Sometimes you meet another mosaic artist and while chatting you realize you have said, “I totally get that!”, five times in the first few minutes of your conversation. That is exactly how I felt when speaking with Cindy White.
Cindy has a wonderfully unique situation where everyone she lives with is creatively inclined, if not an out right professional artists. She lives in an environment which I have had many artists describe as, “an artistic utopia”. Jealous? Yeah, me too! Not to mention she has an entire attic of an old farm house as her studio. (My dream space!)
This got me to thinking and asking… “How cool is it to have so much creativity swirling around you? I love the energy and inspiration I get from working and spending time with other creatives. They add so much to my creative energy and enthusiasm…but what do I bring to theirs?” I work from a home studio, and no longer find myself on Facebook or other social media nearly as much as I used to be, which was not a great deal to begin with. Cindy admits too that she is somewhat reclusive when in her creative process, and we shared that with each other . We enjoy our time alone while creating but need that human contact as well.
Cindy is following her heart in her journey with mosaics and in speaking with her, the happiness and absolute peace she finds in what she does was another one of those, “I totally get that” moments. I could literally feel the energy through the phone lines, and knew there was a reason, beyond an interview, that I was speaking with her at that moment. I needed my bucket filled!
I feel that my creativity is held in a leaky bucket. If I do not fill the bucket, it eventually runs out. I can get it filled by reading, surfing the internet, window shopping, from those I surround myself with, nature, and so many other ways…but it is staring with other artists like Cindy, that I find the most fun. It is also when I am working (or playing), with other artists that I have the opportunity to share my creative journey, and hopefully bring something, even if a simple seed of an idea, to their creative journey.
Enjoy Cindy sharing parts of her journey in mosaics below. And Cindy, thank you for adding inspiration and motivation to my creative journey and filling my creative bucket!
Bohemian Sky by Cindy White
LMA: How and when did you get started in mosaics?
Cindy: I became interested in mosaics when I broke a beloved plate from my sweet Grandmother’s collection handed down to me after she passed away. It was the very popular pattern Blue Willow and the year was 2005. I cried when it broke and thought as I was sweeping it up, there should be something I can do to use this in some way. I searched the internet at the library to find something to do with this broken plate and discovered an artist’s website on mosaics just by typing in the search engine: “what to do with a broken plate”. Seeing a way to make something else from the bits and pieces made my heart sing! Quickly I went to the craft section of the library to get a book on mosaics, so I could learn the basics. It wasn’t long before I had made a few things with that plate, looking for more things to use to create art. I was instantly hooked on creating mosaics!
Wooden Trivet by Cindy White
LMA: Share your creative process with our readers…Where do you start?
Cindy: Almost always I’ll “see” color combinations in my head just before I wake up in the morning. Often, I’ll study a photograph and can visualize it in mosaic form. Sometimes I’ll look at the shape of a bottle and know how to make it into something else entirely and just as useful as the bottle was, it can be an incense holder or put a candle in it or a flower. And still there are times when I’m given the gift from the mosaic muse to see broken things, such as a coffeemaker and know it will become a mosaic candle holder.
Coffee Maker by Cindy White
LMA: How does the work evolve? How do you know you are done?
Cindy: I usually allow the mosaic muse to do the work and almost always see it in my head one way perhaps slowly evolving into something else. But the creative process is tricky and fighting with a thought or idea that’s not working is counterproductive. Stepping out of my mind and rigid thoughts and allowing my hands to just glide from one piece of tess to another is the way I create. Very Zen-like. I almost always listen to music when I work. That can be anything from good old rock and roll to meditative flutes. Sometimes the entire idea is formed before I start, sometimes it starts out as a group of stained glass scraps in specific colors or random colors and odds and ends and it becomes a work of art. Honestly, I don’t always know when I’m finished with a piece. Most times if it’s an abstract, I just keep going until every spot is filled up with something. I’d suppose when I run out of space on what I’m doing … I’m done! :) And it all comes together for me when the piece is grouted. I LOVE grout. It pulls all the fractured pieces together in a way nothing else does (in my opinion). And it’s not likely that I’ll ever stop using grout. It is part of my creative process and something I really do enjoy doing.
Peace Sign by Cindy White
LMA: Where do you see yourself in the future with mosaics?
Cindy: I don’t really know. I’m open to anything that comes along. I’m happy where I am right now and would like that to continue. Lots of good vibes around me right now. A very good thing! But something new or different is welcome in my life as well. I’m open for anything!
LMA: How do you continue to be informed regarding the “mosaic world”?
Cindy: I use the internet every single day. I visit my tribe of friends I connect with but have yet to meet on Facebook and Instagram and see many mosaics in this way. I get newsletters from a few favorites.
LMA: Who do you feel has influenced your work the most? How so?
Cindy: In the art community, one of the first people that I made a soul-connection with was Gemini Moon (Jeanine Molnar) who conveyed a style I knew I’d never equal to but would try to emulate as best as I could. My own style came through eventually, but my favorites pieces of art from my very early years were mostly due to being inspired by Jeanine. She’s got the retro-midcentury modern-bohemian-hippie vibe I absolutely adore. Many of my pieces now seem to resonate a mod vibe of their own. I like it!
LMA: Do you support any charitable causes? Which ones and why?
Cindy: Over the years when asked, I will donate a piece of art to a charity event or organization trying to raise awareness and funds of some sort. Recently I was asked to donate a mosaic heart to . Last year, I donated a mosaic candle holder for a friend and co-worker of my daughter who runs . Much of what I give depends on what I see floating around on Facebook. The links for these are through Facebook.