Six hours today at Gateway Mall plus the four yesterday has yielded amazing progress on the mosaic. I couldn't be more pleased as to where we are in the process of creating this piece in the span of just nine days. I brought in two ice cream buckets full of blue glass today and by 4 pm we were down to the small pieces. We continued to invite the public to place blue glass but also let some go ahead and begin on the green. Since that wasn't in the game plan for the day, it was a bit stressful letting go of the green area on the mosaic, but it is all necessary if the art is to get finished. With so many pieces of glass placed, I wonder where did all the helpers come from. How did we place so many pieces on today?
I marvel again at all the help. Fellow artists, some I have known for years and consider good friends, have come and put many hours in to helping with the mosaic and encouraging people to jump in and participate. I am thankful for their continued help, encouragement, and support.
Today, I met two other mosaic artists, one from Lincoln and one from Kentucky. The lady from Lincoln read an article in the paper about what we were doing at Gateway and came to take part. She stayed well over two hours placing glass and chatting with people. She made some great headway on the piece. The other lady, from Kentucky, was just passing through on a trip with her husband. We talked mosaic materials, mosaic projects, and life stories. So glad to have met her.
I encountered a number of creative people today. People who were either in school studying art or who worked on projects like robotics and other technical arts.
One thing I am aware of in this process, is how much effort and courage it takes for me to talk to each person who comes to the project. Each time, I have a choice to make - will I talk with this person or put my head down, work on the project, and let them walk away. Each time, I have a choice to make about whether I will engage in conversation with them. It is even more difficult if I am tired and overwhelmed. This is where I must stay dependent on God as my source of strength. If not for His energy and strength, I would work and never notice the people around me. And I am discovering that starting the conversation is the hardest part, after that it's merely listening, asking questions, and listening some more. I must say though that ever conversation is worth it in the end.
I'm tired tonight, so it's time to turn in and get rested for a long day working tomorrow. I will end with, yes, "Jo" did show up for his daily hug again. I will miss him when this project is over this time next week. Until then, I will do my best to make the most of each encounter.
Ann has worked as a professional artist since 2006. She currently works on her own studio artwork as well as large, commercial works and with other artists in any way she can.