Monday, February 25, 2013

Mail Art Monday, some clouds, and flowers



 These are the last of the past week's color and circle pieces.

It's difficult for me to stop with a series like this, once I get the feeling for it.

The possibilities are endless. One could continue to "study" the relationships between shape and color endlessly.

I began to see these pieces of Mail Art as sketches for paintings. I think that if I had a larger studio, I might consider doing large paintings again - that looked just like this.

But the reality is, I'm better off doing small works (4" x 6") and mailing them off to other people. I don't have to worry about storage this way. But wouldn't they be fun reeeaaallllyyyy BIG?
 The clouds were so lovely puffy yesterday. I'd gone off in search of something to put between two layers of fabric to make a blanket and remembered the little quilting store at Willow Lawns shops. When I returned to my car, I looked up - lovely blue sky, lovely puffy clouds.

When we went up to Washington, D.C. last week, we stopped at the Natural History Museum of the Smithsonian to get some coffee in their cafe. To our delight, there was an exhibit of Orchids of Latin America. 
The orchids were AMAZING and the scent in the room was wonderful. What a treat. There were orchids that looked like corsages, and others that looked like butterflies, or crabs, or insects. And we saw the orchid plant that produces vanilla pods. I'd never seen that before.
I love surprises!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Friday update



 These are Wednesday's cards. They use sample colors from some paint line. The top color in #201 was trimmed so only the word "earth" can be seen. On the reverse I wrote " Someday, I hope that we will all be patriots of our planet and not just of our respective nations." (Zoe Weil)



These are the cards from Thursday. I decided to us a neutral background rather than white to see how that works. I like it. Less contrast, of course, than with the white ground, but still the black keeps the colors vibrant.

No quotes on these yet.

I am really happy with today's cards. Somehow, they just look right.

Do you have those moments with your art work where the final piece just looks right and you don't need to do anything more to it?

I'm slowly using up the colored paper that belonged to my old friend (now deceased 2 years) and as I'm using it, I think of her. These are kind of memorial pieces I'm thinking. Inadvertently, memories of her.

Here's the shelf/cupboard in it's current rendition. So sweet. Someone put a nice ceramic handmade inspiration plaque above it. Things come and go. We still love this little urban shrine to whatever.
We're supposed to get snow or rain or something over night. If there's a nice dusting of snow, I'll go around to this and take a snowy photo of it. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

More Mail Art, more Ai Weiwei, More mitts


 More using up of scraps. Look, I'm at day 200 of my 365.2 project. Amazing!

This looks very American Southwest landscape to me. What about to you? Anything?

Quote on reverse: "When we know ourselves to be connected to all others, acting compassionately is simply the natural thing to do." Rachel Naomi Remen

This one, too, has a kind of lonely out west feeling for me. And a connection to the phases of the moon Ai Weiwei piece though I did it before seeing his work.
 Quote on reverse: You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you." John Bunyan
 These are porcelain crabs that are part of the exhibit of Ai Weiwei's work. They were in a huge pile and are a commentary on the situation in China, which I won't try to explain because I wouldn't do it justice.
 This image shoes the tail end of an enourmous snake made up of typical school children's back packs. If you click on the word snake you'll find out more about it, but the one we saw at the Hirshhorn used way more bags. Very intense!
Here are some more of my mitts. These remind me of a snake, not that I've seen a snake in these colors in real life. The are very soft merino wool. Since I learned out to make neat stripes, I like doing them. See more in my shop HERE.

Wednesday - Mail Art, Ai Weiwei & Mitts

 There's something about a black ground that makes colors "pop!"

More using up of scraps of color paper that I'd punched circles out of.

The paper I'm using is quite old and if I get any adhesive on it, I'm in trouble. It marks easily, is hard to clean up, so I have to be very careful.

I like the pale color combination on this one.

 And check this out, this image is of one of the pieces of work that Ai Weiwei had in his exhibit. And doesn't it remind me of my Mail Art? You bet it does. His has to do with phases of the moon. It's an amazing piece.

We drove up to Washington, D.C. with friends yesterday, just to see the Ai Weiwei exhibit at the Smithsonian's Hirshhorn Gallery. It was an excellent exhibition, very moving. This image is a sculpture made up of very old wooden stool.

I had my honey take some nice photos of my newest mitts. Some of the photos that I used for my Etsy shop weren't very good so he helped me out with new images. I still have to re-do the older photos, but these new ones do the mitts more justice. M. wore her orange mitts this past weekend and got lots of compliments on them, plus her hands were warm. Yay!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Sunday - continuing to catch up

 For today's mail art, I used "left over" hole punched paper. I was thinking about how nice this would look. After I put the black background down, it really popped!

Here's another for the Banana Action series.  A banana floating along while water skiers rush by.


The colors in this piece are the punched circles from  #198. Bet you already guessed that. Randomly tossed circles, colors I do not like together, some Washi tape, and voila, a composition. 

The scene is the Indiana Dunes, a memory from my childhood. I put the Victorian girl in the lagoon, since she looked a bit sneaky about something. Surely she'll get a scolding from her ma for this.

More of those awful color circles with a tape of a non-coordinating color. More experimenting. However, in the end, these always seem to work for me.

Here I used the other hole punches "left over" paper.  You can see the circles in use on the previous post. Again, the placement of the black paper as a ground makes the colors really look good. They got lost on the white ground. The funny thing is that after I glued them down, I looked at this and it was like a cute, little face was looking up to the corner to the card. Did you see it?

