Thursday, March 29, 2012

More round mail art and the back garden

"...bright and sunny..."
 Thanks to my friend BeeBee, who sent me some CDs to play with, I'm able to continue my round mail art series.

I tried some big images and I think they work nicely on these. Looming!
"...and a moment later..."

Go roundies go, roll off to your destination. These are being sent to people in the U.S.A. Wish them luck!
Re-working the back garden area. With the help of someone to do the work, and discuss my ideas with me, namely our friend S, I'm getting a garden that I like. This shows the stone path in place. Not done yet. Path to be changed up a bit, pencil trees have been moved, pines in back have been removed. It's getting more to my taste. Wilder looking, less formal. I like it already.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Round Mail Art

 Here's one of the round pieces of mail art being put into the post box the other day. I put no return address on it, as per advise from my mail art friend, Dean. This way, he says, the postal service has to deal with it. Dean's the guy who sent me sand from Normandy Beach in a zip lock baggie, from France. And it got to me!!
 This was headed to the mid-western part of the U.S.A.
This one headed to Canada.  I hope they both arrive! I'll let you know.

Richmond Blooms

 I took my camera along on my walk to the Post Office the other day. The neighborhood is in bloom.
 There are lots of dogwood trees in both white and pink.
 These wisteria cover a fence in front of a house that must be one of the original ones built in this neighborhood. It's like an old farmhouse and has a lot of land around it.

The fragrance of the Wisteria filled the area and lots of bees did, too.
 The sun was bright and it made this tulip glow.
I forgot the name of this vine, but I really like the shape of the flowers on it. They were dripping over a fence near the library.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

A rainy day in the studio

 Nothing like a rainy day to keep me indoors, so I cleaned off my work table a bit, organized the pens, pencils, papers, etc. and felt so energized that I made some mail art.

In #875, I used old French receipts given to me by a friend, and some old Paris map bits.
 #876 is another with the old paper bits. It feels terrific getting back to this play. I don't know where these will go yet but I've received so much mail over the past few months that I need to start reciprocating.
 While organizing, I decided to test all of my old Sharpie pens to see if they were still working. The test pieces was so happy looking that I decided it would make a nice piece of Mail Art for someone.  It's #877.
 The week before last, I went to picnic on the lawn of the State Capitol building. The weather was so perfect. Look at the beatiful sky! Our Capitol is famous because it was designed by Thomas Jefferson after the Maison Carre in Nimes, France. The side wings were added later. There is a terrific free tour of the building, which I recommend.
 My daily practice continues. I've moved ahead in the Hanon book and have added some short classical pieces.
I spotted this fabulous purple, sort of periwinkle color, gate around the corner. It'd been repainted while we were away and looks really good. Thanks, neighbors, for the visual treat!

Friday, March 23, 2012

End of the week!

 This is one of the pieces of mail art that I took with me on Monday to mail from the Postal Museum. I was playing around with oil sticks. I don't know that this ever dried properly and I hope it made it through the system without gumming up the machine.
 The National Postal Museum. What a treat to see it again.
 This is one of many views of the Jefferson Monument with Cherry Blossoms around it. The sun had finally appeared from behind the clouds and briefly lit up the dome.
 Juli took this photo of me, deep at work on the display table, making mail art.
 It was a very busy week between the D.C. visit and today. Among other things, on Tuesday we went to VMFA with friends for lunch,  and to look at the statues of The Mourners again. So beautiful.  

This morning, I walked to the Science Museum for Spanish Meet-up and on the way back took photos of flowers. Everything is in bloom, or about to bloom. Do you know what this plant is? I don't. It's a bush. The flowers are so pretty.
 This iris is growing against my neighbors fence. Childhood memories are full of irises, because I'd take them from neighborhood yards and bring them home to my mother, to her delight and chagrin. I knew she loved that flower, but she disliked me taking them from the neighbors yards.
Some brilliantly colored tulips.

 I haven't made much mail art this week, as I've piled my table full of papers, including goodies from the Postal Museum. (my excuse, weak as it is, cause you know I make M.A. anywhere.) This weekend, I'll neaten things up and get busy. 

I have continued, however, with my daily piano practice. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

D.C. day & Slow Art Day

 I went up to D.C. on the train yesterday to meet my PenPal Juli. She took some terrific photos while we were at the National Postal Museum.

