Peace Signs

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Throw Back Thursday

Let's get into the "Way Back Machine" today. These are photos of me I recently found on my external hard drive. Three phases in my life. Three distinct moments in time captured through film. And in each photo, I recall something relating to television or the arts in some way. But you have to admit ... I sure am cute!

Circa 1958 - around the time we got our first television. Ed Sullivan, Captain Kangaroo, Mickey Mouse Club, I Love Lucy, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, The Donna Reed Show, Walt Disney Presents ... the early years of TV!
1976 - The Dorothy Hamill haircut was most popular and I discovered being blonde WAS more fun - it built confidence I didn't have as a brunette. I did some dancing and singing around this time and found lots of fun through musical theatre in northern New Jersey.
1980 - living in a 3 bedroom condo in CA with very little furniture, 2 male roommates and my cat, Erwin, I started to find my way back into the art world once more (if you're wondering why I look so glassy-eyed and sleepy here - it was early morning and I had only about 3 hours sleep before we were heading out for the day to take visiting friends to breakfast and roller blading on Venice Beach - ahhh youth ... ) by finding the night shift as a Word Processor and ultimately helped with the opening of EPCOT in 1982 at WED Enterprises a subsidiary of Disney Studios.
This was all before mosaics came into my life but I was building the foundation to find my way to them. I often say I sometimes wish I had gone right to mosaics, bypassing all the other things I tried before I found them but I don't think I mean it, really. I know everything happens by design and it's possible I wouldn't have found the people I needed in my life to have my children and my best friends forever if I hadn't done what I did, including the hobbies I had, as I had done them. Because I value all of them, I'm glad I did what I did when I did it most days.

Between 1970 and 1980 I had taught myself string art, embroidery, needlepoint and cross-stitch. I stayed with cross-stitch until 2004 when I stopped to figure out what to learn next. I had done a lot of plastic canvas needlepoint but it was losing it's appeal. Cross-stitch was pretty basic work, although I really enjoyed outlining the finished piece more than the actual stitching of it. I made some stuffed teddy bears in a folk art style and enjoyed making hearts and pillows too. All handstitched and something useful as well as artful. That's when I broke my grandmother's blue willow plate. In 2005 I still had the pieces of the plate, feeling guilty each time I looked at it sitting in a box in a closet. That's when I decided to do some searching on our computer to see what I could do with the broken pieces of dishes. Viola. Mosaics came into my life. I promptly headed to our local library and found a few books about mosaics. Studying them for inspiration and courage, I knew I could do something artistic with the broken dish pieces to make my Grandmother, long since passed, proud of me.

I remember my Great Aunt Ella donating some chipped custard cups in bright colors so I could make a mosaic panel using some of the blue willow. I had no nippers so I smashed them all on the sidewalk outside of our apartment with a hammer inside of a towel and used what pieces I could to create my first mosaic. I knew I had found something that would stay with me for a very long time.

Who here is surprised by the fact that there is a sun and moon in this first mosaic attempt of mine? Who here is surprised that when I feel stuck creatively, I make suns and moons? Interesting, isn't it?!

I'm not sure where this mosaic is at the moment. It could have gotten tossed out when I moved the last time, I truly hope not. It could be in the storage unit or with my Dad who is storing some things for me in his home.

This mosaic was done on a board or slat from inside a broken dresser. After I made it, I had it sitting outside our apt door on the porch for quite some time, in all different elements, snow included and it only warped the slightest bit. I did not protect it with primer or use the proper glue for it yet it stayed in one piece outside in the PA cold and heat for a few seasons. Amazing how some things just persevere, like people, through all the highs and lows. This is how and when my continuing love affair for mosaics all began.

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Stay peaceful,