From Nursing with Passion,  to Nursing a Passion from Within

By Brandi Fletcher, Ojai, CA  MosaicsByBrandiFletcher

I am a brand new member to SAMA. I have wanted to join for years, but never did, until now.

Brandi FletcherI grew up in Southern California with a love and appreciation of music, animals, good food and the freedom to create. A true 70’s kid, my childhood home was decorated with vibrant sponge-painted walls, fun-shaped vinyl  furniture, patchwork carpets and colorful crafts that were designed and made by my mother, who had no fear when it came to creating a cool environment. This made an impression on me and it was evident from an early age that I was artistically inclined and was encouraged by my family to explore my own creativity freely.

Although I excelled in Art during my school years, my education later took me in a different direction. I became a psychiatric nurse and realized that working with schizophrenics was a calling I needed to explore. I soon found caretaking came easily and my role as a nurse rewarding. I used my strength as a natural born instructor to guide and encourage the mentally ill. I implemented art classes and creative groups for the patients, on a regular basis, which helped them process feelings and improve social skills.

Throughout my adult years, I have experimented with drawing, oil and acrylic painting, jewelry making, throwing clay and glazing ceramics, clay relief carving, even singing and playing in a band for 15 years. My creativity was always begging for more of my attention. In 2004, I had an intuitive calling to do a mosaic on the front porch of my home. I had no idea HOW to do it, I just knew that I HAD to do it. I asked a few handymen what I needed and they steered me in the right direction. It took me a month, and looking back, I did EVERYTHING wrong, but I was hooked immediately and knew that I had to create mosaics. With my husband and friends encouraging me, I was soon making mosaic pieces that people were buying and I was eventually comissioned to do larger pieces. I went on to do mosaic tables, fireplaces, floors, back splashes and wall hangings. Finally,  After 20 years of nursing, I decided that it was time to change direction, and have recently dedicated 100 percent of my time to my mosaic art.

Ace of Life by Brandi Fletcher

Ace of Life by Brandi Fletcher, 28 x 28 in.2013, Glass, gold leaf, silver leaf, ball chain, neutral grout
rough gold leaf edges.

Being completely self-taught has allowed me to develop my own style guided by intuition and passion. I create my mosaic pieces using glass, ceramic, marble, gemstones, pebbles and found items. When doing commissions, I work closely with my clients, taking their ideas and visions and transforming them into a beautiful, one-of-a-kind piece of art.

I enjoy the outdoors and have spent a lot of time exploring the Grand Canyon and travelling around the Southwest. I currently live in the Ojai Valley in Southern California where I continue to play in a band with my supportive and patient husband, Danny. We have two cats in the yard, Johnny and June.

I LOVE doing mosaics and I LOVE looking at what other people do with mosaics. I am very excited about the future and I am doing everything I can to network and  build relationships, as I grow as a mosaic artist. I feel like I still have a lot to learn and every project is a challenge, but I am excited and willing to learn MORE. Joining SAMA was a huge moment for me. I’m hoping that down the road, I can become even more involved and attend the events that SAMA offers, even submit my work to exhibitions.  I am proud to be a member of SAMA. I feel like NOW  I can stand a little taller as an artist. Thank you SAMA!

Brandi Fletcher