I have become an infrequent blogger. It's not because I am less committed, but maybe I have exhausted my supply of material. Sometimes I think I should recycle some of my old posts. Sometimes I waste my best thoughts on a quick FaceBook post. Then it doesn't seem worthwhile to revisit it as a blog post. I like keeping track of my artwork here. Right now I am not working on much and nothing I can really show, but I do have a lot of photos that are inspiring me. Maybe some of them will inspire you.
The subject is tile. If you've been following me for awhile you know I love it. (My kitchen might remind you of a Mexican restaurant) Spain and Portugal are the motherload of glorious tile. I took hundreds of photos of tile. The photo above is part of a building exterior in Lisbon, a city so in love with the material that they cover entire buildings with it—inside and out.
The history of tile in Spain and Portugal goes back centuries, starting with the Roman occupation of the region, but it takes its greatest influence from the Islamic tradition, brought to the Iberian Peninsula by the North African Moors in the 8th century. This was the origin of the marvelous geometric and foliage designs that make this tile so distinctive.
Doesn't this remind you of an Amish quilt? And the tiles above the "quilt" demonstrate one of my favorite characteristics of the tiles that are designed to create interlocking, secondary patterns when they are set in a grid— also reminiscent of traditional quilts.
The tile tradition continues to this day. This a map is in a plaza overlooking the city of Lisbon.
These tiles are old, but clearly post-Moorish Spain. Islam discouraged the use of human or animal imagery in their art, lest it be considered idolatry.
And a checkerboard tiled dome is the perfect topper for a palace or a garden shelter.