30 Mosaics in 30 Days, revisited

Posted on Sep 1, 2015

30Mosaicsin30Days-sketch by Joanne DaschelEmbarking on my first 30-Day challenge since January 2014, I am heeding the advice of the artist who popularized this effort.

Leslie Saeta urges┬áthe 30-day artists to first make a plan for what you will paint (or in this case mosaic) ahead of time. That way the artist isn’t searching for an idea when the well seems to have run dry about 2/3 of the way through.

I explored a couple ideas for a series to complete my 30 mosaics this month. I thought about the idea of colorful objects used around here for transport: surfboards, bicycles, kayaks. I may yet make those in a future effort.

Then while listening to remembrances of the 2005 events in New Orleans, I thought about the power of water in all its forms. Living on the Oregon coast, many of us have become aware of rising sea levels looming ahead, and certainly the ever-present threat of tsunami. I spend a good deal of time in local watersheds, and my town is sandwiched between ocean and lake. So I worked up quite a few sketches of water in many forms. These may inspire some future mosaics but probably not a 30-series.

Finally my mind returned to the source of so much inspiration, in a bowl of huckleberries. It’s prime season for these coastal native fruits, and we were starting to enjoy the returns from backyard plants. I turned to my favorite website for native plants, a remnant of the once-great nursery run by Wallace Hansen in Salem OR. As I scrolled through the many beautiful photos of native plants and informative articles, the subject of my series this month was revealed.

As you see my daily postings on 30 mosaics of native plants, I hope you will visit and learn from my favorite resources on this topic, gleaned when I was still in horticulture school. Oregon State University has a well-researched and comprehensive listing of Northwest landscape plants, which is my go-to for plant identification. Wally Hansen’s site is still one of the best out there, and my primary resource offline is the indispensable book Plants of the Pacific Northwest.

Follow my art journey this month, and then in this excellent time of year for planting, go native!