day, to review my work, to make arrangements with myself about how to work better, work harder, to encourage myself, to inspire myself and to inspire others.

 I read somewhere "spend time in your studio every day, even if you only re-arrange some materials or sit and shift things around".  It helps to stay close to your work and to organize your projects.  This blog equally is a good place to do so.  To re-arrange my thoughts and my mosaic priorities.


I would like to add, "spend time in your head every day, even if you only re-arrange some thoughts, get rid of some obsolete ones, improve some faulty ones", it is good to re-think and re-joice.

Pictured above and below are both of my studios: my official one in Belgium (last photograph), where I teach, and my make-shift one in Bangkok, where I camp out until I can get back to the real one.

Micro Mosaics

While I was in Venice recently I picked up some leftover micro mosaic stuff out of sheer curiosity.  I had the courage last week to turn that into some pendants and have since totally gotten the hang of it.  I will look for ways to improve my techniques and the rendering of the subjects.  I am not a huge flower fan, animals would be much more fun to make and to look at afterwards.

Also, I think that I would like to work with more monochrome colors.  The surface of a micro mosaic is so small that using a wider range of color palette usually is a disadvantage.  Focus is what a small mosaic like this needs, focus of shape, color and theme.  I'll try to remind myself and work on that.