Art as Dope: My Summer Mosaic, Part III, Wendy DeRaud

As I said, summers in Fresno can be harsh, and in one sense, I was creating my mosaic as a way to escape the heat.

But there was another reason. My husband and I had bought a coffee house business, and it was not going well. We were in over our heads and it was really hard, really disappointing. We were artists trying to be all business-y and it just wasn't us. So I escaped into my mosaic.

It's okay to use art and creativity as an escape mechanism. Many artists have done it over time. Jackson Pollack, Vincent VanGogh, to name a few. The creative act can be accompanied by the abuse of a particular substance. Or not. I chose mosaic art as my substance of choice. What I was trying to get was, in fact, dopamine.

What is dopamine? Dopamine is transmitter in the brain that helps control the brain's reward and pleasure centers. It also helps regulate movement and emotional responses, and enables us to go after those pleasures and rewards. Without enough dopamine activity we may be more prone to addiction.


So it would make sense that during a down-time I would want to go after something to give me the positive feedback and rewards I wasn't getting with my business life.



"Getting dope means you're an addict; achieving dope makes you an artist."   Mark DeRaud                                                                                             



Doing my mosaic that summer helped me achieve dope. I took the broken pieces and put them together in a new way.




I took my collections, tokens of meaningful beach walks in various places, and worked them into my design, incorporating the past into the present moment.




I let myself discover happy surprises as I found a piece of broken tile that fit perfectly into a certain spot I needed to complete.



Some areas spoke out to be filled with a certain color, and my abstract design evolved as the mural itself told me where it wanted to go.




The satisfaction I achieved by way of my artistic dope, helped me get through both the heat and the heartache of that summer. I was determined that something good was going to come out of this difficult time in my life. And it did.


Come back tomorrow to see the final product, and how it looks in my bathroom!


February 10, 2018: The Grand Finale: My Summer of Mosaic, Part IV