In the gardens around our home on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, there are many green tree frogs. Generally, you see them at night. When my children were much younger, at night time, we would put on headlamps and go “frog spotting” around our front and back yards. There was always excitement when we spotted a frog. My youngest son, Ryan, after wetting his hands, would pick up a frog to show everyone, much to the distress of his grandmother! It was a rare night, when we failed to spot at least a couple of frogs. At the first sign of rain, the frogs would begin to sing, a cacophony of sound, night or day. An early warning system for impending rain.
One evening recently, I spotted a green tree frog sitting atop a “cockatoo” mosaic in the garden. He (or she???; how to tell???) was looking at me expectantly as if to say; where’s a mosaic of me?” What better way to honour those ubiquitous green tree frogs and also create a “memory reminder” than with an outdoor mosaic to be placed in the garden.
I found a beautiful piece of cut sandstone in a local landscape supply yard and thought it would be the perfect shape for the frog mosaic. There were gorgeous patterns and colours visible in the sandstone.
Firstly, I sketched the frog sitting on a tree branch. That seems appropriate as it is a green “tree” frog, after all. The patterns in the background on the sandstone represent other parts of the tree. A small pond of water at the bottom left was added to make the scene more interesting. Blue is also the complimentary colour to orange and just seems to work. Maybe this green tree frog is about to leap into the pond ??? Artworks should tell a story. It is up to the observer to decide what the story is.
Tiles were cut to shape, then stuck down with ceramic tile adhesive, suitable for exterior use. This “frog mosaic” was very challenging. It was difficult to cut some intricate pieces, especially the frog’s toes. Many pieces had to be cut several times due to unexpected breakages.
As the colour of the tiles are dark shades, I used a light coloured “bone” grout for contrast. Here is the completed mosaic.