Monday, January 31, 2011

#62 series, the process

   I have a drawer full of folded up maps and am determined to use up a lot of them before the year is out. I used my paper cutter to cut strips out of several of them.

Then I used YES! paste, an all purpose glue, to adhere the strips to the piece of matt board I had selected. It was a messy process to do this, which I don't like. I don't like having sticky hands! I tried to create something that looked like a new place.

After the glue dried, which took less time than I thought it would, I turned the piece over and cut it up into 4" x 6" pieces (10 cm x 15 cm) I was able to get 4 postcards out of the piece and some scraps which I'll use a tiny art piece.
After the pieces were cut out, I checked to see if there were any unsecured places and added glue where necessary. I am not used to totally covering a piece with glue or medium. I don't like a shiny surface, which YES! leaves. (Some people don't like this product because of it not lasting a bazillion years.  I think it's not so important to worry about that.)

  I decided to attach the butterflies, see previous post, using Golden regular gel (matte) medium. That worked nicely to dull the cards down.
I think these will make it through the mail machinery without a problem.
I'm going to try this method again tomorrow, to see if I can do a better job with the surface.
Oh, yes, I also like using Tombow double stick tape in the roll on applicator. Expensive but easy to travel with and good for large areas.  I really like Uhu brand adhesives, but couldn't find the roll on at my locally owned art supply store and i do like to support them.
By the way, I do not get paid or get freebies by talking about these products that I use.

The 60's. Mail Art series, that is, not the era!

 This is the last card (#61) using bits from New Orleans. I made it in my own studio so I had my xacto knife and scissors, which felt really good after having only a small metal ruler to use to "cut" an edge.
I made the #62 series in memory of my friend who died on 30 December. I picked up her ashes today. They'd been waiting for me, but no one had notified me about it. I'm still in a state of surprise about it all. So after I got back from the Cremation Society, I decided to tackle the Mail Art for the day. I'll post about my process for this series next.
I've entitled the pieces "In memory of my friend."  It really pays to have a lot of stuff in one's studio to choose from. I knew that I wanted to use butterflies for the pieces but the ones on the calendar that my friend gave me were too big or didn't have wings spread out.

Luckily, one of the National Geographics had an article on Darwin with a double page spread of butterflies (a display case photo.)

I like the way they look like they were done with water colors, a medium over which I have NO control.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Mail Art while on my holiday!

First card made in New Orleans

2nd card made in New Orleans
 I prepared for my trip by getting cards ready. I put all the rubber stamps, addresses and postage stamps on the address side and on the art side, I put a piece of torn colored paper in the center. This way  the cards would have some continuity as a series. I couldn't take a scissor as we took our luggage on board rather than checking it. I'd packed a small metal ruler to tear against, which worked fine.
3rd card made in New Orleans

4th card made in New Orleans

Last card made on trip in airport at Atlanta
I collected a few brochures from the hotel lobby to work with. This second card I made while having coffee in the cafe of the Contemporary Art Center. The CAC was closed to the public but happily the cafe was not. In the cafe, is an ART-O-MAT!! and guess what? My work is in THAT machine. I was doing the happy dance, for real.

The white "O" on the blue background is the little label we got when we paid admissions to the Ogden Museum. This museum had some pretty terrific work in it and a surprising exhibit of huge pottery, which I'll blog about later. Huge!

This card has a bit of scrap showing Blue Dog. The Blue Dog gallery is in the French Quarter. We don't "get" Blue Dog but he's very popular and well known.

My last card made while away, was created while waiting for the connecting flight from Atlanta to Richmond. We'd had to leave our hotel at 8h00 so I didn't get to work on a card in New Orleans. Then our flight from Atlanta to home was cancelled and we were rebooked on a later flight, so I had plenty-o-time to play. I wasn't too bad working on my lap. I had my little envelope of scraps and my glue stick and metal ruler. I, also, had a little plastic box with the numbers in it.

