Successes and Failures
Last year I started an abstract composition that I was excited about. While I was waiting for the go-ahead on the Sturgeon mosaic project I built the hand-formed substrate, got my sketches ready, and was able to get a little progress on the work before the green light came for sturgeon. Here's where the piece stood a year ago:
I wasn't able to return to it until April of this year. I was excited to get it done and move forward, but something interesting happens when there is a big gap in working on a piece. As I carried on adding tesserae, the continuity of the project had been broken. Looking back at this early WIP shot, I see that I somehow deviated from my original sketch and carried the top middle block down too far!
After I finished the striped section and the two sections at the top, I realized that the dark charcoal block in the middle top should probably have been at the bottom. That earlier section of mixed grey smalti in a kind of basket-weave andamento was falling flat to me now. But what to do? I have the hanging wire integrated into the substrate, so it's not possible to turn it upside down! I also realized that the large areas I was planning to leave "un-mosaicked", so to speak, textured with tinted thinset, was not balanced with the heavier mosaicked surfaces. So I decided to add another row of stone mosaic, in hopes it would balance better. At this point, I committed to finishing this, using it as a learning and practicing experience. Perhaps some good could come out of it!
Moving forward, I was really loving some of the new sections. This charcoal granite section is punctuated by some very cool tesserae. Look closely in this detail shot to see some other crackled material. This is the build-up of crud from the inside of my friend Tim Gabriel's forge! He brought me a little baggie of the stuff last year after he cleaned the forge. As I was working on this section, I remembered about it and it fit right in this section.
At this point, I am considering it done. While I don't think it's a successful piece, I am going to use the sections I do like as graphic compositions for note cards and business card art!
I welcome comments of all kinds. I'm interested in critical analysis in the interest of doing another abstract composition I AM satisfied with!