Fri, May 19th, 2017 Picture this: you’re traveling through a foreign land, traversing its rolling hills and small towns and you come upon a small bay where you stop for lunch. This is an adventure of a lifetime, you are halfway across the globe from where you were born.
Everything is alive, different & new. Your experiences, the language, and the culture are music to your ears and a feast for your eyes.
We’ve all been there, a vacation we never want to end. We love where we are, but more often we want to hold and capture the feeling of the moment, the joy, and peace of our experience.
I met Lois in Vero Beach, FL in 2016 just as she finished purchasing a piece from another artist at the show. She was not in the market for a wall sculpture that year but said she had just the wall and would stay in touch.
Just before the 2017 show, I reached out to Lois to see if she’d like to have a consult at her home where I could see the wall she was thinking about. It was perfect timing, I got to see her new condo, get a flavor for her aesthetic, colors and talk about ideas.
Lois wanted to use a photo from her retirement trip as a jumping off point for her sculpture. After more than 20 years as a Massachusetts firefighter, Lois and her husband rented an RV and traveled throughout New Zealand for several months. Her intense career was over, she was celebrating and decompressing. It was a trip of a lifetime. The photo captured a feeling which she wanted to be conveyed in the artwork.
Thus began Tasman Sea Dreams. As always, we begin our journey with a drawing based on the photo and a few revisions. Once the details were worked out, I began to work in clay.
I create the wall sculpture, working from foreground to background and back again. Bold lines are laid in first, then smaller lines, then sketching the focal points and accents. From there, it's all details. Texture is added, lines are refined and the composition & dimension comes to life.
Phase one of the project is complete. During phase 2 the color is applied to the tiles, layered from background to foreground and feathered on. Lois wants a soft sandy surface, some bright colors, but she wants to maintain the feeling of peace she felt in that New Zealand photo on the Tasman Sea. After our final consult on the phone, I got to glazing. I work more than 20 ceramic stains into the mural, layering, and feathering and mixing the colors. Now the mural is in the kiln, to be fired. The stains will transform with heat and time.