All in all, I was pretty pleased by being able to make these cards while on holiday. It preparing me for our longer trip in the spring.  Photographing the cards worked out okay, too.  They came out pretty crisp, though I will admit that I took several of each card at different settings.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Some mail art +

 Yesterday I was sooo ill.   I'm not sure if it was the extremely spicy Thai food I had on Saturday or a 24 hour GI bug. I stayed in bed most of the day feeling so weak and tired. However, late afternoon, I roused myself and went into my studio to produce #54. I just took a pile of colored paper that was sitting there and stuck it onto a black background. Voila! Looking at it today, I must say, it turned out really good. Sick or not, Mail Art must be made!
Sweet Travels

A friend called me yesterday while I was abed and I'm not sure I made much sense but I do remember her telling me that she's decided where she was going on her next trip. She was so excited about it. I made this card for her today though there isn't any piece of it related to her choice. It's just that traveling is so sweet!
 On Saturday, while at Antique Village, I saw this advertising display tucked into a big case full of glass bottles. Check out what it says. Amazing! A whole other way of thinking about smoking, folks.
This is a view of the glass display case. You can see the blue cigarette display tucked in there. Amazing, just amazing.  Do you remember how cigarettes were advertised in the past? Have you seen old adverts? Hard to believe.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

More of MailArt365 and what I did today.

Homage to Christo
 Friday's Mail Art for the 365 project was based around some images that I had from one of the Sotheby catalogs that I'd found in the street in New York last year. What to do with all those cool paintings that sold for millions?
Homage to Karel Appell

Homage to Calder
 And didn't these legs lying around the studio fit perfectly?

I put the backgrounds (the paintings) on the blank cards and just looked at them for awhile. I was wishing I had more legs but, alas, no legs in my tins, or none that I could easily find. What to do what to do?

Then I came across some people working on art restoration in one of my old, old National Geographic Magazines.

Except for Karel, who gets a child inspecting him with a magnifying glass.

These are early examples of the artists' work, too. I didn't even recognize the Hockney as one of his paintings.

Homage to David Hockney

It's fun to see what I can pair up, what kind of narrative I can create.
 Today's two pieces of Mail Art are so minimalist. No narrative at all.  What happened was that I was pondering what I was going to do, I looked to my left, and there was this paper just waiting there to be glued down.
 I like the simplicity, the calm effect. It's really easy to see how quantity and proximity effect color.
 This afternoon, we went to see John Whiting at Antique Village up on Route 301. We hadn't been up there in a long time,  so this was a real treat. There was an article about John this week in Style Weekly and lots of people were at the shop because of that. Good publicity.
 It was difficult to photograph all of the goodies in the shop. So much paper stuff. You can find magazines like Look, Life, Time, True Love, Jet, old sheet music, books, advertisements, sports magazines, on and on, if it's paper John's got it.
I bought a few little items and a couple magazines. Lots of the material is collectible and I'd feel badly cutting it up for collage. I could scan but I like the feeling of cutting and gluing. It's so kindergarten! Such fun.

Another cool thing, John asked me if I'd come to a meeting of the Postcard Club and talk about Mail Art. They're all about collecting and exhibiting old postcards and know nothing about Mail Art. It'll be fun. He said they don't pay any honorarium but I'd get a tee-shirt! Hey, will work for tee-shirt.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

#51 and some flowers

American Gallery 1

These are a couple of fotos that I took when the VMFA had an exhibit of flowers based on paintings. It was a wonderful exhibit.

The painting in American Gallery 2 can also be seen in my Mail Art #45a. I'd found a reproduction of it in a brochure. It's a very beautiful painting.
American Gallery 2

"Hello in there, there are butterflies out here!"

This #51 was made up with pieces from a 1963 National Geographic, with butterflies added from a calendar. It turned out really sweet. At first, I wasn't sure it worked but then it did. What do you think?

#50 mail art process

 I took these with my old cell phone, as I was too engrossed in what I was doing to go downstairs for my camera. Sorry the light blurs things a bit; however, I wanted to share the process.

FIRST - I covered a piece of matt board with paper scraps. The small white rectangles are where I'd cut something out of the other side of the paper.

 SECOND - I glued down old postage stamps and a picture of a queen that I liked.
I turned the matt board over and cut it into 4 standard postcard pieces, with only a little scrap left over. Why do I turn the board over? So there's a bit of random-ness in the process.

I then added a person/s to the three that didn't have one. Just to give some focus and personality to the cards.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

What I did Sunday & mail art #50 series

Soaking up sun
 Last Sunday, I met up with a former student of mine, at the VMFA coffee shop. It was sunny but chilly outside, however, someone was getting some sun on the deck, or meditating. Jordan brought some things for show and tell, which was very exciting. He scored big time at the thrift store, getting album covers (including unused records in them) designed by Josef Albers and other famous designers for only 50¢ each! Chuck paid lots more for the same online, and without the records. Wow!
 This is one of the albums covers that they have. This is one by Albers. Tomorrow, I'm off to the thrift store to see if I can find the one that got left behind.
"Let me know when this arrives"

I can't believe that I'm on day #50! Only 315 more to go. yikes. I was busy all day and didn't get into my studio until late afternoon without a clue what I was going to do. I've decided that when I'm clueless I'll just glue something down on a big piece of board and go from there.
 I used some of my solid color paper as the base and then because I have lots and lots of stamps I glued those on next. I decided to use only non-U.S. stamps.
 After the stamps were affixed, and one queen, I turned the board over and cut out 4 postcard sized pieces.
When I turned them over, this is what I got. I added a person/s to the three that didn't have one and voila, a completed series. Amazing how it worked out.
Now if they only get to their destinations!

