Cheryl Sorg

I’ve been known to say that the novel is my favorite art form, because a novel is art you can rub your face in. While most visual artwork captures one feeling, or a moment in time, a novel encompasses an entire narrative, which you can see from the point of view of any character. Every important word, thought, scene, sound, taste, is included in a novel. I eat this up, and one of my greatest aspirations is to create a work of art like that.

The rub with writing an art blog is that it is hard to convey my particular art form in a palatable snippet. The nature of the novel, it’s breadth, interwoven structure, subtle and towering plot arch, resist being reduced to a blurb. Which is why you won’t find novel excerpts on this site, even though I love the novel above all other art.

Today I found an artist who loves words and stories the way I do, but whose work expresses wordy art into a visual form. I give you Cheryl Sorg. Don’t be fooled by the magazine cover on the homepage, the website is written in English.

Booklover Thumbnail Portrait

Cheryl Sorg physically deconstructs books and makes them into visual art, both 2D and 3D. If you check out her website you’ll find not only wall hangings, but sculptures and furniture made from the actual printed words of great books. I’ve seen some word art out there, but this is the first kind of word art that I feel is so faithful to the original art form (literature) without sacrificing any of the beauty or simplicity of visual art.

Another fun fact about Cheryl Sorg, is that these thumbnail portraits are custom made for each buyer. So you can order a portrait like the one above that utilized the pattern of your actual thumbprint, as well as tailoring the words and titles to your particular interests. I just love that, the infinitude of a project like that, and the idea of having a piece of artwork that is not only beautiful, but deeply a part of who I am.

Artist Profile: David Chidgey

After over a week of being out with a summer plague of some kind, I have emerged to see the light and some awesome new artwork. Today David Chidgey, whose awe-inspiring mandala was featured on this blog a couple weeks ago, has agreed to do an artist profile. He has some great stuff to say and a beautiful image of his work to share.

1) What do you love about your medium?
Mosaic is the perfect art medium for me. Throughout my life, I have been drawn to things that were unique and/or beautiful, yet somehow broken or incomplete. In things that others throw away, I see possibility and creative potential. It’s a type of beauty that really speaks to me. With the mosaic medium, materials are usually broken or cut and then reassembled to express an idea or feeling or , as is often the case, provide ornamentation. So it makes sense that my affinity for the broken and fragmented would eventually lead to my love of mosaics.

2) Describe a piece of artwork that you find superficial or boring.
In the world of mosaics, there is a range of work from the extraordinary to the simple and mundane. Mosaics, that are created using small uniform square tiles, are what I think many people imagine when they hear the word mosaics. Technically, a mosaic process has been used because small pieces (i.e. the uniform tile) are put together to form a whole. However, I often see this type of mosaic as only a wall or floor covering and not really art. The reflection of the artist in the mosaic is missing. It doesn’t draw me in to look closely, explore, and/or react.

3) When did you first call yourself an artist, and why?
I had been creating my small mosaic mandalas for several years when I got a commission for two garden mosaics for a residence outside of New York City. The landscape architect and client flew me up to the site to help in the selection of the color of iridescent glass tile that was to be used. Upon arriving at the site, the landscape architect introduced me to the general contractor and client as “the artist from Texas”. I remember wondering who in the world was she referring to and then it struck me that she was talking about me! In that split second, I recognized for the first time that I truly was an artist. And since then, I have never looked back or had second thoughts. It is just who I am. Here is one of the completed mosaics.

4) Describe an artist and/or piece of work that you find consistently inspiring.
There are two mosaic artists that I consistently find inspiring. The first is Ilana Shafir. She has been an artist all of her life and in the last two decades has devoted herself to the language of mosaics. She is internationally known for creating mosaic murals/panels that incorporate ceramic elements that she makes, natural stone/materials, and the broken, discarded ceramics of others. The resulting organic forms transport the viewer to a whole new world. Ilana is in her eighties and lives in Israel.
The second mosaic artist that I find inspiring is Kelly Knickerbocker. She came to the world of mosaics after taking a mosaic workshop in 2005. I feel she exemplifies the most important rule for professional artists. Show up and do your “work”. This daily commitment of the artist to his or her craft is what accelerates personal artistic growth. (Yes, even if you are not inspired or motivated.)

5) What is your unique purpose for creating work?
I am not sure that I know what my unique purpose is for creating my work other than to share myself with the world and to play.

David Chidgey

I am super excited about today’s artwork by the great David Chidgey. It is both a mosaic, and a mandala, both of which are awesome forms, and this one is just so amazingly beautiful. Check it out.


David Chidgey does amazing work with stained glass mosaic. I’m really impressed at how his work is consistently lovely in a way that just gets me in the chest, and that he has a great range of forms and mediums incorporated into his mosaic work. This is his Flickr page, which is worth looking at because it has some photos of the work being created which I really enjoy, and you might too.