11 April 2011

Day 4 at the Chicago Mosaic School with Verdiano & Sophie

With Sophie and Verdiano's gentle guiding I made some dramatic changes to the mosaic - changes to the plan I had, the final piece I had envisioned, changes in how I think about mosaic. This mosaic will, I think, be a stronger work, a less rigidly representational piece, a true abstract work (which was my goal). Although it has/will have a very real visual story for me, I think it will be more open for others to create their own stories.

Let me tell you a bit about Sophie and Verdiano...

When I met Sophie a year ago I thought she was a very gracious and warm person. It's was good to learn this week that I was correct. She is one of the most artistically generous people I know... By that I mean that she doesn't hoard her ideas, she doesn't keep secrets from others who want to develop a richer, deeper practice. She doesn't safeguard her preeminence.

And, best of all she's funny and mischievous and devoted to excellence in her art. 

Verdiano. What can I say about Verdiano... He's a strangely wonderful mix of innocence and brilliance. He, like Sophie, shares his whole self, his whole world, with you. Karen said it best Saturday night - "even though we don't share more than a few words, I understand him. I understand him without speaking." [a paraphrase… I cannot recall her exact words – they were much more profound…]

I never saw Verdiano without a smile on his face – well, except for when he was focused on what a student was trying to accomplish. At those times he got this intense, not-quite-a-frown-deep-thought look that signified a total concentration on the task at hand. I don’t know where the man gets his creative energy – he was 100% present for all 5 days.

There are some people who are the universe’s gift to the rest of us… I’m spending time with several of them right now. 

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