Thanks to all of you who sent concerned messages relating to my absence here, I will personally DM you all when I can!
I have had 23 days over in NSW with my daughters and grandkids and, just to make sure I didn't go off the rails, I took Ade and Betts (the dog) along too.
Eldest daughter Sarah's partner (Lisa) is a pathologist with the Glebe Coroners Court and spends her days doing autopsies but, at home her pride and joy are her laying hens! She has a (chook pen) and named them all, and each day lavishes care on them and they in turn reward here with a basket full of eggs.
I told Sarah I would do a 'hen' mosaic for Lisa's birthday and this put me under a bit of pressure because you can't run a mosaic up in a few hours.....it took me 10 days! Here is a shortened timeline of my progress. It measures 1 metre by 500mm, (1 yard x 20 inches) and the only tools I had at my disposal were a hammer and a nibbling tool.....
We had a great time and Lisa got a bit teary with the end result!
it's also a bit sad when your family lives 1,400 Kms away but we make the pilgrimage 3 times a year....next trip is in August, I love the drive, the dog travels well....which is more than I can say for Ade, she finds it a struggle and has a suitcase full of grizzles but, to spend 10 days with the grand daughters and another 10 with our other daughter makes it all worthwhile.
I had a guest here for much of the time we were away and that was great, she looked after the garden and I am hopefull we can come to a similar arangement the next time we head east again in August.
It was nice to get away from the CC.....but it's nicer to be back!
@Robin @Sarah I love the mosaics! It makes me want to make some, but sadly I have so many art projects on the go already... that’s my biggest issue as an artist. I’m always so busy doing client commissions, I never have time to do things for myself. Or... I start too many things and leave them unfinished. Luckily, Angel is a “finisher” so she pesters me into finishing stuff.
By the way Rob, my wife paints portraits (for years). She says you’ve done a superb job of that self portrait. Wants to know if it’s oil or acrylic.
When I did that Ben, I was a full-on greenhorn....paintings were either oils or they were watercolours and that was it!
If I did it again I would do it in acrylic but I was scared acrylic would not allow me the luxury of patching up my mistakes so, oil it was. Angel will no doubt guess that by the softness of the work, it doesn't have that 'vibrancy' ...that sharpness of acrylic.
The other thing which made it slightly difficult is I am a results man....I want to see things happen quickly and I didn't want to go through that annoying preparation of a gesso that you simply must have to do for oil, but I needed to feel I could give myself breathing space and learn as I went and acrylic would not hasve given me that option!
The thing I thought best about it are the eyes! I do feel those eyes capture me. I spent countless hours looking at U Tube videos of how to paint eyes....and that is the beauty (or the devil) of the internet...you don't have to be an 'artist' and more! All you need to do is paint by numbers!!!
I think all those who maybe are creative people have one comminality, we keep leaping from one project to the next without finishing the previous one. I am exactly 10 years into a 10 year project here with this property and I am less than halfway finished. A decade has passed since I set my original goals here, and that decade is at the latter part of my life rather than the earlier part and I am not the organised efficient tradesperson I was when I bought this place and started on this journey.
I have to admit though that much of that decade has been spent travelling. We have been to Europe including spending almost a month cruising the Mediterranean in 2011...... south east Asia in 2013 and America and Canada in 2014 plus numerous trips to the east here. I am now compensating for that Ben by giving myself a timeline of tackling a room per season....one room every three months. Hopefully that will take pressure off me and allow me to do things I need to to when I feel like doing them rather than getting frustrated with my lack of progress!
I can so relate 2 what you said regarding plans and organization. I have an unending a list of things to do. I'm glad to see someone is brave enough to write about it! And it's comforting to know that we can only get to what we can get to. Because as they say life is what happens while you're making plans. Sounds like you are taking time for yourself which is wonderful. I thought about painting again myself as I do seascapes usually. It's been many years and serious tragedy I am over coming from2016. And I have to say Airbnb has been a major blessing to me. I look forward to connecting more with my fellow Airbnb hosts. God bless you,! Deborah Brown, U.S.M.M.
@Ben "Or... I start too many things and leave them unfinished. Luckily, Angel is a “finisher” so she pesters me into finishing stuff."
My daughter told me about a sign she saw in a hardware store- "Ladies, please. Your husband will get around to finishing that project as soon as he has time. You don't have to keep nagging him about it every year."
I enjoyed reading your post! I'm new to the community ... I have chooks as well😂 and I admire the artistic work! How beautiful that is! I was just asked by the city to get rid of my oops roosters. I wish and pray to find them a good home. In the meantime what a delightful Airbnb host you must be! God bless you sincerely Debra Brown, Cocoa,fl
I love the mosaic, @Robin. A stunning piece of work.
We have quite the mosiac creater here in Chiswick. She's quite a character and, surprisingly (perhaps?), her (middle-class) neighbours are behind her and her never-ending works.
Gosh, that makes my little effort look rather pitiful Gordon, what amazing work.
The other thing to consider, what I did there with that hen mosaic was on a perfectly flat horizontal surface, which is infinitely easier than working vertically or off a scaffold the way this creator of yours has done.
Amazing work, thank you so much for sharing Gordon.
Some of you have made comment about that egg....really that was the easiest thing, all I had to do was 'flat spot' the back third of it so it would stick. But once I realised I didn't have the equipment to make a satisfactory mosaic egg the last thing I wanted was an imitation egg....an egg that someone had made to look like an egg to stop chooks from going broody!
As soon as I saw this egg, I loved it, to me this was nature at work! It wasn't an egg.....but it was!
The girls are lovin it.....the only thing I had to forgo, I wanted tiny white shirt buttons for the eyes, but I simply could not get buttons small enough. I thought that would be cool....someone would study it and say "My God look at that, those eye are actually minature buttons! " Never mind, wasn't to be.
Like you Ben, I have dusted off the apron.....on with the next!