Here I am stamping the commemorative cancellation on postcards for the exhibit about the Hindenburg and the Titanic. We loved being able to use that stamper.
 Here I am, making mail art on a display table. It was just the right height and was there for people to put post-it notes with their thoughts on the museum and the postal system. I had my mini-mail art kit with me.
 Me, attempting to take a photo of Owney, the postal dog. The glass had such glare on it but Juli managed to get me and Owney together.

I'll post some photos of the Cherry Blossoms. We had a wonderful walk amongst the trees, in the afternoon.
A reminder to anyone in my area. I'm hosting Slow Art Day at my fabulous Virginia Museum of Fine Art.
Isn't this portrait beautiful? What a composition with that skirt taking up the bottom of the painting. I'm thinking that I'll focus on portraits but haven't made the list of art work yet. Here's a link to sign up to join me that day. SLOW ART at VMFA

Friday, March 16, 2012

Good news to report!

 I'm very excited to report that my CD collage, the one that I was seen putting into the post box, arrived safely in Thessaloniki, Greece after a 2 week journey. Yay for the postal services of both countries. Yay!

This is card #870. I'm going to start on Tiny Town again, using the last of the cards slowly as I'll be so sad to see the series end. This one is about Phoebe checking to see if there was anything new on Main St.

The yard looked like wonderful with the pink blossoms all over it. It smelled so sweet, too.

Now the tree is almost bare of flowers, leaves are poking out, the yard has been swept up three times, as the leaves get slippery and start smelling less than pleasant. BUT oh how pretty when the petals fill the yard at first.

 Here's the pie we had for Pi day. I was going to make a lemon pie as Monkey had posted a delicious sounding one, however, I needed to go out for lemons, and I needed to finish a piece of art work. So Papa made the pie and my honey picked it up, and I stayed up until 2 a.m. finished the art work. whew!
Here's a "tile" that I created for a project for a library/s in Florida. My friend Juli sent me the blank. I was so busy turning the tile around looking at it that I ended up working on it with the music upside down!!! I wonder if some eagle-eyed person will notice that.

Monday, I'm taking the train to D.C; a meet-up with someone I've been corresponding with for 10 years and another visit to the National Postal Museum. I think I'll make some mail art while I'm there.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Mail Art and more

 I am finally feeling like I'm home! It only took two weeks + to get here, however. whew!

Today marks a full week of my new daily practice. Literally, I'm practicing the piano after a hiatus of many months. I'm starting with 15 minutes a day.

And I've started to make some Mail Art again. This #869, an altered art exhibit card showing one of our friend Keith Long's sculptures from an exhibit at OK Harris in NYC. I added only 3 bits to it and it changed the whole effect for me.
 My little neighbors came to see me and welcome us home. They brought art work. This is by Sage, a drawing of her dog, and isn't it excellent!? She is still petitioning us to get a new dog.
Sanita Clogs

 I got myself some new Sanita clogs, since I wore a pair while in Paris and they were very comfortable and good for long distance walking, which was a surprise. These are light blue with some shiny white spots that look like snow.
 I'd admired the Egyptian falcon statue and then got a little statue of my own. This hand crafted pajaro was given to me by my Spanish prof. I'd admired the one she had ages ago, and she found another for me! ¿Que bueno, no?

Virginia Museum of Fine Art
I went to the VMFA a couple of times to start looking at works of art to choose for my Slow Art Day. It takes place on 28 April. If you're in the neighborhood and want to join me, sign up here.

I'm excited about doing this. When I volunteered for it, I had no idea how it'd work out and so far, I have 12 people signed up.  Hope to see a few of you there.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

A new regime will start - tomorrow!

 We had a crazy week, our first week home! My honey had to install his exhibit/exposition at the gallery with help from friends. It looked great and the openings were successful. Yay! Relief. AND we had a cousins fly in from Los Angeles to surpise us and they DID! They arrived at the preview opening directly from the airport. Wow!

Today, we went to the VMFA with them. I fell in love with this Egyptian falcon. Oh, to own a little replica would be super.

I, also, love this Egyptian head. The way the line of the stone goes across it is so gorgeous. It's hard to believe that these are so old. There is also this nagging in my brain - why are they here and not in Egypt? Okay, I won't go there; I'm just glad I'm able to see them.

Now everyone has gone, we're ready to start our re-entry into our regular lives. Tomorrow, we start the regular regimen, tomorrow.

 Here's the back garden in our spring-like weather that we had for a few days. Now it's colder and snow is predicted. That's crazy! Not happening!

