Archive for May, 2010

Hiding in Plain Sight (Homage to Klimt)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on May 21, 2010 by Laura Paull

When I came across Klimt’s painting “The Forest” a few years ago I was stunned. I ran to retrieve my old college photo albums. There amidst the fading pages I found my early photographs of birch forests in New Hampshire. I had been fascinated by the knots in the trunks of birches, which looked like eyes. I had strolled through the winter forests with the sense that I was being watched, though not menacingly, and I responded by looking back at the trees with my lens. That was 30 years ago.

When I found the Klimt, I was in love with someone, and it was a secret to all the world. Loving in clandestinity is painful and solitary, and the future is elusive. I spent many months ‘in the woods’ with this piece, looking down at the work table so as not to be looking for him, focusing minutely on what tiny shard of glass would complement the one lying next to it: what color, what shape. I designed it in three panels to surround the fireplace in my bedroom, where I hoped some day to awaken with my love.

And now we do; we open our eyes and gaze into the autumn leaves, and the forest looks back at us, and we are not lost.

Detail, birch forest floor in autumn

In Gustav Klimt’s painting “The Forest,” all the attention is on the rhythmic verticality of the bare trunks. The tops of the trees where the leaves would be are not even in the painting. besides it is autumn, and most of the leaves are on the forest floor. Only a few yellow leaves cling to the branches.


Magic Turtle

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on May 21, 2010 by Laura Paull

Last summer it was  time to do one just for fun. This Galapagos turtle is still waiting to be moved into the spiral garden I am going to create just for him. For that I will need to rip out my front lawn. All the neighborhood will come.

First Fragment

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on May 19, 2010 by Laura Paull

I entered the world of making mosaics in 2003. Quake Mosaics was born this year, in response to  the 2010 earthquakes in Haiti and Chile. I felt it was time to create a site to post and ponder my work so that others might participate in it.

Seeking a name for my enterprise, I  had been thinking of  the way that the ancient civilizations ringing the Mediterranean used and reused the stone and ceramic fragments of buildings destroyed by their wars, to create poignant and impressive tapestries of stone. At the same time, perusing the art books (for I haven’t yet made my pilgrimage to these sites) I noticed that in the event of a building’s destruction,  all that remained standing was often the mosaic wall, as if it were stronger for the technique, for having been rebuilt.

But once Port-au-Prince was reduced to fragments and Concepcion shaken to its foundations, the word “Quake” came to mind as an obvious name. Humanity is helpless when it comes to Earthquakes, our intimate worlds may be entirely shattered ; we are also compelled to rebuild at any cost. Rebuild– or lie down forever.

I am also a “survivor” of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake in the San Francisco Bay Area, by way of earthquake ‘cred’. Some day I will tell that tale.