I made this oil painting in 1988 for the birthday of my friend Lori whom I lost touch for many years.
Recently we had dinner together and the day after, she sent me a photo of this painting which still graces a wall in her office. I was delighted to reconnect with her and, I am equally grateful for the photo for I had practically forgotten this painting!
After weeks of staring at this bisque fire vase sitting on a shelf in my studio since I made it in early December of last year; yesterday morning…
The wisdom of my lovely wife came to my rescue suggesting to change course in my traditional glazing technique with a brush and, to venture into dripping glaze straight from the bottle onto the geography of the vase (Just like Jackson Pollock dripped paint onto his canvases) to attain a purely improvisational and spotted finish such as this.
I followed her advice and I did not only dripped ceramic glazes over the vase but, I also experienced an exhilarating freedom while doing it! Yet, I also had to recur to my old tricks of adding finishing touches with my brush –I couldn’t help it!
To grow, to evolve, tradition and innovation must go hand in hand with an open mind in the creation of new works of art!
I leave you with Cuban Troubadour, Silvio Rodriguez’s song “Paladar”. Even if you don’t speak Spanish, it really doesn’t matter. I am fluent and yet, I still don’t understand most of the meaning of this song but, the poetry is not exactly in the lyrics but, in the melody and the harmony of the guitar accompanied by his voice. So close your eyes, let yourself be whisked away by the muses of this music and enjoy!
A mosaic project is not completed for me until I have gathered all the essential tiles for it!
Thus, in the active process of collecting delightfully designed ceramic tiles for a current mosaic project, I recently found at a home store two Turkish trivets in the kitchen department which I immediately purchased for their beauty and potential for a mosaic mirror for my friend and client Kim.
With tiles such as these and in such limited quantity, the key is to fragment them with such precision as to not to waste anything at all! Therefore, this was a mission for my portable tile cutter to extract the 10 scalloped shaped of the tile on the left and the 8 pointed shapes of the tile on the right.
Once these shapes have been skillfully cut out, it is time to fragment them into smaller pieces.
After the trivets have been transformed into tesserae, nipping and sanding the rough edges is the next step in the final preparation for my mosaic.
Although a considerable amount of time and energy is invested in this process, it is worth it and it will pay its dividends when the tiles are set and the line of the grout will run across the mosaic clean, smooth and elegant!
Last week out of chance, I happen to walk into a Washington DC government office and to my pleasant surprise, I discovered framed on a wall, a printed poster in full color of one of my mural paintings created in the 1990’s celebrating the rich fabric of ethnic and multi-cultural diversity in our nation’s capital as our unifying heritage. WOW!
I instantly documented my serendipitous find by taking a photograph of the poster with an I Phone. Clearly, the image does not have a great resolution, nor it makes justice to the poster which depicts a fragmented lay out of the actual mural painting which was originally painted with acrylic on canvas measuring a surface of approximately 8 X 100 feet (2.5 X 30 meters). Regretfully, I currently don’t have in my archives any reproductions of this disappeared mural which was sponsored by the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities. Nevertheless, it was flattering to find an artistic fingerprint of mine that still remains in an office of such importance celebrating our rich ethnic and cultural diversity in the Nation’s capital and across in major cities of these United States of America – Home of the Free!
This low-fire, white earthenware ceramic vase hand-built by me on December 4, 2013…
Was fully glazed yesterday afternoon, after I have intermittently spent several days since I bisque-fired it in mid-December, intuitively applying coats of glazes to enliven its architectural structure.
This is how the vase came out looking out of the kiln this morning and, with the blistering cold temperatures we have been experiencing in the DC Metropolitan area during the past few weeks, walking into my warm kiln room and seeing my vase successfully fired was like a tropical Caribbean breeze caressing my spirit on an icy wintry day in Maryland!
Thinking of polka dots on the design of my vase, I sign out leaving you one of my favorite songs of all times. Enjoy! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqZc7ZQURMs
Thank you for your readership. Peace!
This is the mirror I purchased for the foyer of my client and friend, Kim and her family.
With all the ceramic and glass tiles I have gathered during the past few days, it is ready for a mosaic!
Spending several months with an injured right shoulder cuff considerably slowed down my artistic production in 2013. That painful and equally frustrating condition, often reminded me on the importance of actively creating each day I am granted by the Universe!
Now that the motions and use of my right arm are becoming increasing normal with the post-surgery healing of physical therapy, I have a myriad reasons to celebrate each day and to, simultaneously accelerate the process of my multiple artistic creations such as this portable mosaic gradually forming into a festive work of art!