Interview with the Artist: PATRICIA ROCKWOOD

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From playful sculptures to huge murals that pay homage to Impressionism, Patricia Rockwood’s mosaic work is truly incredible. B2End spoke with the  Sarasota-based artist recently, about her huge body of work, her love of interior design, and her ever-evolving sources of inspiration! The fun piece above, titled “Plaid!” is featured in the B2End Interiors showroom, along with many other pieces of Patricia’s work.

Check out the interview below, and see more of Patricia’s amazing work on her website, http://patriciarockwood.com/. 

B2End: OK Patricia, first things first, we have got to talk about the bird sculpture,”Plaid!” What an adorable piece – we just love having it in our showroom!

Patricia Rockwood: That was one of the first sculptures I made – part of a series of small birds. Several are showing at Ashby Art & Antiques in Towles Court. When I started the series I wanted to do something different from the flat mosaics that were the norm. I also wanted to experiment with creating a plaid pattern with mosaic tiles. I had a lot of fun with that piece. It also gives some insight into my inspiration sources; nature has always been a huge inspiration, as you can tell from all the birds in my work.

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B2End: What other ways do you stay inspired?

Patricia: What I enjoy most about mosaic work is that it is never boring! I love to work with found objects such as costume jewelry or broken bits of china or toys and I really love seeing where I can fit them into a piece. I also get really inspired by color – especially the beautiful and varied colors of stained glass, which I have worked with quite a lot recently.

B2End: Your work is so varied, you’ve done pieces of furniture, cornices, lighting fixtures…I never knew you could do so many different things with mosaics! 

Patricia: That is one thing I really enjoy about my work, every project is different. I teach mosaics and I often tell my students that mosaics are all about solving problems – each piece presents a new challenge…where will certain objects and materials go, how will the piece come together as a whole, that sort of thing. I really enjoy doing commissions because it is such a joy to create art that my clients can connect with. They have an idea for a piece, and I get to make their vision come alive – often with a surprise or two!

B2End: How important is the art you surround yourself with, in your home or other “loved” space? 

Patricia: I believe every person should only surround themselves with art that connects to them in some way, so when my expression – through my artwork – and their sense of connection come together, it’s a good fit. I believe that the pieces I create should try to complement the room’s aesthetics, but I think artwork should also provide a sort of surprise that pleases the owner every time she looks at it – as well as being a design success.

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B2End: One of your latest works pays homage to Impressionism, and one of the most famous painters of his time, Claude Monet. Will you tell us about this work, seen below? 

Patricia: The Monet pieces were actually a specific request from my clients; they have been to Monet’s garden in Giverney, as well as all the museums, and fell in love with his work. The pieces are both 48″ wide by 40″ high, to fit on a particular wall. When I set about planning the work, it didn’t feel right to think of doing it with small squares of glass, the way I would usually work with stained glass. I wanted something more fluid, that would echo both the water of Monet’s pond and his brushstrokes, so I started cutting these vaguely oval but oddly shaped pieces, and placed them vertically to represent watery areas, and horizontally to represent the lily pads. My clients had picked out two of Monet’s Water Lily paintings in particular, so I chose colors I as close as I could get to those in the original paintings. The stained glass gave us a lot of variations within particular colors, which only enhanced the effect, I think. I didn’t try for exact copies of the paintings; what I wanted to end up with was an impression of Monet’s style and tone.

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B2End: Wow Patricia, thank you so much for sharing a little about your process and your fabulous work! We hope you continue creating for many, many years to come and we can’t wait to see what you come up with next! 

Patricia: Thank you, it’s been a pleasure!

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See more of Patricia’s work on her website: http://patriciarockwood.com/

Find out about Patricia’s latest projects on her blog:
http://www.patriciarockwood.blogspot.com/

Interested in creating your own mosaics? Check out Patricia’s new page, How to Make a Mosaic 

Support Patricia’s work and purchase your own Patricia Rockwood original at her Etsy store!