Haiku Tiles

Star detail for Star Haiku Tile

Last year I began to paint little wooden tiles. They were a way for me to paint thumbnail images, like I would normal sketch, in order to work through some ideas for larger paintings. They were fun. I got to play with paint, glitter, beads and other assorted colorful and shiny objects.

I sold them for about $35.00 each. Around the same time, I began to write haiku. I liked the idea of capturing a thought and articulating it in a brief, systematic way. Creativity plus problem solving equals fun!

Painting on wooden tiles also was problematic, but not in a way I enjoyed. I had to sand them and sometimes they had imperfections that annoyed me that I couldn’t sand away.

Then I found ceramic tiles. Painted tiles plus haiku equal Haiku Tiles. And, they equal fun.

I’ve had a few commissions already and I created one for a family gift. This one was an experiment to see how the sand behaved in the creation process.

Beside the tiles, I want to do a few larger, simplistic paintings and incorporate haiku in it.

Mixed sand and glitter for haiku tile.
Detail of two types of sand mixed to create the color I wanted.
Detail of dry sand and the still wet sand used on the painting.
Almost finished, but not yet dry tile.
Detail of star–the star of this haiku.

Like mixing paint to achieve the desired color, I had to mix sand to get the color I wanted. They didn’t sell the shade I wanted. Interesting.

They had white. Pretty, but not for this scene. They had goldish sand. Too yellow for what I envisioned. So I mixed about three parts white to the gold sand. You can see the sand is still wet, not from the water, but from the matte gel I used to bond it.

Then I added a few types of glitter. I had to. I love to walk in the sand, snow, rocks, or dew and watch the beauty of the sparkling surfaces as I shift vantage points. One reason I add sparkle and iridescent paint is that it moves as I do. Hopefully, the paintings I create go beyond an image to an event, that is, you feel as if you are experiencing the scene, not just an observer of it. That is what art does for me.

This is the almost finished tile. The water needs a bit more focus. I’ll post it with the haiku when finished. I love the little star detail–it makes me happy. I’m ready to find a beach and make a new memory.

Have you ever experienced art moving past an image to becoming an event (meaning that you feel participatory in some way)? Do you have any special memories at the beach?


  1. Love the beach. Many happy memories. Enjoyed reading about your sand mixing process. Your love of glitter made me smile. You and my beautiful preschool teaching friend, Jane. I have a starfish beach photo from August of 2006. It is a special picture of a three year old boy holding up a starfish that we found but did not keep. We took a photo but left the starfish in his/her habitat on that Caribbean beach.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s