Berta is a new acquaintance whom I am delighted to have met through a California mosaic group. I've just finished perusing photographs of her beautiful work and feel strongly that even though selling mosaics is a rather new endeavor for her, Berta is going to do very well.
This past January, she won the Mosaic Addict's monthly exhibition with her wonderful piece, Nassau House and she currently has works in progress for two galleries in Oregon.
Perhaps I was so instantly drawn to Berta’s work because she and I share a love for the Pacific Northwest. She says that her life and work are both influenced by this part of the United States, and since my heart still resides with my family in Portland and Seattle, I can understand why.
In the summer and fall of 2005, Berta worked with a group that was approximately one thousand volunteers strong to build a whopping ninety three foot mural in Toledo, Oregon. It turned out to be the largest mural in the entire Pacific Northwest. Named "A Street in Time", the Toledo Centennial Mosaic Mural was mounted on the concrete retaining wall next to City Hall at 206 N Main Street. More than 18,000 4-inch tiles were cut into strips and chipped into pieces and sorted by color. Through research into Toledo history, the “Street in Time” concept was developed spanning important elements of Toledo history and incorporating real folks who have lived or still live in town. What a great project!
Berta was also a collaborative artist in the late Jean Destrade's years-long undertaking, "Concert d'éclats ", in Montpelier, France. The mural representing the cosmos, shows planets on a background of white dotted with ceramic fragments containing various stars, galaxies and other astronomical objects. The works submitted by participating international artists were round or disc shaped to represent the planets. Since I have a thing for spheres and round or circular objects, I was quick to notice that although her work comes in all kinds of shapes and sizes, a lot of it is represented in the curvilinear form:
Berta created this circular work using a tempered glass, shiny ephemera and acrylic paint:
Illustrating her skill in a variety of mosaic methods, this piece uses a more traditional approach:
This apoidea-themed mosaic is a burst of color made from precisely-cut stained glass:
The logo for Berta's mosaic business is also in keeping with her propensity toward circular shapes:
Berta's work was featured in both the 2005, 2006 and 2007 Mosaic Yearbooks (available on CD). She is currently involved in a mosaic project to commemorate Australian wildlife conservationist and educator, Steve Irwin. Known as "mosaickid" on flickr, Berta has a plethora of lovely eye candy to behold! Take a look.
Berta is a proud member of the Society of American Mosaic Artists and is published in the Mosaic Atlas. You can read more about her on her business web site at: NORTHWEST MOSAICS
On the home front....I have been working on more pieces using the crow images that I wrote about last week after having been visited by a white crow in a number of dreams. The image used in this mixed media piece is from a digitally enhanced photograph I took while we were visiting Southern California a few days ago.
Soul Alchemy Crow
9.5" x 13.5"
Mixed media on wood panel
The Black Crow is the beginning of the great work of soul alchemy. Since I lost a dear Uncle to a stroke this past week, I wanted to create a piece that spoke to his passing. The black crow indicates the initial stages of the alchemist's encounter with his inner space, through withdrawing from the outer world of the senses in meditation, and entering what is initially the dark inner world of the soul. Thus this stage is also described in alchemical texts as the blackening, the nigredo experience, and it is often pictured as a death process, as in the caput mortuum, the deaths head, or as some alchemical illustrations show, the alchemist dying within a flask. Thus in the symbol of the Black Crow we have the stepping out in consciousness from the world of the physical senses the restrictions that bind us to the physical body.
This piece was created using a variety of handmade papers which I applied to a wooden panel with gel medium. I then made two photo transfers from my own original, digitally enhanced photography and layered those with more paper, fabric and vintage photographs taken from a 80-something year old book. A glass gem was added and some hand cut Van Gogh glass tiles. The assemblage was unified with pink pearlized paint. It is for sale in my Etsy shop found on the right of this page.