I was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois where from an early age I became
interested in various forms of artistic expression. As a teenager I won awards for my works
in acrylics and batik and as a young adult I ventured into fashion and owned a floral design
business. I enjoyed the creative release, yet I continued to yearn for more. After suffering
a traumatic brain injury in a car accident, my passion for art came to a halt for a few years
while I re-learned how to do everyday things. I joked that I had a "mosaic mind", never
realizing I was foreshadowing my finding the wondrous world of mosaic art. I began by
assembling children's jigsaw puzzles and as my brain re-learned old tricks, I gradually
built up to bigger puzzles until I was back to being able to assemble 5,000 piece puzzles.
I began my mosaic journey where many mosaic artists do, turning damaged china plates
into tiles and practicing the French form of mosaics called "pique assiette". To this day
it remains one of my favorite forms of mosaic art. I love that I can take something
damaged and give it a second life.
My love of texture led me to begin creating fine art panels that were laden with chunky smalti
from Italy and Mexico and peppered with millefiori from Italy. I'm constantly trying out new techniques to try to top myself and squeak
in even more textural elements into my work.
When I was a child I was quite taken with National Geographic magazine. I was struck with the fact that despite having so little in the
way of material things, there were parts of the world where people were adorning their faces with "paint" in elaborate designs.
Those memories have stayed with me and were the inspiration behind my ongoing series of mosaic masks.
I continue to enjoy to paint as well and seem to gravitate towards bold abstracts. They best represent my thought process....big,
vibrant, overlapping thoughts.
Photography allows me to capture life in action. I tend to favor macro nature shots and finding textures and found objects that when
shot a certain way become fine art.
In 2015, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. It turns out I had had it for over a decade. As the disease takes hold of my body,
my art will continue to evolve.
When I'm not in my studio I enjoy spending time with my family, cooking, relaxing in the arboretum, watching romantic comedies and
exploring the world. I feel the world is one big ever changing canvas and there's always new masterpieces waiting to be
discovered. And lastly, I believe people should be good to other living beings and help when/where they can.
Mistflower Studio is located in Downers Grove, IL.
Meet the Mistflower Studio mascots!
|All digital photographs and mosaic designs copyright ©2002-2020 Valerie Fuqua.
Sadie Sue Chloe Magoo Spike