progress on the mosaic

Well, I got the second panel up today and I only have cuts on 4 fingers.

It’s a lot of hard work and you get all sticky and beat up and there is a lot of swearing involved. At one point I was so desperate- trying to press the section that I was using both hands to hold up  that I used my chest! I also used my feet to press in a lower part.

BUT it looks so great once it’s up!  

I always hold in my mind’s eye the finished product. This almost always it what drives me. Call it delayed gratification or simply an ability to visualize the end product- it is what keeps me going, keeps me focused and on task.

here is the photo of my progress:

dsc05103 of course all the grouting is at the end. Once it’s all up and the mastic is dried. Grouting is also even more hard physical labor and harder on the hands etc.

Branches in Santa Barbara



Branching occurs in nature on so many scales. I think we find branching pleasing and satisfying to the eye. I am fascinated by how it repeats itself everywhere- water erosion patterns, wind erosion patterns, patterns of growth in leaves, branches, lichen, moss, crystals….

It was pretty much the theme of my recent trip  to Santa Barbara.

I was so happy to have a window seat for the flight- after Denver the landscape was endlessly fascinating and varying.  It’s interesting where humans have utterly sculpted the geography to suit them, it’s fairly uniform;l a grid laid out with only minor variations and interruptions for steep hills, various bodies of water and streams and rivers.winter-fields-of-the-midwest

But west of Denver, the surface of the earth is much less tolerant of all the petting and combing and arranging we do in the mild midwest. It’s filled with mountains and wild erosions and rocks and desert.

streambed-from-the-airsomewhere over the west



After I landed, my brother drove me directly to the beach. Looking down at the sand, I felt like I was still flying.sand-erosionsand-formationssand-formations_2then we walked to the pier and there was the pattern again! This time floating in the water.kelp

and of course all those branching streams and mountain ridges, sand and seaweed only served to remind me of my beloved tree branches. 


Santa Barbara is like one giant botanical garden.  I have never seen such a variety of beautiful and fascinating plants just by going on a walk! 

I am refreshed, rejuvenated and inspired by all that I saw there.

You should be seeing some Santa Barbara flora showing up on pots in the near future. I have all sorts of new ideas.