Wednesday, April 3, 2019

geology rocks!

"geology rocks (Alex's fault)" is a 36 x 20 inch mosaic I have been working on between residencies.  I was commissioned to make art for a geologist.  You're pretty sharp if you guessed that his name is Alex. This project was a dream job in so many ways. For starters, I know almost nothing about geology except that I am fascinated by beautiful rocks.  I think mostly why I loved this is because I had to do research to think of what I was going to do.  It is hard to create when the person commissioning gets so specific that there is little room for imagination.  This client was the total opposite; appreciative and open for anything so it was a joy the whole way through.  I was dealing with a sick Mama during the fabrication of this and mosaicking certainly helped me get through.
If I sketch anything, I rarely show that before the work is finished because my drawings are so bad.  Sure, I could do a better drawing but it might take longer than the mosaic.  This is actually one of my better ones.  Most of them are of pen on napkin caliber.  Plus, I know I will change my mind 800 times.  I don't want to be committed.
The geode wasn't the first idea but it was the first part done.  I thought purple would be the most believable but I didn't like it when it was finished.  In blue, I had more shades to work with so I could make the center darker, giving it the appearance of more depth than it actually has.  Instead of leveling like I always do, the geode is actually recessed 1/4 inch.
I wanted a layer of "broken plates" to be like pottery and human garbage like stuff found in ancient Rome,  I couldn't decide what floral or paisley to make.  I knew I wanted to put something in it so that someone observant would know it wasn't really recycled plates.  Trilobites popped in my head one day.  I love that part and made it my signature in here.

Trilobites sandblasted into that luscious caramel color.  There's two burnt into the frame too.  The yellow is mirror and it's propped to reflect differently.  It is all the same color but looks different because of the angles.
I had a human skelly but after the mosaic progressed, I didn't like it any more.  I wasn't trying to keep things proportional but the human just didn't look right to me.
The columnar basalt was the first thing I was sure would go in the mix.  The front section is all propped so they are all kind of like steps.  Hard to see in a photo.  I love that part.  And if a mosaic has a water feature... I'm all about that.  Besides, it was just more reason to add blue.  The coloring on this really appeals to me.  I generally steer away from orange but I think it helps this mosaic a lot.  Let's face it, the mosaic is a picture of dirt and rocks.  It needs all the color it can get.
People ask how I get the drips on the glass.  As you can see from above photos, the drips do not go over the glass.  The drips go on first and I mosaic background around them.  The "ammonites" are iridescent and there is a layer of Oreo crust in the earths core that I have managed to replicate exactly as it appears thousands of feet below the surface we walk on.  Ah ha ha.  Life is good.