I found out today that the card I sent to my Maestra de espaƱol didn't get to her and she lives only 3 miles away, across the James River. Dissapointed, I'm so so so.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A chilly, gray day & Mail Art (#49)

 We awoke to a gray day. Freezing rain was predicted but looking out I saw no rain, then realized that the rain from the evening before had frozen on the tree branches. It made them look so pale and the light reflected off of them making them sparkle.

 In my yard, after returning from the post office this morning, I was able to capture the moment before the temperature rose above freezing. These little drops hung on a few minutes longer and then were gone.
 This is the way the lobby looked while I waited on a very short line at the main post office. It was empty! I was sure that the day after a holiday, two days without mail delivery, it'd be packed. I was happy it wasn't, you can be sure.
 Here's what the main post office looks like from the parking lot. It's so official looking (to state the obvious.) What do you think, 1950s era architecture?  I do like the continuous verticals created by the windows and the spaces between, even if the entire thing not very attractive. 
Today's mail art for MailArt365 came about because I wanted to use the big veggies and the little girl, who was waiting patiently in one of my tins. I almost put too many pieces on this and stopped myself just in time. Whew. What do you think? Not too busy, right?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Special Holiday and some Mail Art (#48s)

Off to Afghanistan
 Today was a holiday here in the U.S. A commemoration of Martin Luther King, Jr.s birthday. It's supposed to be a day of service, so I decided that I'd fill a package for a soldier from the "forgotten soldier" list at (I'm a registered volunteer on that site.) My soldier, a woman, will have her package going out tomorrow. It looks similar to the one in this photo, which is another package that I have waiting to fill. Her's got sealed up before I remembered to take a photo of the contents. Beef Jerky is supposedly a popular item with the troops. I'm a vegetarian, I wouldn't have a clue about that product.
Abstract 1

Abstract 2

Abstract 3
I decided to use the method I used for the #43s for this series. I covered a piece of board with the pieces of map from my old road atlas. I was able to get three postcards from the board.  I decided that I would not use them literally, like adding those great old American gas guzzling cars taking a road trip. Instead, the map would just become a textured background and what I added would be simple, just solid color.

I was surprised at how these turned out. I mean, I made them, and yet, they surprised me. How much fun it that?

This one is going to a friend in the midwest as a birthday card. Kind of balloon-like, right?

Lots of action in this one, with those little balls bouncing around. These of have a happy feeling.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Not planned #47

I seriously had NO idea what I was going to do for today's piece. I cut up some mat board to do something similar to the #43 series. I was planning to cover a board with some background, cut up, and so on. But as I prepared to do that, I noticed the Josef Albers card (actually saved the front of a note card) and remembered that I wanted to send a "merit" badge to someone who commented on my "puzzle" post last week. So I sandwiched the badge between the Albers card and  one of my many free cards, the kind that I pick up in restaurants in New York City.
I used wide double stick tape to put the two cards together, neatly sandwiching the badge.  I had this sweet faced little boy, probably from a Dutch master, which fit perfectly in the corner, and there at hand was this text from a design magazine. Perfecto! Today's card appeared, I had to make it #47.

The recipient will have to peel apart the two cards to get at the badge, which may mean this image is the only lasting one of the #47. Unless the recipient is VERY careful, the cards may get torn in the peel apart process. But all is impermanent, to quote the Buddha.  

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Big Old Cars (#46 series)

"move them here"
 I found more big, old American cars in my large tin. What a find. I used old (1970s) U.S. and Canada road maps for the background. For some reason, I thought these called for a contrast in transportation.
"move them there"

I made myself laugh using these two images that I had of the same event. I knew that I had to put these guys to work pushing people around. Notice that "sledge" has NO wheels. What the heck! And all the while, a very large auto is looming in the background.
"from Coldstream to Pinch Creek"

 Large American car, tiny oxen cart. Let's see, which one will be most effected by the higher price of fossil fuel. Hmmm.

There really is a place with this name in New Mexico, USA. See it there on the map?
"Truth of Consequence"