Artwork > 2017 Beyond Borders: mosaic auction

Madame Bovine
by Kim Larson
Madame Bovine
by Kim Larson

Auction#184

Dimension: 9" x 9.5" / 22.8cm x 24cm, hanging sculpture

Tesserae: Mirrored & iridescent stained glass

I am born...
“I started out life in the wilds of Western New York, outside of Buffalo. I know you’ve heard the cruel and mocking jokes about Buffalo getting 6 months of winter. Well they’re wrong! It’s more like 9 months, followed by 3 months of humidity and mosquitos. During the humid times, I loved to play catch with my father. Football was my passion. But during the winters, I would make art. I had a talent for learning art materials easily. People liked my art. I also had a talent for playing football.”

Time passes...
“Now as a girl becomes a teen, questions of her future are asked...like ‘What are you going to do for a job?’ I would always answer ‘I want to play football or be an artist’. Neither answer ever got a very supportive response from the grown-ups around me. But soon it became clear to me (for reasons that had nothing to do with my awesome playing-catch skills) that a lucrative football career wasn’t in the cards. But never did I hear the words ‘lucrative’ and ‘artistic career’ said in the same sentence either. Nevertheless, I put my football dreams away and went to college for art.”

My eyes are opened...
“I left college after two years having had it up to here with the whole scene! I went back home and started to follow my own artistic path by doing pleine air painting in the countryside around my house. (I still have these paintings, actually).”

A career blossoms...
“Soon, though, I moved myself and my art supplies to San Francisco and met a graphic artist friend who needed an assistant. Thank goodness because I was going to starve soon. My ability to learn new art materials and concepts came to the forefront, though, and I learned the job quickly. And so began a 30 year career as a graphic designer and computer artist.”

Damn career...
“As anyone who has been a graphic artist knows, jobs come and go...businesses go bust and workers get laid off. When I would get laid off, I would use my free time to make art. Any kind of art. Crazy wooden animal tables, drawings of my pets...anything. (Seriously, come over and see them, they are all over my house.)”

Mosaics appear...
“In 2005 I lost my final graphic art job when the business moved to China. Screw it, I thought! I pushed aside thoughts of football and ‘what might have been’, and started to explore my new city, Oakland. I came upon a store called ‘Mosaic Studio Supply’. I asked myself ‘What is a mosaic studio and what does it need to be supplied with?’ So I went inside, got inspired, ran home, broke some plates and stuck them to a piece of wood with Elmer’s Glue. I was hooked.”

The art of mistakes...
“Since that time I have made many mosaics - from fine art, to sculptures, to large-scale murals. I also taught a few classes at Institute of Mosaic Art in Berkeley. I love this art form because you almost can’t go wrong. I feel that, no matter my skill level, it is a series of mistakes that I, as the artist, capitalize on. I never feel I get it ‘right’; I just go from one questionable cut, one imperfect outcome, to another. And so it goes until the piece ebbs and flows and is finished. Mosaics are a lot like life in that way. Fortunately for me, people enjoy, and buy, what I make and that’s why I continue doing it. (I still enjoy football too.)”

Kim Larson Art
Website: kimlarsonart.com
Blog: kimlarsonart.blogspot.com
Flickr Photos: flickr.com/photos Kim Larson
California, USA