With an explosion of color and light, whimsical creatures come to life. Contemplate the colors and reflections from stained glass windows in cathedrals in Europe. See vibrant colorful creatures happily dancing in a beautiful garden. This is the realm of excitement and enchantment this mosaic artist hopes to transport you into.
Joanie Callen is a mosaic artist living in Bend. Her love of color, especially strong saturated colors dominate her work. Joanie’s joie de vivre is evident through her use of vibrant glass, colored mirror, dichroic glass and many sparkly objects which are seemingly thrown up in the air and kissed by a rainbow only to land happily on a mirror frame to forever brighten your home and life.
Fascinated with the mosaic art form, Joanie studied classical mosaics in Ravenna, Italy. The technique learned was the ancient Byzantine method of setting tesserae (pieces of glass) directly into a mortar bed. This Italian experience inspired her to translate the ancient technique into a modern interpretation.
Her latest challenge has been to include fused glass and a multitude of complicated beading into her pieces. The latest works have incorporated beautiful fused glass, flowers, stars and various fanciful shapes used to accentuate her creatures.
Joanie is always on the lookout for interesting forms and creatures to apply a multitude of objects in order to create a magical mosaic art sculpture.
“I never really start out with a formalized plan, the creatures seem to create themselves as I move through my process and each one gains a personality all its own. One minute they are plain and lifeless and after adding an eye, an eyebrow, a beaded face or a curly tail, all of a sudden they speak to me and demand to be heard!”
Callen’s work is available through the Red Chair Gallery,
103 NW Oregon Ave, Bend.