Friday, October 27, 2006

The Story Behind Everlasting Covenant

As promised ~ my original rainbow mosaic cross. First, the picture:

Now, the story behind the cross:

I designed and created Everlasting Covenant close to a year ago. It was one of my 2 entries into the 2005 Society of American Mosaic Artists international mosaic art competition. Like the rainbow mosaic crosses I wrote about in my last entry, Everlasting Covenant is based on the Noahic covenant found in Genesis 9:8-17. Genesis 9:13-15 specifically states:
I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. (NIV)
To create the mosaic cross, I started with a 17" h x 12" w wood base. This base was painted with acrylic paint. I used a blending technique to achieve the watercolor rainbow look. Once I achieved the desired look, I laid the three lines of crystal and glass beads. Each of these lines is curved to reflect the shape of a rainbow.

Then came the hard part . . . hand cutting and piecing the individual pieces of glass. I used transparent/clear glass so the emphasis remains on the painted rainbow image. The cutting and piecing alone took over 40 hours. It was a crash course in precision cutting . . . pieces had to fit perfectly because there is no true grout to conceal less than perfect fitting pieces. No ~ seriously. I really didn't use grout between the glass pieces. Look closely:

See? No grout! So ~ what is between the glass pieces? Transparent seed beads of course. Again ~ I wanted the emphasis on the rainbow and unfortunately, nobody has developed a transparent true grout product.

I wish I could tell you that I took the easy way out and just scattered the beads between the pieces of glass. But, the reality is that I laid each individual bead into precise lines surrounding the glass. I'm anal like that. But, the attorney in me must warn you: DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME . . . unless you are looking for an excellent way to drive yourself insane. The "precise seed bead grout" method (doesn't that sound technical?!) gives you almost no room for error. The glass has to be cut precisely and the beads need to lie exactly. If they don't, it's glaringly obvious. I beaded/"grouted" as I pieced . . . in other words, I would cut a piece of glass, adhere it to the surface and then place the beads around the piece of glass. Repeat ad nauseam.

Of course ~ I wouldn't change anything about the design and/or the creation process of Everlasting Covenant. For one, it's absolutely stunning. I know that sounds disingenous coming from the artist . . . but ask anybody who has seen it in person. It is very unique and breathtaking, especially when it catches the light.

I also grew in so many ways as an artist. I became one with my pistol grip glass cutter and my glass cutting skills are now infinitely better. The difference between my before and after pieces is marked. I also gained tons of confidence. Everlasting Covenant is the largest mosaic cross I've made and I successfully incorporated several innovative techniques into it. There are many more lessons intertwined with my experience . . . but I'll just sum it up by saying that I am awed that God chose me to create such a beautiful piece of artwork.

Everlasting Covenant is now living happily ever after in a private collection in Illinois. : )

Please feel free to leave me comments so I know that I'm not just talking to myself!

In Him ~

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Rainbow & Bluebirds Mosaic Cross ~ The Recreation

I want to share a mosaic cross I finished today. It was commissioned by my client as a birthday present for her friend. We should all be blessed with such wonderful friends!

From the Christian perspective, the rainbow is the symbol of the covenant God made with man after The Great Flood (see Genesis 9:12-17), an especially pertinent reminder for me today as it continues to POUR down rain! To make a long story short, the rainbow symbolizes that God is good and faithful to mankind. The cross of course symbolizes these same things so combining the two symbols is especially powerful. There is something wonderful and peaceful about seeing a rainbow on a cross.

The rainbow mosaic cross I finished today actually is a recreation of this mosaic cross that I completed about 6 weeks ago:

The mosaic cross pictured directly above was commissioned by my client as a gift for her newest grandchild. When the client first contacted me, she told me that she wanted to purchase a mosaic cross with a rainbow and bluebirds. She had definite ideas (that's a good thing!) about the design and placement of the rainbow and bluebirds. After working closely with her, this beautiful cross was created.

I'm often asked how I feel about recreating a previously designed cross. The easy answer is that, from a purely artistic perspective, it truly doesn't bother me. The beauty of the medium of mosaic is that, even if you are reproducing the same design, the pieces of glass always fit together differently. That means that the challenge of piecing is always there regardless of the design. I take great pride in the craftsmanship I put into each and every mosaic and that's true no matter how many times I piece a dove, heart, etc. I realize this isn't the answer you'd receive from most artists . . . but I guess I have a different perspective. Without being too deep, this is about more than the artwork for me. It's about a partnership with God and I am blessed to create each and every cross I'm asked to create.

Having said that ~ I always hesitate a bit when I'm asked to make an exact replica of a previously created piece of artwork. One of the main things that has contributed to my success as an artist is that I work closely with my clients to design and create a unique piece of artwork. I want to create for my clients something that is special . . . something that they can't find at their local Pier One/Hobby Lobby/Michaels/Target . . . something that isn't hanging on their neighbor's wall. I think it's only fair to produce original artwork for each client.

What does all of this mean? It means that, when I'm inevitably asked to recreate my previous designs, I tweak them to suit each individual client. I change the colors, the glass I use, the number of bluebirds, the shape of the cross . . . I add new elements, new symbolism. I truly try to change something so both clients ~ the original client as well as the new client ~ have a unique creation. It's tricky sometimes . . . but I'm always up for a challenge!

Tomorrow I'll share my original rainbow mosaic cross. It's pictured to the right and is called Everlasting Covenant. Thanks for reading!

In Him ~

Monday, October 23, 2006

Lavender Beaded Daisy Cross

Just wanted to share a picture of the mosaic cross I finished yesterday. It is similar to the Burgundy Beaded Daisy Mosaic Cross I posted below except this one is a little bit smaller and doesn't have the vine.

I love daisies and so it is natural for me to incorporate them into my artwork. They also symbolize the innocence of the Christ child. The idea to use beads to create the daisy popped into my head about a year ago and the beaded daisy crosses were instantly popular. I continue to refine the beading and grouting process as they are both a bit trickier than with a "true" mosaic. The results are well worth it!

A detail shot of a beaded daisy:

I have also created a Beaded Daisy Mosaic Cross on my smallest cross size:

Stay tuned for more new artwork . . . I have several commissions going out this week!

In Him ~


Sunday, October 22, 2006

Because My Mom Says So!

I am in the process of applying to be one of 50 Texas Original Artists selected by the Texas Arts Commission (see The application is pretty straight forward but I've been stuck on this question:

Please tell us why you should be chosen as one of 50 TxO artists.

I hate these types of questions because you have to toot your own horn . . . and I am not comfortable tooting my own horn.

I was talking to my mom about it last night and she told me to tell them, "You're good, your artwork is beautiful and your mom said they should pick you."

I wonder how that would go over. Something tells me that's not the answer they are looking for. Or maybe it is. Either way ~ it's nice to know that my mommy is still my biggest fan!

Keep your fingers crossed . . . say prayers . . . send positive wishes. I'll take anything I can get. This would be an amazing opportunity!

In Him ~


I've finally decided to join the 21st century and do the blogging thing so . . . welcome to my blog!

For those of you who don't know me ~ I am a mosaic artist . . . and a Christian, a wife, mom to 3 amazing children and a "retired" attorney. But my mosaic artwork is what this blog is all about! I am so blessed to be able to work closely with my clients to create beautiful mosaic crosses, picture frames and other artwork full of symbolism, beauty and meaning. I am excited to share my artwork and the story behind each piece with you.

Here's my original Beaded Daisy Mosaic Cross to whet your appetite:

You can also view my artwork on my website:

Thanks for visiting. Please come back soon ~ I plan to post frequently!

In Him ~