My final senior art project in high school turned out to be another huge endeavor. The assignment was to replicate, in mosaic tile, a painting by a famous artist. The choice of the painting was entirely up to us, but it needed to be something that would translate into small bits of color.
I was also writing a final paper for senior English on Van Gogh, so I had books of his work, and it made sense to me to select one of his paintings. His jabs-of-paint style was perfect for pieces of ceramic tile.
I selected his painting of “Old Peasant” (August 1888), and made it slightly larger than his original 27.75 x 22.75-inch painting. Mine measures 30 x 24 inches.
I worked on it daily in the two-hour art class and any other free time at school. I brought it home on Friday several times and worked on it all weekend. I had to get it done before graduation to get credit for the art class. It’s hard to hurry a large mosaic that needs to look like a painting.
My dad built a frame for it out of some scrap wood he had, and we covered it with burlap. The rope around the edge was Dad’s idea too.
Everyone in the family refers to the mosaic as “Vincent”. It resided at my parents’ home in Ohio for a number of years. When we moved to California, we had a fireplace faced with a brick wall going up to the ceiling that needed something dramatic, so “Vincent” came to the West Coast.
The large size and vibrant colors create the drama. It wouldn’t be the same if it was only 8 x 10 inches.
Humm. . . maybe I should work bigger—I haven’t done that for several years now.