Saturday, July 23, 2011

Appetite for Birds (Visually, That Is)

In going through my mother's house last week (we're moving her to Florida in the fall), I came across this small bird book printed in 1905, written by Chester A. Reed. It doesn't say, but I imagine he is also the artist. The descriptions include this priceless statement about the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker: "Range: Formerly the South Atlantic States and west to Texas and Indian Territory, but now confined to a few isolated portions of Florida and, possibly, Indian Territory." Indian Territory included part of Oklahoma, which was not granted statehood until 1907, and Arizona and New Mexico joined the Union in 1912. The illustrations are charming, and I am sure they will be a great source of inspiration for future mosaics or drawings. As anyone who reads this blog knows, birds are my favorite subject!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Still Here; New Project

I just realized how long it's been since I last posted. This summer has been heavy with work (work work as opposed to artwork) as I'm putting in extra hours to be able to take a week off every couple of months to visit my mother and continue the job of getting her packed and moved to Florida.

She will be living with my brother, who is the source of my latest commission: a stained glass mosaic to go in a horizontal window. This is the template I finally had time to create, after consulting with my brother and his wife. I will be using translucent glass, as opposed to the opaque glass I use on boards, because this will be done on a sheet of clear glass, then framed and set into the window. Another newish technique. I plan to use a clear silicone adhesive; although white glue dries clear eventually, it takes a long time, and maybe never if not exposed to air. So silicone it is.  I have not yet decided how to grout; at the moment I'm thinking of a medium gray that will blend into the background, but I'll have to try a few colors.

The designated window looks out onto another building -- that's why this particular treatment. My brother, who is a wonderful handyperson, will rig lights behind it so it will show up even at night. The theme is a reef with several true-to-species fish, a little crab, some seaweed, and maybe some shells; the final details will probably occur to me as I work, as they usually do! The finished size will be about 2 by 4 feet. Looking forward to purchasing the glass and getting started; it will be nice to spend regular hours in my studio again.