I never realized how strong my faith was until I started working with mosaics. It's a challenging process. I usually become inspired by a single thought or image then quick to my pencil and pad to do preliminary drawings. I plan the design, chalk it out on a wall or panel and then spend days collecting items to include in the piece - tiles, vintage plates, old jewelry,broken bottles - anything and everything! I visit old thrift shops, garage sales and junk piles. Luckily, my awesome neighbors Dottie and Betty contribute on a weekly basis. I am blessed to have such friends.
Once I have enough material, I spend a lot of time nipping and cutting the tiles and preparing pieces. Then the real work begins. Like working on a puzzle, I start fitting pieces into the design. Little by little, the idea comes to life. Gluing the tiles in place becomes therapeutic. I am not thinking about yesterday, or tomorrow - or things I should have done that day. I am in the 'breath of the moment'....doing what I am most passionate about. There is no concept of time. Hours, days and weeks pass in the blink of an eye. This is how I know being an artist is my true purpose in life. It just feels 'right' and I feel a complete sense of peace and harmony. I feel closest to God when I am creating.
When the piece is finished and all of the tiles have been cut, fitted and glued, the faith test begins. I take concrete, sometimes black concrete, and I cover every beautifully cut tile and carefully placed piece. My reaction is always the same - my heart sinks like a stone as I look at the ugly, black mud drowning every delicate flower and beautiful gem. I start to question myself. Those ugly little doubts and thoughts start to pop into my head "What am I doing? Will I be able to get all this grout off when it dries?! Will I lose some pieces in the process?! Did I time this right? It is a scary feeling to say the least. Then something clicks - and my faith comes through stronger than ever. Like the wind, I can't see it, but I can feel it. It's powerful and comforting. I start feverishly rubbing the dried grout until finally the spendor and beauty hidden beneath is revealed! In the end, I stand back in awe. My work is done.
Life is like the mosaic process - We spend so much time covering up, becoming what others want us to be, hiding our true selves. By doing so, we can lose touch with our inner spirit and purpose. Beneath the facade, the mortar, the masks we wear and the walls we build lies the heart of who we truly are...God's beautiful creation.