I’ve been talking about my current mosaic project for about six months now.  Now finally, it is finished.

I found this mosaic rather difficult.  Well, actually that is a bit of an understatement, I found it almost impossible.  “I can’t do this” was my constant refrain.  Sometimes I completed only 2sq centimetres per day., but bit by bit I got it done.

I made this mosaic for my friend, D, who fund-raises for orangutan conservation.  Habitat destruction has led to rapid a decline in orangutan populations.  The Bornean orangutan is endangered, while the Sumatran orangutan is critically endangered.

D and I had an initial discussion about the mosaic being raffled or auctioned at one of The Orangutan Project‘s fund-raising nights.  But I really hope D keeps it herself.  She could make a donation toward orangutan conservation, don’t you think?  Mosaicing is hard on the body.  I have to stand up and lean over to work on them.  I may only have a half-dozen mosaics left in me.

Ceramic and porcelain tiles are my favourite media.  I love how they twinkle and reflect the light.  However, what attracts me is also what makes them difficult to photograph.  This photo (taken in a dark room to cut down on glare) does not do the mosaic justice.  The colours are not true, but you’ll get the general idea.  It is designed to be seen from afar, so make sure you stand at a distance when you look at it.  I really do like the baby’s eyes and the mother’s nose.

red ape
A Mother’s Love (30x40cm tile on board)

Kind Regards

Response to the Ragtag Daily PromptShard.  Click on the link to join in.


98 thoughts on “Bit By Bit

  1. Tracy, you are such an amazing artist! This touches my heart! You have totally captured the love between a mother and child in each of their eyes. If I were your friend, I’d be keeping it and making a donation. But, I think auctioning it would bring a good amount to such an important cause.

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  2. Oh, Tracy! This is sooo beautiful!!! I knew we were in for a treat when you talked about making this mosaic but this is just stunning! If I had made it myself I could never part with it, except for, as you say when it would help giving money to this very important cause of preserving habitats for orang-utans. It was well worth the countless hours and aching back – totally get those by the way. And I really hope you will have far more than half a dozen in you left! You´re an amazing artist, my friend! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You´re very welcome, Tracy, and I mean it – you´re a wonderful artist! Wish we would live closer together, then I would try bartering with you about swapping paintings and mosaics. 😉 Happy weekend, my friend!

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  3. You’ve done the impossible! The hardest thing, you as artist would know, is to get the eyes right. You’ve captured the dynamics between mother and child by eyes alone! I’d raise my hand up for this in auction! Just stunning.

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  4. As well as the wonderful way you’ve captured the expressions of these amazing creatures Tracy, I like the way you’ve blended the colours to achieve just the right effect for their hair. I can see what a labour of love this was, so congratulations on finishing it so perfectly. I hope your friend keeps the mosaic as it’s something to treasure.

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    1. Thank you so much, Jane. I’ve been overwhelmed by the wonderful comments I’ve got from everyone. What has been especially gratifying is that people have picked up on aspects of my work that are central to my art practice. When I first started learning the craft, I would often complain about the limited range of colours available in tiles. I’ve collected quite a few colours over the years, but inevitably I never have that one colour/shade. that I know would be just perfect. My perspective completely changed when I went to see an exhibition of impressionist paintings at the National Gallery. I spent an age looking at Cezanne’s Haystacks, looking at it up close and then from a distance. I was in love. It really helped me understand how I could give an impression of a colour by blending different colours. So thank you for seeing that. It means a lot to me. Regards. Tracy.


  5. I love it. There is something about it that reminds me of stained glass; i think it’s the fractured expressionism of the piece. mosaics are cool, and it’s easy to see how much work you’ve put into it. Very cool!

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    1. Thank you, Mary. I’ve no idea what fractured expressionism is. I’ve had no art training. I’ll have to look it up. I’m assuming it is a good thing. 🙂 I guess it is a bit like stained glass. I don’t use glass because of my dogs. The ceramic is very unpredictable at times in the way it breaks. I like how organic that can look. Thanks again. ❤

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      1. don’t worry about “fractured expressionism”. I made it up. Expressionism is an art term and it was the art movement that followed Impressionism. I like Franz Marc — he was a German Expressionist. If I understand it right, Expressionism is about expressing the emotional feel of an image rather than the reality of it. It’s subjective — more about creating a mood, expressing an emotion, or bringing out an idea. Fractured I used because mirrors, stained glass, mosaics art have that element. I probably should have said Cubism or Fractured Cubism? I think Picasso was considered Cubist. I understand about staying away from glass. I like stained glass but don’t do it because would worry about shards and my cats. I like mosaics too but have never tried it. I think of ancient mosaics as one of the both ancient and long lasting art forms. Becauase didn’t some mosaics survive from ancient Greek times?