The patio looks nice and I'll be happy to sit out there with my coffee soon.
A friend in San Francisco sent me a typed letter. She posted about typewriters on her blog. 
I got inspired to dust off my old typewriter. I can't believe how heavy it is considering it's a portable. Oh, right, I'm used to my little laptop computer. In any case, I got it out and it still works and the ribbon still has ink in it! Cool, right? I went on-line and found a source for replacement tapes and ordered 2. This is going to start a whole new (old) thing for me. Typing letters! All I have to do is clean off a spot on my work table. Fun ahead! Do you have a typewriter? If yes, what kind?

Saturday, March 03, 2012

CD mail art & a funny story in Paris

 My friend Katerina has inspired me to use old CDs, & ones that come in the mail advertising something, as Mail Art material.  Here I am mailing one yesterday.
 Here's the reverse, me covering address so it'll be a surprise to the recipient, but showing that there's no return address. This is a hint from my friend Dean, who sends wild stuff through the mail. He figures that once there's a stamp on it, and it's in the mail box, the postal service has to deal with it. And indeed it has, Dean sent me sand from Normandy Beach in France in a small plastic bag. I received it.
 Here's the close up of the CD mail art, my second one of what I hope will be many.
 Here's a funny bird that we spotted at Fountain Lake during the past week. We don't know what it is but the gulls and geese didn't mind it's presence. Anyone? Sorry the image is small, I took it with my cell phone from a distance.
Okay, now my funny, to me at least, story.  When we were in Paris, Dean recommended that we see a performance by his neighbor, which was playing at a near by venue. So I went on-line, ordered the tickets, looked up the address on Google-maps, even put the little person on the street and had it look around so I'd not walk past the narrow passage (pah-sahje) leading to the theatre. We're all set for a night of fun. The show is in English, one hour long, and will teach us to be Parisian.  The show was very funny. We laughed a lot and learned how to be Parisian. (check it out here.)I actually put some of the hints into play later that week. No, seriously, I used some of the looks and shoulder shrugs and felt quite good about it.

But here's the funny part, to me. The weekend after seeing the performance was the Mail Art meet-up. After a day of making Mail Art, our little group made it's way to Dean & his wif'e's apartment for dinner. We did the code on the entry, got in, the door closed behind us and we were in the dark, not knowing where the light switch was. Oops. So the three guys with their tiny flashlights/torches aimed them at the panel of names (with the buttons to push for entry into the next set of doors to the elevator.) Suddenly, the outer door opens and the entry light comes on. I turn (everyone does) to face the door and there is a couple. A man and a woman, face to face with yours truly (I was at the back of the little group of flashlight bearers.) I realized in a nano second that it was Olivier, the performer! His eyes were wide in surprise, of course, seeing this huddled mass of people with tiny torches peering at the call box. And I say - "Oh My God, it's you!" at which he is even more wide eyed. I'd used a line from his show, that he said all the time to indicate an American woman. "Oh My God." I had to do it, I had to say it, I couldn't help myself, he triggered it in my brain. I followed it with, "We saw your show." He said thanks, waved at us, said good night, went up the stairs, as we stifled our laughter. We managed to get up to the apartment before we fell to laughing, as I explained what happened. The Mail Art group didn't know who the man was, but the whole thing of what it must have been like for him to see us there in the dark, made us laugh harder.

I'm not sure this is funny, if one wasn't there, but if you are ever in Paris, check and see if this performance is still playing and go see it. It's really funny and maybe you'll get the chance to run into Olivier somewhere in the city, like we did. Just carry a tiny flashlight, in case you need it.

Friday, March 02, 2012

Mail Art and Art Exhitibtion

 This is #866, which I created using a piece of a cardboard box, which had a cut out of a leaf. I put an image of a painting behind it. Just doing some random mail art this week, cause I'm still a bit tired from travel.
 This is #867, which turned out sort of unfocused but had a strong directional and spatial feeling. At least the word "Good" is there to put a positive spin on it.
 Last night was the preview opening of my honey's art exhibit at Ghostprint Gallery. This has been in the works for many months before we left for Paris, and he did lots of long distance connecting with his wonderful "team" of friends who were busy putting things together in Richmond. The past week has been a frenzy of activity to install the work, which paid off. The work looks excellent!
 I managed to get a few photos before the crowds got too big. Here are a couple of the boxes of "evidence."
Here are a couple of the large photos. I'll take some more photos during the opening tonight and during the week, or maybe someone else will share a really good photo that I can post here.

The big surprise of the evening, midway through, our cousins appeared! The surprise - they flew in from 3000 miles away! It was like our brains couldn't grasp it. Everyone said that they wished they had a photo of our faces. What a lovely surprise.