I was born into a family of artists. Both my mother and my sister were creative and talented in their mediums, the latter infuriatingly so. When you’re surrounded by that level of ability it’s easy to assume — as I did — that the artistic gene was somehow generation-skipping.
I started doing mosaics in about 2004, when my youngest child turned sixteen and could transport herself independently. It was the dawn of the empty-nest phase in our household and I found myself with a lot of time on my hands. A friend suggested I join her in taking a class from a well-regarded Mosaicist, Yulia Hanansen, who happened to have an mosaic studio in our town. That, as it turns out, was where my own artistic journey began in earnest.
When I look at the body of my work (not the really early stuff, mind you, you will not see those on this site), I see several themes. Clearly I am obsessed with water and reflectivity (or more specifically, with the effect of wind — or lack thereof — on water). I’ve had fun doing garden scenes and home/garden combos. Leaves, trees, and forests have been the focus of many of my pieces, as have various forms of wildlife, including ospreys, hawks, and owls, and, oddly, mice. Lately, mosaic portraiture has been a bit of an obsession. Then there are the idiosyncratic pieces that really don’t fit into any category. Every now and then I switch to making stained glass panels, a nice break which enables me to keep my glass cutting skills in top form (and helps me justify having a cool ring saw.)
Over time I’ve learned to pay much more attention to light and shadow, and I believe it has made a notable difference in the evolution of my work. It certainly has helped me understand better how to achieve photo-realism in mosaic.
Finally, yes, I do take commissions, and I also donate some of my pieces to benefit various nonprofits. If either of these interests you, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Mary C. Driver
Jacksonville, OR USA