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  6. Reblogged this on Art Expedition and commented:
    As I´ve pointed out before, as an artist I feel most drawn to any kind of visuals and can´t get enough of admiring the fantastic works by other artists that often inspire me.

    One of these artists is Tracy from over at Reflections of An Untidy Mind. Like me she shares a deep love for all kind of animals and often shares beautiful photos from the Australian wildlife, flora and fauna on her wonderful blog.

    I think it is here that she draws the most inspiration from for her beautiful pieces of art.

    In this post I want to share with you one of her stunning and beautiful mosaics, the portrait of a mother orang-utan with her child.

    The instant I saw it, it just took my breath away and I fell utterly in love with it. I hope – no, I’m sure! – you will feel the same.


    Liked by 1 person

  7. Tracy, I came here by way of Sarah’s Art Expedition and am so glad she introduced you. Your art is extraordinary and this piece is exquisite and tender. The baby orang touching his mother’s nose as if asking for reassurance,as all babies do, that all will be well with the world. You’re brilliant not only in the color selection but also in the powerful application of tile shapes and sizes to emphasize the orangs’ fur and the background. I do hope you’re able to find the strength to continue the mosaic process as you’re a true master. If not, I know you’ll find another medium to express yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Sharon. Thank you for dropping by on Sarah’s recommendation. I must have found your blog too, through Sarah. She is wonderful like that. Also thank you for such positive feedback. Those things you’ve mentioned, like shapes and sizes, are all rather painstaking parts of the process, so it is nice to have someone notice those small details. I think I will do a couple of smaller pieces before tackling something more challenging. Although I don’t seem to be able to help myself making them more complicated than need be. Kind regards. Tracy.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. This is such a beautiful piece Tracy. How you have captured the bond between mother and child in mosaic astounds me. I guess by nowuou’ll know if your friend kept the work or auctioned it. If it were me, I could not bear to part with it and would be making a donation. I hope that whatever happened, the work itself is seen widely as part of the campIgn to save orangutans.
    You are so talented, and I do hope you can find ways to continue working without pain.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Su. I’m so glad Sarah gave it a second run. You must have been on holiday when I first posted it – January being not such a great time for doing that, but I was bursting with excitement when I completed it so I couldn’t wait until the timing was better.

      My friend hasn’t seen it yet. Not in real life anyway. She’s been busy caring for elderly parents. But we plan to get together next week.

      I am so glad you like it. I think it is sheer laziness holding me back from the next project at the moment Still the drawing is nearly done Yay. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My presence on WP has been a bit random lately; outside life has been waay too busy and not always in a good way.
        I never get as much done over summer as I want to — heat and especially humidity totally sap me of energy.
        I’m sure your friend will love the work. And it will be an especially lovely treat since she’s been so busy caring for her folks.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Now, that’s a creative and really beautiful piece of art. So much work but the final result is worth it! I agree with Sarah, you are very talented. I knew that already but I had to tell you, again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Dominque (I hope I got that right?). Mother goose here thinks all her babies (mosaics) are adorable, so I am thrilled when other people think so too.

      BTW, congratulations on your sustainable fashions website. Throw-away fashions do nothing for me, so it nice to see some lovely things that can last for many, many years.
      Regards. Tracy.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you Tracy. Your mosaics are indeed original and inspiring. And I agree with you about fast fashion. it does nothing for me either. It bothers me to see how many clothes end up in the garbages each year. What a waste! If people bought quality clothes, wore them longer than a few weeks and learned how to transform them, our planet would be much better. The garment industry also has a lot of efforts to make so that the products are more socio-eco-friendly. There has been some progress in recent years. But if we really want to change things, it has to start with our consumption habits. Best regards. – Dominique

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