Thursday, January 12, 2017

Trees in Glass Tile Smalti Mosaic

I have spent the past few months playing with mosaic trees in glass smalti.  I wanted to work on something natural since lately I have been drawing and painting cityscapes with a focus on perspective.  I actually use a ruler and think in strong shapes, concentrating on lighting and architecture and what makes a place unique.

Trees do not work that way, they are leafy and organic and a huge challenge.  This is my second glass tile tree mosaic.

tree smalti mosaic looking up ireland forest blarney castle finished orsoni
Finished Italian smalti mosaic of a tree

Here's a close-up of the mosaic so you can see the differences in the height of each piece of the glass.  The edges are not sharp so you can run your hand along and feel the texture.

orsoni smalti glass tile venice mosaic italian italy
A close-up of the cut smalti glass tiles

The single tree mosaic is based on the left most tree in my daughter's photo.  She snapped this picture in the forests surrounding Blarney Castle.

tree photo looking up ireland trees forest blarney castle finished orsoni
Cece's photo looking up into the trees
tree watercolor looking up ireland trees forest blarney castle finished orsoni
The watercolor created from the photo
tree smalti mosaic looking up ireland trees forest blarney castle finished orsoni.
My first tree mosaic

As you can see from my first tree mosaic, there were some major scale issues and I lost so much of the detail by trying to complete the entire scene.  Pretty discouraging.  The finished size of the first mosaic is 17-1/2 inches by 13 inches, while the single tree mosaic is the same height at about 13 inches square.  I'm always disappointed when something doesn't come out the way I envisioned, but I needed to start somewhere.

tree mosaic smalti forest progress orsoni glass blarney castle ireland italian italy
My progress on the single tree mosaic

Work on both mosaics was slow going.  My time was very broken up and spread out which made it really hard to find a groove.  I found myself getting too close and worrying about tiny details and forgetting to step back and see the big picture.  Probably a metaphor for my life.