Saturday, June 12, 2010

Adopting images in mosaics--a surprisingly difficult adventure

I thought it was going to be easy. Translating an image in mosaics into a needlepoint design. I was wrong! I had forgotten that,...More......though perhaps we first think of little same-size evenly placed squares when we think of mosaics, it's just not true.

In the areas where more detail is desired, the mosaic artist snips and clips the mosaic bits into the desired shapes, and--to better catch the light and create a sense of movement--sets the mosaic cubes and bits at slightly different angles into the cement support.

Getting the right amount of detail sufficient to express these marvelous images produced for myself and inspired by the famous mosaics in San Vitale (Ravenna, Italy) in an 16-18" pillow already wasn't easy. Getting the sense of glitter and movement (without "cheating" and using shiny gold-like threads) was not easy, either.

And I learned an interesting lesson also helpful for me as an art historian: as much as I wanted to copy the images, as exactly as possible, something subtle changed, as the design passed through my eyes and hands to the canvas. The face of Theodora, the Byzantine empress, turned out softer, sadder, than it really is, while the face of Justinian, the Byzantine emperor, turned out a bit harder, more wily.


Lisa Dunn said...

I love these two pieces! Your work is beautiful.

Star said...

Thanks so much, Lisa, it was very kind of you to write. Despite the fact that I have been needlepointing for years, each project poses new problems big and small, and provides new satisfactions. Do you create your own designs, too?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...