Monday, February 9, 2009
Cynthia Fisher - Big Bang Mosaics
Greetings artists and art lovers. It has been awhile since I've had time to update this blog. I have been working on an exciting new series of paintings that I will tell you about at a later date. Hopefully, I'll get back on track and have the time to write more regularly here.
Last month's art giveaway went to Maria Tallis of Chicago, Illinois.
I am pleased to present today's entry about a mosaic artist from my old stomping grounds in New England.
Cynthia Fisher of Big Bang Mosaics, resides about an hour northwest of my former home in Western Massachusetts. She lives in one of the hill towns where the abundance of nature serves as inspiration for much of her work. She likes to wander about the countryside either on her bike or on foot and contemplate ideas for her mosaics. Cynthia has fully embraced the mosaic art form as the center of her universe. She creates fine art mosaics for public spaces and private shows. She teaches classes and workshops for both adults and children. She works on school projects and private commissions and runs her own mosaic business.
The artist writes”
“BIG BANG MOSAICS came about when I realized I didn't want to stop creating mosaics,(having already filled our home!). In 2002 I took a fabulous business class at our local CDC, or Community Development Corporation, and learned the basics of running a business. Being an artist does not preclude one from the nitty gritty jobs of marketing, finance, and the like. My time is divided between the business half and the art half - private commission work, teaching classes and workshops, conducting school residencies and applying for public art projects. I also continue in my career of the past 15 years as a children's book illustrator. A recent project was My Bodyworks, by Jane Schoenberg and published by Crocodile Books.”
Recipient of the Kinnicutt Scholarship, Cynthia used the Worcesster Art Museum’s travel/study award to go to Italy last October where she bicycled for a week in Tuscany and studied traditional setting techniques in Ravenna.
These days, Cynthia has been keeping herself busy with work created for public spaces. One of my personal favorites of her public installations consists of mosaic “cut outs” that portray little kids all decked out for school. These whimsical little guys now hang in a pre-school in Rogers, Arkansas.
Cynthia recently installed this beautiful mosaic at Colvin Hall at the University of Maine which is her alma mater.
The trunk of this tree of life is made of mirror glass that sparkles and changes as one passes. The writing along the bottom of the piece , “Studium Eruditionis Ardescens”, loosely translates as "Igniting a Passion for Learning", which is the motto for the Honors College .
Cynthia is a finalist for the Christa McAuliffe Planetarium percent for art project in Concord New Hampshire, and a semi-finalist who was selected from 125 applicants for the Orange County Public Art Community Recreation Centers project in Orlando, Florida.
"Voyage" (below) was created for the emergency room of the Children's Hospital of Boston.
As opposed to her commissioned pieces, Cynthia’s personal work is generated from images of her own choosing. This work, entitled, "New England Flamenco" was inspired by mushrooms.
Overall, the work has an energetic, lyrical quality. She uses a lot of blue, accented with reds, oranges and yellows and adds an incredible amount of detail into each work.
The idea for this piece, called, “End of Summer” was conceived during a bike ride through the gorgeous New England countryside.
“Once again, this scene came about while on a bike ride. I often get ideas while out riding or walking, then think, think, think about them and what I want to portray. I experimented with grout lines, different ways of laying tile shapes - in particular the idea of stacking tiles vertically but having color more horizontal (this is what is going on with the green midsection.) I also got the sky to be more chaotic and tempestuous by switching out tiles here and there so the lines didn't run 'straight'. And finally, the handling of the goldenrod was inspired by a student of mine's mosaic.”
"7 Warbler Redux" (above) was inspired by the bird environment, elements of bird life and bird silhouettes.
Cynthia’s “Spawning Salmon” piece is full of movement, aided by the use of mirror and irregular line work.
The first inspiration for her 'Tree of Life' mosaic was a 1" square image of a tree cut out from a newspaper along with the idea 'tree of life'.
“I researched early American Applique books and borrowed from their naive folk art style to depict the elements in this mosaic. The colors were chosen to compliment the room in which it was to be placed.”
"Anabel" is one of her endearing pet portraits:
Cynthia says that her first exposure to mosaics was at the age of 12 when she saw a photograph in the book, "Practical Encyclopedia of Crafts".
“Thirty some odd years later I had my first opportunity to experiment with this medium and I was immediately taken. Creating a mosaic is a combination of rigorous planning in the sketch phase replaced by a spontanaity and openness in laying the tile, where the process stays fresh as you decide colors, tile shapes, patterns, how the tile is layed. The challenge of how to make water look reflective or conversely transparent, how to create depth, how to give the viewer the feeling that colors are blending together; these are all things that make this such an exciting medium to work in.”
To find out more information about Cynthia Fisher, her workshops and classes and to see more of her mosaics, please visit her web site by CLICKING HERE
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