Featured Artist of the Month: Cheryl Anderson
Name: Cheryl Anderson
Contact info: firstname.lastname@example.org
How did you get into mosaics?
I have always worked in many art media, and came to mosaic 10 years
ago when I had the good fortune to spend a week with Judy Onofrio at the
Split Rock Arts Program. Her non-traditional approach to mosaic hooked me
from the start. A few years later I participated in the WARM mentor/
protégée program. Working with Mimi Holmes, I focused on sculptural mosaic
with broken auto glass as tesserae, and have continued in that vein since.
What kind of mosaics do you make?
I play with many different materials and styles, but work most
consistently with broken auto glass or tempered glass. The organic, veined
feeling this material imparts is intriguing to me, and new ideas are
constantly surfacing. The technique is one I have explored for several
years on both flat and sculptural forms. It starts with a lightweight
substrate of wediboard or carved foam, covered with thinset or sculptepoxy
and then painted. The pieces of broken glass are then applied with silicon
and the work is grouted. I often use several colors of grout and am
currently experimenting with painting the grout.
Because I like to try new things, I am often making small sample pieces to
see if my latest great idea actually works. Thankfully, I have studio space
in my home that is big enough to allow me to have a couple of projects going
at once, often as trial samples, or as projects in other media.
How do you approach a mosaic?
When I start a new piece, I usually have a vision of what it will
look like, and may even do a rough drawing and brain storming notes. But
working with the materials always transforms the vision into something
different; at least more realistic, and maybe more interesting.
What inspires you?
I am inspired by nature, by other artists and by the materials I
work with.. Currently I am working on a series in several mediums that is
inspired by the Hubble deep space telescope photographs. These images have
been taking my breath away for years and have now taken over my art.
I’m an art crawl junkie, and I love going to studios, gallerys and museums.
Seeing the work of other artists constantly brings little “Eureka” moments
that teach me how to solve a problem, how to handle a medium, how to get it
to express what I want, etc. I always carry an art journal with me to jot
down notes, ideas and inspirations.
Being in the Mosaic Guild is an inspiration as is the Pastel Society and a
monthly art group I’ve been in for 13 years. Our wonderful community of
artists feeds my soul and their generosity in sharing what they know and do
fills me with gratitude.
How do you fit mosaics into your life?
Like most artists, my art had to fit in the cracks between work and
other commitments for much of my life. However, I was able to retire from
my library career in 2005 and am now trying to be a full-time, ‘real’
artist. For me, this means getting up every day and making art, and then
putting it out in the world.
What do you do with your mosaics once you finish?
Like most artists, I’m in danger of being buried alive by my
collection of art work and supplies. I want to move the work on to other
homes, but am finding that requires as much effort as creating the art does.
I have pieces in several shows every year, and will have my
first one person show this year in my church’s gallery…a small start, with a
forgiving audience. Later this year I will be one of the WARM artists
showing at the MN Women’s Building.
What have I learned about art, mosaics and myself?
- Get started early if there is a deadline because I’m a slow worker.
- When in doubt about a technique, color or material; make a small
- The hardest part of any project is getting started; so just do it; the
work flows downhill from then on.
- Pay attention to the world around you. It’s endlessly fascinating
and full of ideas for projects.
- When you go for a walk, always wear clothes with pockets…scavaging
is an art activity.
- Art withdrawal makes me cranky and depressed, so find time for art