Mystery artists inspire mosaics by Betsy Gallery in Santa Barbara, CA

About 25 years ago at a Santa Barbara, CA thrift shop I bought nine children’s drawings of animals made on cheap blue sheeting with magic markers.  At the time a screen printer, I replicated the enchanting designs on aprons. Now I have made them into nine individual mosaics.

The original drawings have each child’s first name and one drawing has a last name.  The child artists’ names are: Valentino, Lynn, Brooke, Cameron, Peter, Alexie, Amy, Kristen and Nicole Barrett. A two full-page illustrated article in the Santa Barbara News-Press on Sunday, April 28, 2013 and an exhibit of the drawings and mosaics at Santa Barbara's Art from Scrap resulted in several people identifying many of the artists and filling me in on some of their current lives. One is a doctor, another lives in London another is a graphic artist. The original drawings were a kindergarten project to make a quilt, which ended up on a Caribbean island where the humidity ruined it.

 But the images live on in mosaics created with hand-made Italian glass smalti from the Orsoni foundry in Venice, Italy.  I cut  the mosaic glass using the traditional ammer and hardie. They are  then cast into thinset mortar using the double-reverse technique I learned in Ravenna, Italy at Luciana Notturni's Ravenna School of Mosaic Art. Yet the mosaics are light-weight enough to hang on a wall, and come prepared with secure wires. 

I teach the use of smalti at the Santa Barbara School of Mosaic Art where many other workshops are available.

Here are two of the mosaics from the kindergarten class of 1985 at Marymount Elementary School in Santa Barbara, CA.  To view the other seven mosaics, please see the "Inspired By" section of my website.