The Austin Mosaic Guild has been making a wall of mosaics for almost a year now, to be installed in a new garden at the Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas. The wall commemorates 25 years of the therapy dog program. Each member of the guild has had the opportunity to contribute at least one mosaicked tile to the project.
In order to make a cohesive overall design, each artist was asked to use yellow, blue, or green as a predominant color, or colors, in the composition, and to add a black border.
My plan was to challenge myself to use these colors and to incorporate the black border in such a way that it became part of the composition, instead of a separate frame. Also, because the outdoor wall is so large, and will be seen from far away, as well as close-up, and in all lighting conditions, I wanted to make a graphic statement that would be bold and quite three-dimensional in feel. I also wanted to make sure that the girl in my composition would be of indeterminate ethnicity, to include as many patients as possible, and I wanted her to be a teen, because, despite the name “Children’s Medical Center”, there are plenty of young adults who come through its doors.
I made several thumbnail (tiny) sketches to aid in my decision about the composition, and then I made one full-sized, simple sketch. Here are the steps in the mosaic process that I photographed along the way. Mistakes, false starts, and all.