Sunday - catching up



 I agreed to participate in a Banana action. 11 people signed up so I had to make cards some how related to bananas. After signing up, I was like "what do I do?" Then good mail art friend that he is, Dean suggested: Do what you always do but add a banana. How simple and to the point. So I did.

This is more of my Washi tape and punched out circles play. Randomly dropping circles, this time I decided to use colors that didn't appeal to me when they were together. Somehow, this works.

I think they give a good spatial illusion, and a good example of defying gravity, floating off into the air. What do you think?

I had to get Tiny Town into the Banana Action.  I wrote on the reverse something about the residents of the town getting out recipes that used bananas. Of course, disposal of the peelings was going to be a problem.

I have two old watches. Not so old they're vintage, so they have no value, per se.
Actually, they have no value period. I was told by two different jewelry shops and a jeweler, that fixing them wouldn't be possible. Well, possibly possible if I replaced the works completely, sent the Seiko to the manufacturer maybe, and the other to some one else. Since watches have become inexpensive (or very expensive) fixing them is no long what people do. There are few repairers, and few parts. dang. So what to do with them? I just don't want to throw them into the trash bin. Hmmm, I think I'll pass them on to a person to re-purpose into new jewleery. Dang, is all I have to say. Dang!

Last Thursday, after my Spanish book club met, we stayed on at the cafe to hear the jazz group play. The crowd was large and there was lots of red clothing in celebration of St. Valentine's Day. It was a lot of fun; quite the Best evening.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Tuesday Mail Art Plus

 This is Grace. When we were leaving the house this afternoon, we saw our neighbor with this dog. We asked if she'd gotten a dog but no, she'd just snagged this one who was alone, obviously lost, collar but no tags. We said we'd be back shortly and take the dog as the neighbor had to leave for work. When we got back, she was waiting for us.  Facebook and Craig's list had been posted to already. We exchanged phone numbers. I took this photo, put it on my Facebook page then went off on a walk about the neighborhood with the dog. I asked people, who were out, if they recognized the dog. I put up a couple of lost dog posters. The pup was happy in my yard and hanging out with us. Then I thought, oops, check Facebook, and sure enough - a message from the owner!  He said "I think you have my dog, Grace." I read that, turned to the dog and said "Grace, sit!" and she did. She was happy, all tail waggy, that we knew her name. There were 59 shares on Facebook - without Facebook, it would have taken a lot longer than 1 hour for Grace to be reunited with her humans. Hooray for social media. From now on, I think Grace will always be wearing her I.D. tags on her collar.
365.2 #192

Monday, I began this weeks series for my daily Mail Art. Two pieces a day.
I used Washi tape and circles for Monday. I flipped the circles, where they fell, I glued them.
365.2 #193

365.3 #43

365.3 #42

 Tuesday, I used squares and Washi tape, and flipped them, gluing where they landed.

I didn't move any of the circles or squares, but had to re-drop some that fell outside the boundaries (to state the obvious.)

For the text "fragile," "confidential," and "Priorité," I used my new rubber stamps.

Here's my treat to me, a Cavallini set of vintage postmarks and postal franks. I really like them. I can't wait to use the wavy lines on some of my faux postage stamps. Fun. And I re-discovered a couple of my fountain pens under a pile of stuff. They write nicely on my old topographic maps.

NOTEI read a column in my local newspaper by a man, who writes for the Dow Jones newswires, and he was saying that no one would miss the postal service if it was cut back to 3 days a week. I wrote him an e-mail (I did) saying I'd miss it as would many people that I know - Mail Artists and members of the Letter Writers Alliance, among others. I offered to send him some Mail Art if he'd send me a postal address. Well, guess what? Two days later, he e-mailed me his postal address! I sent him some mail art. Would you like to surprise him with mail? Let me know.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sunday Mail Art catch up - my 365.3s




 These last cards in the series from this past week, are the ones that I labeled for my 365.3 series. A reminder: I doing two consecutive 365 projects. I'm so nuts from this.

However, I do feel that I'm challenging myself in a good way. Every Monday, I change directions. Terrified that I won't know what to do. Right now, I'm terrified, but I'll push through it and carry on.

I like that I'm using my old photo prints. My honey wants me to use the bigger prints and make them into collages. He's very encouraging. He says he'll get them framed, but I'm like: and then what? It's sweet that he's so positive of my work.

I really like this one. There's such action and the circles are floating in space so nicely. Do you have a favorite of this series? Let me know.
This is probably the earliest photo of me. I'm the baby. The little blondie. My sister is behind me and behind her is my aunt Ann. My father, oh so handsome guy, is to my left and the other woman to my right - maybe my aunt Ruth, or a family friend. We were on the neighbors's stoop, the house next to our apartment building in Chicago. My sister said that a dead body was found in the basement of that house.  That's all I know about that.

Sunday Mail Art catch up - my 365.2s




 These four cards are all made from prints of my photos of the New Jersey Turnpike.

My process - I punched out holes in the prints with various sized hole punches.

I filled the holes with other punched out circles. I like the play of the spatial relationships.

Like illustrations for a Science Fiction novel.
Here's one of the few photos that I have of myself as a baby. I was sitting on a chair in the park area in front of our apartment building. It was a boulevard, with wide grassy areas that we loved - our private playground. In the winter, the fathers would flood part of it, and it would freeze, and they'd flood it again, and it would freeze, until we had an amazing ice skating area. We'd skate on it after school and all weekends, never coming indoors until our toes felt frozen. What fun!