Aidan Hart on How to Make a Mosaic

The English iconographer, Aidan Hart, has completed a series of wonderful mosaics for St George’s Orthodox Church in Houston Texas. I have just read this long article in the Orthodox Arts Journal about it.

Aidan describes the process by which he made the mosaics, right down to creating the tesserae out of glass. He writes with care and attendtion to detail and it is beautifully illustrated. The article is so thorough, that one wonders if this is going to appear as an additional chapter in his book the method of egg tempera and wall painting (a book that might be already the best art instruction book that I have read).

Aidan is primarily a painter and so his success in mosaic demonstrates a point for anyone interested in being an artist. The fundamental skills of art are those aspects other than the mastery of the medium – drawing and then the use of colour, tone and line; and compositional design. Once these have been mastered then they can be applied in any medium.

It is better to learn to be an artist while becoming a master in one medium only, for example egg tempera painting. Once this has been mastered, then applyng those skills in a new medium becomes relatively easy. It is a mistake, I believe, to focus on too many media in the training stage as learning each new medium becomes a distraction from focussing on the underlying skills of creativity in visual art.

This is quite an old article (it is dated May 4th) although it’s content is timeless). I became aware of it because it rose to the top of one of the categories in the newly packaged website. Read the full article here.

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