Monday, July 8, 2013


5'x5' floor installation in Gloucester, VA
I was always fascinated with mosaics and, decades ago, decided to teach myself how do it. I read up and put together a list of what the experts said not to do & I did those things first. They were right about some and wrong about others. Needless to say I developed my own style. Since I started, I have mosaiced small things, large things, indoor things & outdoor things. Basically, if it doen't move fast enough, I am liable to start sticking tile on it. 

Have you ever looked at a mosaic and thought-- Hm. I wonder how the artist got all of those little individual pieces together to make this piece of art?

This is how: 
We start with an idea and we imagine the finished artwork in our minds. We draw out what the final outcome will be to help visualize our goal. We accumulate the pieces we need, the necessary tools and set aside time to create. A mosaic artist then slowly, patiently must lay each individual piece together, working towards completion. Often there are changes in direction - either something isn't working as we thought, or materials become unavailable or the Muse just says "It would be better if...". So we adapt and refocus and continue forward. Time is always an issue. If I have learned one thing over years of being a professional tile-breaker: not even once has a mosaic project ever just finished itself. If I don't put in the time and effort it will always remain just a pile of tile.

It's not rocket surgery, its actually the same way that ANY dream is built. You start by creating a long-term vision.  You set & visualize specific goals. You gather the right materials, tools and resources. You make time. If you are like most people, you are busy - you don't HAVE time, you must MAKE it. You prepare yourself for obstacles along the way. You will run out of resources or someone will tell you that your idea isn't a good one. Ignore the nay-sayers. Keep moving forward. Your dream will not come true on its own. Just keep at! And if you do... if you make sacrifices and work hard and just keep moving forward... well then step-by-step, piece-by-piece, you'll get to the finish. And it will be worth it.

So what's your "mosaic"?

See more of my mosaics

Sunday, July 7, 2013

What I learned today

As an author, you start out writing your book because you love it and, sometimes, you love it so much that you are afraid to let it go. One day you decide it's time and you finally release it out to the world. What happens next is that you get so caught up in the "process" that you forget how much you love your book. There is editing and rewriting. There are illustrations to do over. There is marketing and paperwork. You get caught up in pre-sales and chasing reviews. Slowly you forget how much you love your book because it is real WORK now. 

And then, when you have almost forgotten, someone sends you a picture of his daughter sitting in her mother's lap, reading your book and you get goosebumps. You realize that your hard work has created a moment in someone else's life. And you love your book again because you finally remember.