News - March 22, 2012

Mosaic Painting

Last Friday, the volunteer-day of NL-DOET, I spent a happy hour as a volunteer at the youth center of Wageningen.

A jolly workshop of mosaic painting
Thanks to a girl with whom I got acquainted during a previous activity of Otherwise, I was invited to join this sort-of-fellowship-day for the Dutch youth and the refugees in Wageningen, especially the latter. The organisers prepared various programs for people to choose: capoeira, cooking, craft. Following my first instinct I joined the group of mosaic painting.

The teacher first briefly explained the gist of mosaic painting and demonstrated how to use the tile cutter, afterward she handed over the reins of her workshop to us for free creation. The materials were simple: pieces of white paper for draft, a 20cm*20cm fiberboard as the backing, plenty of household tiles as the mosaic, and of course, the adhesives and the pliers.

Things are always difficult at the start: it's crucial to decide what to draw. Facing the blank paper, I realized how needy my imagination actually was. 'Keep it simple,' the teacher reiterated the golden rule. From drafting to gluing, we only had two hours - the time was quite tight given that we were the first-time amateurs. I decided to draw a clown face. Don't ask me why, it's just a sudden whim. As a draft it couldn't be simpler: a diamond nose, two circle eyes and ten square teeth. When I started to glue, I found it difficult enough: how to mosaic a circle? What colors should be used? How to arrange the pieces to make the configuration harmonious? Anyway I found my way to make a 'masterpiece' jigsaw puzzle, even though it turned out to be something else than the original plan. Guess what? The icon of transformers!

The best work, I thought, was the one by Liesbeth, who was also a volunteer of the activity: a boy and girl walking on the lawn, bright and delightful. The refugee youth also made some excellent works such as a flower and a pair of dolphins. We should take pride in whatever we made.

I was supposed to be a volunteer, but at the end of the day I felt more like a beneficiary. I had always thought that I was too young and not rich enough to do charity. But the volunteers and the refugees taught me : charity begins right now.

Vid of the week: A random portfolio of mosaic artwork gave me an enlightenment: why didn't I make a Chinese character at the time?