As if I didn’t already have enough hobby projects … I just decided that I want to recreate The Starry Night
by Vincent van Gogh in mosaic…
“What?” I hear you cry, “But what about the Stone Age diorama you are planning to build in your 1950s television set?”
for more details on that project).
Well, fear not my brave ones because there is nothing to fear but fear itself. That project is still rolling merrily along – I’m currently experimenting with different techniques to achieve a realistic stone texture for the inside of my cave. Also, I don’t mind saying that it’s %^&* cold working on the main TV cabinet in my garage at the moment, let me tell you.
Fortunately, a (real) man can have more than one hobby project on the go if he wishes … and the fact that I usually have many more than that just goes to show what a manly man I am (is this the cue for a song?)
I was about to say that I’m not sure how this current mosaic project came about… but just as I started to pen this sentence it all flooded back to me. Do you remember a few weeks ago when I became the proud owner of a 4200 year old clay tablet (Click Here
to see that blog). As fate would have it, this tablet was accompanied by a catalog, which my wife (Gina The Gorgeous
) confiscated for her own perusal.
After a while I heard a squeal of excitement. It didn’t take long for me to assure myself that I wasn’t the one who was doing the squealing, so I checked to see what Gina was up to. It turned out that one of the things she’d discovered in the catalog was a rather cool Roman mosaic. Gina explained that would look wonderful in our family room. I’m sure it would … but since the price was around $7,500 (Gina hadn’t noticed that part), I’m equally sure that we are never going to find out (grin).
But this started me thinking that I would quite like to make my own mosaic – it’s just the sort of nit-picky finicky thing that would appeal to an anal retentive personality and – of course – I R an Engineer :-)
So I started looking around. First of all I found what looks to be a really good book on Amazon: Mosaic Techniques & Traditions: Projects & Designs from Around the World
by Sonia King. This book covers the history of mosaics (I do like to know where things come from) along with tools, materials, and techniques, including bases, adhesives, and grout; shaping and placing tesserae; practical and artistic design considerations; and several methods of creating the actual mosaic. Apart from anything else, this little scamp has a bunch of great reviews, so I’ve added it to my Christmas wish list.
The next thing I need is an image to create. I’m not known for doing things in a small way. I’m thinking of a monster picture about 5 feet x 4 feet in size. Something that will cause people to gasp with astonishment and say “Good Grief, that’s huge!”
(If only I had a coconut for every time I’ve heard that… :-)
Now, I’m still open to suggestions, but I really think that The Starry Night
by Vincent van Gogh would offer a great target project. On the one hand it certainly is challenging; but on the other hand we have a fairly limited color palette. Also, I think it will help that anyone who sees it will already be at least aware of the original. And, of course, there’s also the fact that Vincent and this painting featured in the tenth episode in the fifth series of Doctor Who, when the Doctor and Amy travel to Provence, meet Vincent, and help him fight a dangerous alien only he (van Gogh) can see.
The original Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh
As fate would have it, it seems that I am not the only person to think about creating my own interpretation of Starry Night
. I just ran across an interesting website where we find offerings like Gotham Starry Night
, Hello (Kitty) Starry Night
, and many others.
Gotham Starry NightClick Here
to see this website. One that I find particularly interesting is Muslim Starry Night
– I really like the reds and oranges in the lower right-hand corner; maybe I will incorporate these colors back into my humble offering.
Sad to relate, I am a little booked up for the next couple of weeks, but that’s OK because it will allow me to gather the requisite tools and materials… I will report back in the fullness of time… watch this space…
Last but not least – just in case you were wondering – the title for this blog came from a quote by the renowned Indian Guru Śri Sathya Sai Baba, who passed away in April of this year. The full quote is as follows:
Life is a mosaic of pleasure and pain – grief is an interval between two moments of joy. Peace is the interlude between two wars. You have no rose without a thorn; the diligent picker will avoid the pricks and gather the flower. There is no bee without the sting; cleverness consists in gathering the honey nevertheless.
And who amongst us could argue with this?
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