A Tale of Two Artists

The following is a work of art created by an up-and-coming Jordanian mosaic artist:

photo 1

OK, so maybe it wasn’t created by an actual artist, or an actual Jordanian.  I made it.  A while back the embassy sponsored a mosaic making class.  A mosaic artist came and taught us the old fashioned way of making mosaics by cutting our own tiles from natural stone, creating the image backward and using water and flour as paste.  It was fun and we were all enlightened as to how difficult the process really is.  In case your wondering, my mosaic depicts an ancient Arab housing complex; though it looks more like something out of a bad horror movie.  The best part of my mosaic is the palm tree.  I didn’t actually do that part.  In a moment of frustration I stood up, turned to the teacher, told him I was going to the restroom and that I expected the palm tree to be finished by the time I got back.  And the palm tree was magically waiting for me when I returned from the loo, which is why it looks so much better than the rest of the scene.

But this post isn’t just about me and my natural artistic talents.  So here is an item from the second mosaic artist featured in this post:

photo 2

This mosaic, given to me by my sweet husband for Mother’s Day, was created by an artist who works for the famous Osama of Madaba.  Madaba, a town just south of Amman, is one of the great mosaic centers of the Middle East.  Tree of Life mosaics are very popular here.  The two most commonly reproduced being the Madaba Tree of Life:

madaba

And the Jerico Tree of Life:

jerico

My mosaic is a new design depicting Lehi’s dream of the Tree of Life from The Book of Mormon.  Apparently enough buyers want the Lehi Tree of Life that Osama has them displayed in his downtown shop.

But I have strayed from the original intent of this post.  This wasn’t meant to be a post on Tree of Life images from the Levant region.  It was meant to highlight two very talented artists: me and the nameless artist who created by Mother’s Day gift.  Both of whom are obviously extremely gifted.

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6 comments

  1. Cindy Murphree · May 14, 2014

    Hi Erin,

    Thanks for the inspiration! We’re moving soon from Cambodia to Jordan and I had been on the fence a little about bringing all my mosaic stuff. I was fortunate enough to learn a bit about the art when we lived in Brunei a few years ago. I haven’t been working on it much, but my husband was encouraging me to bring it since there is such a rich history of the art all around that area. Maybe we can even break some tiles together!

    ~Cindy

    • Erin · May 14, 2014

      Cindy, Bring your tile gear! The mosaics here really are lovely. You will be amazed. If there are any questions you have about Jordan, I’m happy to answer them for you. And we’re all jealous that you have lived in Cambodia.

      • Cindy Murphree · May 14, 2014

        Will do! — and that’s very kind of you on the questions. We have two teens (17 and 15) that would probably like to meet up with your crew. Feel free to contact me “off-line” at murphreeglobal@yaho.com.

  2. Holly · May 15, 2014

    Great post, Erin!

  3. Stephanie Johnson · May 15, 2014

    A tree of life mosaic–it’s fabulous. What are the dimensions. I’m not usually envious, but I’m 20 shades of green right now. Jason hit it out of the park.

    • Erin · May 15, 2014

      Steph, it’s about 15″x21″.

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