Mosaics have been around forever, beautifying houses of worship, public spaces, and private homes. I wonder who the first person was who picked up some pebbles, separated them by color, and then arranged them in a pattern. This well known mosaic of the Tabgha chapel, on the shores of the Sea of Galilee in Israel, depicts the Biblical account of Jesus feeding the 5000 with five loaves and two fish. The unknown artist who created this mosaic, used marble of different colors. I love how this simple design with strong graphic appeal tells the story and also in such a beautiful setting. The Tabgha fish and loaves may be marble, but artists have been using other materials such as ceramic, glass, sea shells, and all kinds of found objects to create mosaics for thousands of years.
The cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum were well known for their mosaics. But not to be outdone by the ancient Romans, San Simeon (Hearst Castle) in California is an amazing and over the top example of this art form.
Fortunately you don't have to be rich or famous to have fun with mosaics. My 7th grade students made some using squares cut from magazines. It's surprising how much glossy magazine paper can look like glazed tile. Along with these small mosaics, they also made a mural sized tiger using the same method
Some High School students in McAllen, Texas created these mosaics to enhance the new hike and bike trail along the old 2nd Street canal. The Riverwalk in San Antonio also has mosaics embedded in some of the concrete embankments and drainage areas. How much nicer that is instead of bare concrete!
I upcycled this garage sale coffee table by designing a mosaic for the top. It was in good shape so I just spray painted the top a dark brown. Next, I drew my design in chalk. The tiles are cut from old cookie tins, discount store Christmas popcorn tins, and other random tin things I found at garage sales. It took forever and my hands were really sore, but I'm pleased with the results.
I am an artist who specializes in watercolors. I also love to travel and find inspiration in those special places and with the interesting people I meet along the way.