Why mosaic? {making}

I’m not sure. I ask myself this question quite a bit.

I’m better at drawing, great with gouache.

It started by accident, has wavered over the years – 

but I keep returning.

‘Sweet thing’ 2016


There’s less control than using a paintbrush or a pencil. And it’s definitely a snail-paced process.

Mosaic has forced me to be patient, stay flexible, embrace the possibility of change (flicking  pieces off with a knife that have been glued down hard, when they don’t seem to be in the right spot) disregard ideals of perfection and forget all concept of time.

‘Sweet thing’ 2016


Slowing down is good.

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‘Sweet thing’ {making}

It’s just one little moment that gets me moving. Once that moment hits, watch out – this is where I transform into a bull at a gate. The impulse is deep and profound. I immediately start fabricating this girl with glass and smalti from an image I’ve drawn years ago in one of my sketchbooks. Without noticing it before, I’ve ended up filling it with ladies. Life drawing was always my thing, but why always girls? Youthful ladies, faceless, with long limbs, engaged in nano snippets of life.

I imagine ‘young Emily’ in these moments and am drawn to recall how I felt at this age. I remember being these girls. I did these things. In my hometown I remember spending hours laying in the grass, with the sun warming my skin, eyes cast upwards to bluebird skies – and spending time just absorbing the shapes of the clouds – and the closest I’ll ever get to meditation.

 I would naturally empty my mind once the sun hits my face, close my eyes and quietly engage all senses. From time to time, past conversations and moments would seep in. I would shoo them away again. A constant tug of war between remaining present and overthinking things. 

I drew her. Me. Back then.

I moved away from the sun on my face, lying in the grass and a head full of empty thoughts and song, no more cloud absorbing and became a girl with a career. I moved to the big city where I was affectionately  labelled ‘country bumpkin’, ‘sweet’ and ‘naive’- because I was. My street smarts hadn’t kicked in yet. I believed people were good and kind, and ulterior motives didn’t exist. Had no idea about networking, instead just doing my own work.


This happened. I was at a ball in a big puffy skirt like this, but black tulle. I was on the fringe of turning my back on the big city, and moving away. After years of racing in traffic, working hard, and complicated weekends – I longed for simplicity and ease. A slower life again. The undercurrent at the ball was beyond me, and here I was again. ‘Naive’, gangly and ‘sweet’ – I no longer wanted to understand the language of the city, I didn’t want street smarts anymore.

So here – still a work in progress, she is. (She was nearly named ‘Something’s changed’ a nod to Miss Sharon Jones.) ‘Sweet thing’ won out,  her title inspired once again by Van the man (Van Morrison). Listening to this song – I instantly feel warm, comforted, any troubles are instantly put aside, and I remember, the days of lying in the grass.

‘The outdoor type’ {making}

‘Always had a roof above me, always paid the rent…’

Yep, that’s me – but I do love camping, so there Lemonheads! This is about not taking risks. I’ve taken a lot of risks in life, and passed on some too. Didn’t feel right at the time. That happens, nothing detrimental I imagine, I can’t help wondering if things turn out as they should anyway. 

The simple act, of tea in bed, the strange and snuggly feeling of wearing stockings on their own, (sort of like a human glow stick, cold around the edges and snuggly warm in the middle) hot soothing liquid comfort, not overthinking the day, enjoying the quiet – surroundings and mind, the gentle embrace of my favourite place. Bed. I’ve spent evenings like this. 

This image was a fast response to the creative urgency ovulating brings me. And even though I took my time to make this, it’s only once the piece is grouted that I think, ‘Oh shit! I should’ve paid more attention to my cuts and grout lines.’ And to this I say, screw it all! It’s done, am I going to pull it apart and try to fix it? No. And that is now it – move on. Risky. Oh yes.