Any artistic vision begins with the source of its inspiration. Inspiration can come from many places, from events to people to the odd way the rain caresses the leaves of your garden. But just as important as the source of your inspiration is what you do with that inspiration.
Christine Hume, a Mosaic artist from Almonte, Ontario, in Canada, has found a way to take inspiration from many different sources and not only use it to create great art but also to give back to the community as a teacher, as a collaborator, and as a business person.
Christine first discovered mosaics back in 2014, at the Italian Festival in Montreal, Quebec. There, she found an outdoor booth set up by Suzanne Spahi of Mosaikashop. “I was drawn to the booth like a magnet – and picked up her card. I was compelled to visit her studio shortly afterwards...”. And after just one weekend workshop, she was hooked, and she’s been creating mosaic art ever since.
While initially self-taught, she’s taken many in-person classes and online courses with teachers as close as Quebec and as far as Italy. She also learned John Sollinger’s “Fluid Double Reverse Technique” in a one-on-one zoom consultation.
But it’s really the other people in the mosaic community, the artists and the teachers, that have helped inspire her and her work. From them, Christine has been able to grow her own talent through courses and collaborations.
She mentions Rachel Sager’s collaborative mosaic projects at the Ruins, Rachel Davies’ demonstration of the endless possibilities for creating mosaics with slate, and the Scottish mosaic artist Helen Miles’ “great blog and many inspirational videos.”
She also finds inspiration from her first teacher, Suzanne Spahi, with whom she has participated in two projects:
- The Rainbow of Hope
- The Roses of Carrara Project
Not only have these teachers inspired Christine, but they’ve also broadened her community by introducing her to the British Association for Modern Mosaics (BAMM), through which she’s since participated in prompts and make-along sessions.
With all this inspiration, she has developed a style that revolves mainly around stained glass (for glass on glass and glass on stone mosaics).
But she’s also “totally keen on learning about and trying different materials.” She wants to try making her own stone tesserae, learning how to use smalti, and she plans on taking a course on pebble mosaics this winter.
After retiring, Christine decided to expand her role in the mosaic community by becoming a mosaic artist-in-residence. “I figured it would give me an opportunity to do what I love (creating mosaics) plus travel affordably, meet like-minded people and have great experiences.”
For the past four years, she’s gone to Windermere, Ontario as an artist-in-residence with the organization Muskoka Chautauqua. There, she’s taught mosaic workshops for both adults and children, while earning an honorarium.
She also taught a “Mosaic Art on Stone” workshop at the Crow’s Rest Retreat near Wakefield, Quebec, last summer.
Not limiting herself to only Canadian events, in November 2021, Christine travelled to Listowel, Ireland to act as an artist-in-residence at the Olive Stack Gallery. She describes this trip as “the experience of a lifetime.”
She worked at the Gallery assisting customers, taught two workshops, and created two glass-on-glass mosaic pieces, three mosaic roses for the “Roses for Carrara Project,” and three mosaics on stone.
And the entire residency culminated in a showing of her and another artists’ work called “Creating Every Moment.”
Beyond her role as an artist-in-residence, Christine has also been engaging with the mosaic community online and locally.
She has her own Instagram page, “Christine Mosaics,” where she posts images of her mosaic work and stories about her creative journey. You can also find her on Facebook for more detailed posts about the creative process around her mosaics.
Locally, she’s started teaching Mosaic workshops for a creative arts business J.B. Arts. She’s also hosted a Mosaic on Stone workshop/mini creativity retreat at a local friend’s house. This event was so well-received she’s already had to create a wait list for the next session.
But with all the work she’s done, she still finds time to explore a variety of other mosaic organizations and projects.
She’s a member of Contemporary Mosaic Art 2 (CMA2). She’s recently joined Mosaic Artists of Canada. And she subscribes to Mosaic & Glass, which she uses to connect with other mosaic artists around the world.
While in her own words, working on different mosaic projects is a great way of “pushing myself to learn new techniques and how to prepare mosaics properly (and pack them for shipping) for installation at another location.”
These projects include:
- The Ruins Feather Project – where she created a female Eastern Bluebird mosaic alongside a fellow artist’s male Eastern Bluebird mosaic.
- The Ruins Patch House Project – where she created three different stone quilt mosaics, alongside 120 other mosaic artists.
- The Diversity Mosaic Mural Project – where she created several mosaic hearts, in colours of the rainbow, for the Orlando, Florida based project.
Ultimately, she’d like to lead her own community mosaic project, and she continues to volunteer with other projects as she learns the process for herself.
“I am intuitively following a creative journey and path – and am enjoying experiences I am having along the way.”
Christine Hume’s inspiration has helped her discover a passion, create beautiful art, and become an active member of the mosaic community. She has collaborated on projects around the world and provided her service as an artist-in-residence at local and international events.
And for anyone interested in following in her footsteps, she has three mantras that have helped her on her journey:
Connect with Christine:
Artsycrafts is collecting stories to help spread the joy of mosaic art and build the mosaic community across Canada. If you’d like to share your own mosaic journey, please send an email to email@example.com