I consider myself fortunate to live in a coastal area. I find inspiration everywhere, from tiny treasures that wash ashore to awe-inspiring sunsets to the quietly lapping waters of the back bays. I also take a ton of photos. Some pretty good, others maybe not, but most do still serve to inspire me. Sometimes I will combine the elements of several photos into one concept for a piece of art. That’s what I did for The Fog.
I live within walking distance to Arnica Bay, an offshoot of Perdido Bay which is part of the Intracostal Waterway system. Sometimes, the fog rolls in, blanketing everything in the tiniest of fine misty white droplets. So much so, that you cannot see across the bay. This piece started with a photo, that I then tweaked with an art app on my Ipad.
I will sometimes take liberties with what may not be an accurate representation of the colors around me or in my photo. I had some unusual elements that I also wanted to incorporate, so I also “cheated” a bit with my composition and added some seagulls. I love the way their dimension casts a shadow.
Below is a video of how the piece evolved, with each edit representing around one hour’s worth of work. Unlike a painting, it can be rather difficult to change your mind about the direction of a mosaic, and sometimes be pretty annoying when you have to pry up what you may consider a mistake. You can see that this happened a few times with this piece.
Although literally The Fog represents local terrain, there is a deeper meaning to this piece. My sweet mother made it to the age of ninety and died just months before I began this piece. Of course, she was on my mind as I created it. My mother was a single mom for much of her lifetime and very resourceful with her limited income. She was a gifted teacher, intelligent, and patiently kind. A few years before turning ninety, the ravage of dementia appeared, robbing her of her once envied mind. I am grateful that she remained communicative and could still recognize me before she died, but it was heartbreaking to watch her mind fade. As I created this piece, I could not help but think of the analogy to "the fog of dementia." Below is the accompanying poem, which for me alludes to the way there are moments of clarity with dementia when "nothing is wrong" and then suddenly something misfires and the moment is gone.
Like a stealthy morning fog
That sneaks in to bathe the unsuspecting.
It swirls, taunts, and envelops,
Then retreats to prepare for another certain ambush.
Stolen moments of brilliance surface to
Cleave the murkiness
Claiming a celebrated,
But provisional victory.
The Fog is currently available at Coastal Art Center of Orange Beach.
Thanks for stopping by,