Monday, January 28, 2008

Puerta Vallarta Mosaics!

Nancy Shelby's Mosaic class in Puerta Vallarta was truly fab! She is a wonderful artist, and a good teacher too! I loved how much time she took to work with each of us individually. She helped me immensely with several things. Her sense of color usage with mosaics is most excellent, and I listened closely, not just when she was helping me, but also when she helped others. The colors that you might use when painting or collaging are different than when mosaicing. It's not just how it changes with grouting, but how the blending happens with the relatively large pieces. This is going to be a big help in the future. Also, her grouting demo really helped. Yes, that's maybe the easiest part for you, but I've been having trouble. And it seems that every class I take, the teacher just assumes that everyone can do that part. Nancy's demo really answered my biggest problem - why the grout goes down so much. Well, I've been just doing everything way too wet, and the wetter, the more the grout will sink down after drying. Another big help - make a test patch, using tessarae from your piece. Then grout with a couple colors so that you can pick the right color grout without messing up your piece.

As always, the best part of the class was meeting the teacher and other students. This class had some really interesting and talented women. Shelly and Joan, from Michigan, were second time students of Nancy's. And their work was WOW! And Shelly has a truly beautiful voice. On the last evening of the workshop, we all enjoyed a Russian ballad from Luba. She was born in Russia, but moved to Canada some years ago as a young mother. Her voice, too, was beautiful and we were all moved by the ballad and her rendition. Martine also sang for us and too has a beautiful voice. I was awed by the singing talent, and one evening just sat and enjoyed the lovely songs shared by my new amigas. Martine was very entertaining, as a screenwriter she had a repetoire of interesting stories to share. Although Madeline professed not to be able to sing, she is a talented artist and her watercolors are soon to appear in advertising for a watersports company in Canada.

See you at SAMA!

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