Nearly a year after starting my ‘tree of life’ aka ‘tree of patience’ mosaic picture, it is finally finished!
The substrate for the base was clear glass and the printed picture beneath acted as a rough template. I cut each piece of stained glass to shape before gluing into position. Many hours, days and even weeks were spent in procrastination mode as I tried to decide which coloured glass to use. Decisions, decisions! I wanted to use vibrant autumnal colours and incorporate an orange sunset in the background against a yellow sky.
Everyone kept telling me the sky must be blue. I am so glad I stood my ground and kept the picture more abstract.
I cut each leaf to shape using nippers.
I put the project aside until I could decide on the sunset and sky. People told me it looked fine but I felt it was far too ‘busy’. I needed a plain background that did not detract from the tree.
After months paralysed by procrastination how to present the sunset and sky I attempted to mosaic, but after several weeks I realised the sun detracted from the movement of the tree. I finally decided to remove ALL the sun and the yellow edging squares.
Removing the glass tiles was not easy and I spent hours carefully painting over them with water then heating with a hairdryer until I could prize each tile away with the aid of a sharp knife. Patience proved to be a virtue!
The tree was finally ready for grouting. The grout, mixed to the consistency of peanut butter, was then smeared on with a flexible scraper aided by my fingers to ensure every nook and cranny was filled.
So, I was at this critical stage in the creative process where my gloved hands were covered in grout and drying quickly in the sun, when our builder arrived with his wife. Oh… my husband thought it would be a good idea for me to go and make her a tea or coffee. Really? I smiled at the woman, who did not speak English, looked at my begloved hands covered in grout and shrugged my shoulders.
Now the tree was grouted I could finally see the wood from the trees and teacher suggested I painted the sky using glass paint. Another couple of months passed before I plucked up courage to paint the sky.
In the meantime, we found an old pine cupboard door which my husband cut down, planed and then bevelled the edges. I would mount the finished picture on this. I am a firm believer in upcycling!
I hung the picture opposite a window so the sun reflected on the purple and yellow mirrored glass which picture to life.