Periodically, NTAL will host individual or group art challenges. This is a great way to engage our membership and have some fun creating art.

For our Spring 2014 project (March - June), we selected 2 photos for subject matter. Each image was divided into 9 panels. These 18 panels have been assigned to volunteer member artists.
  • Each panel will be interpreted by its artist's style, media and vision.
  • Each panel will be completed on a $2 - 8"x10" canvas on 3/4" stretcher. 
  • Watercolor artists can use a watercolor ground to paint on canvas.
  • Each gallery wrap canvas should be painted on the sides as well although we expect them to be coupled directly to their adjacent panels.
  • Each panel will be signed by its artist once we have them assembled into a single work.
At the April general meeting on 4/23, we hoped to bring these panels together and assemble them into 2 single works but not all panels are ready. The panels are assembled now and will be featured at our June 25th Show & Tell meeting.

Plans are to display the 2 works at Grow Financial, replacing the current NTAL show.

Click on the 2 photos below to see a larger version of the finished mosaics. The panels are numbered 1-9 from the top left corner moving right and down.

Hong Kong 2007 Sai Kung harbor,
photograph by David Beebe


Virginia Butler (1)
Emily Levy (2 and 4)
Dorothy Banker (3)
Pat Beebe (5)
Bob Clark (6)
Arlene Wells (7)
Marie Schadt (8)
Robert Murdock (9)


Francine Bauer (1)
Carol Northington (2)
Gary Bernardo (3)
Harvey Berman (4)
Dore Anderson (5)
Joan Garcia (6)
Arlene Wells (7)
Jean Dobbs (8)
John Henne (9)

Building a 9 panel display:
Despite the slight variations in all dimensions, a 1/2" gap around all panels is able to absorb those differences visually. Any closer together and the differences are obvious but any further apart and the lines across panels no longer align. 8 of the 18 panels did not have painted edges so those were first painted black.

With each panel on its own wood stretchers, we don't really need a plywood backing. The frames should provide all the stability we need. A piece of 26" x 32" black foam core should provide a suitable, light weight foundation. A couple of 1/2" wide pieces of foam core were cut to provide a spacing guide. Working from the corner pieces first, the panels were first glued to the foam core facing up. Books on top of paper towels were used to weigh them down while the glue set. Try doing that with a stack of Kindles.

The glue is there to help hold them in place so they could be flipped face down while sandwiched between a top scrap of foam core and the backing foam core. Measurements were taken and four #6 pan head screws, each with a washer, were used to secure the panels in place. The nerve racking part was working blind on all but the outer edges for placing the screws. 

Lessons learned: When we have specific requirements, we should deliver them in writing to each participant. This includes the physical and design requirements of the project, where it should be signed, when it is expected to be done, and who to notify if someone is unable to participate after signing up.

While there were a number of minor issues to be overcome, none of them weakened the project in any way. In hind sight, watercolor ground would have been preferable to gluing paper to the front of a canvas as the adhesive is not holding consistently. The sides of all canvases should have been painted. All 9 canvases should be sourced from the same provider and purchased at the same time in the hopes that they would be the same width, length and depth. Our 9 canvases do not line up well on any dimension which makes framing all the more difficult. For example, the reef's center panel is on framed Masonite and that frame is higher than all other panels and only 5/8" wide which made assembly from the back all the more difficult.

All in all, this has been a great project and an excellent representation of the variety of artistic styles within the group.

Subpages (1): Past Projects