Sunday, November 29, 2015

banana stamps and barcodes - Finn Badger

I'm surprised I've never noticed how a bar code is like a frank mark.  Finn Badger has a great little repetition of form going on here, both in terms of colour and line.  One of the things about mail art that I love is the way that you start to see things differently when you think mail art.  

Every year that banana day rolls around again I lament the fact that I haven't saved banana detritus to use in my mail art. I wonder if Finn went on a banana eating binge or was super organised!
Many thanks and hopefully your banana mail will arrive/be sent soon!

banana mail art with paraphernalia from Heleen

Banana appreciation day was on the 18th of November.  I'm never sure if these dates are exact but what I do know is that when the bananas start arriving it is always amusing.  This contraption from Heleen in Holland is USEFUL mail art.  It snaps into place and I can place my banana in its 'guard' and protect it from the slings and arrows of, say, a day at a primary school. 

I got two mailings from Heleen and this one is mail ART. I love the combo of mail art and zentangle with a recycled banana label added to enliven the image. The stamp effect is perfect too.  I couldn't help myself and made a sheet of Heleen's stamps to use myself.  Feel free to use them yourself! My banana is your banana, isn't that right, Heleen!

I am starting to catch up on all the life tasks I have been swamped by and finally made my banana mail today, so once i address it, it will be outward bound. Thanks Heleen!
You can find Heleen at:

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Herman Kamphuis portraits: dancers, readers, thinkers, dreamers and beauties

(Envelope inside of envelope)

(Other side of envelope)

I love Herman's light touch political vispo.  He is mark making with skin colour, comparing legs to scarves, juxtaposing characters in ways that make me think, consider and conclude how natural it is to understand equality! after looking at Herman's collage, it becomes obvious to understand how essential variety is in creating a well balanced and satisfying whole. Herman makes me think, smile, and delight in his aesthetic collection and collage.

5 x 8 ink on paper
5 x 8 ink on paper

A month or two ago I made a collab boekie with drawings begun by Herman and added to by me and Carina Granlund.  Carina wrote a story around the imagery and when I got it back I hand coloured it digitally. I hope I sent one to Herman… if I didn't I need to!

Add caption
Herman gathers paper for his collage from markets.  He refashions them in ways that give them stories and a new identity. Every aspect of Herman's stuffed envelopes are thoughtfully composed.
back of above
'The Dreamer, not a self portrait, but could easily be'
I am always so happy to get mail from Herman and like most of my correspondents I have never met him.  So when he tells me that this isn't a self portrait but that it could be, I begin to imagine him in more detail.  For me, the mail seeds my imagination and enlarges my connectedness, real or perceived.

Cleo's moving in time

The timeless butterscotch of a Cleo envelope arrived in my postbox more than a week ago. I am still limping along with my mail art and that's the only reason I have taken so long to post it for you all to enjoy! The baggage tag on the envelope makes me say the word, 'shuffleboard'.  I have never even seen the game played but it's a word my father said and I think my grandmother played it. I'm sure someone from Grand View played shuffleboard once in the lapses of time.

The next thing I feel like doing is to fetch a big atlas, to open its musty pages and to find Wernersville.  Somehow Wernersville I can't believe it exists on Google maps.  It belongs on a dog-eared page of an atlas.

Claire has approached this project with forensic care.  Her appreciation for the context of what I imagine is her new home is palpable and generous.  The imagery is exotic in its nostalgia.

I can see as I lift back the corner of Cleo's card that inside is Cleo's studio.  I can't bear to tear the 'Our New Home' tape, it won't wiggle off, but it looks extraordinary!

Below I think I have damaged a gathering… I didn't mean to but you never really know how far to unwrap.  It's all exquisite and hugely appreciated!

Monday, November 16, 2015

It's what's inside that counts - Jay Block

Inside this inviting, whimsical and yet ever so slightly unremarkable envelope - it makes me hungry for jelly beans -  is something equally whimsical, but quite original, stunningly beautful, and salient! This takes me to a sculpture park, and invites me to look through and to inhabit a space in a personal and yet universal way. I consider the outside and realise that a chair can frame the landscape in its own specific and beautiful way, allowing its viewer to see the world differently. What is Jay telling me? 

The cut out is Picasso's Women of Alger, Version ''O''.1955, one of 12 that Picasso made (possibly) as a form of propoganda in a politically fragile moment:  Jay has put the body parts into even more unnatural poses as he's cut out a piece of Picasso's image. The landscape behind, a still life, not sure who the artist is but like,  is sculptural in a different way and it's brooding and mysterious. The two together inhabit an uncomfortable but symbiotic existence.

In light of the recent chaos in Paris, I will choose to interpret this missive from Jay as a reminder for tolerance and a hope for peace in an uncertain and volatile time. Three cheers for Jay Block's pop-up-life-landscape!

Light shines around the door.

Something Elsa and a personal note from the composer - Jude Weirmeir

This scratch and listen card arrived from Jude a day or two before the personal note from the composer (below). After reading about the context  see the top right: fragments of a poem by Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven:, some of the imagery and allusions begin to make perfect sense.  Singing this opus is not so straightforward, but as ever, Jude has made me laugh!  By the way, each scratch stamp produces a unique and remarkable sensation, akin to scraping a finger on a blackboard…. it's all just brilliant!

And although Halloween is over, there are pumpkins in the garden that need rescuing, the crows et the farmer's seed and the owl is back!  Boo to you too, but there is nothing boring about this mailing! Many thanks!

Greek Banana Mail Art time - Katerina

The thing about the banana is you just have to smile.  The sunny yellow, the ridiculous shape. Who wouldn't mark the day of the banana?  It is November 18th, this year. Thank you Katerina for slowing me down and making me smell the bananas! Bananas coming before too long!

BANANA Appreciation Zine - stripy goose

Stripy goose continues to send me mail art even though I have been very remiss (busy) and haven't been replying in my usual timely manner.  In the next few days I WILL send some banana mail (even if it's a little late… it's gonna be…) as it's very important to mark these non-hallmark-holidays!  Huge thanks Stripygoose!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Carmela's been doodling

Great to get some completed doodles from Carmela!  She's taking a break from mail art but I'll be doing something with her doodles. Stay tuned!

Aristide 3108 honours Noriko with serie DB - 37specimens

Aristide 3108 looks for the stories behind the mail art and brings them to our attention, through ENCARTED.  This time it is the turn of Noriko, Ryosuke Cohen's partner, to take the spotlight.  The card (with Noriko's profile?) is wonderfully haptic.  I think Aristide 3108 has painted a sticker, or perhaps it is an inked, recycled, adhered braincell, cut into a profile, and the result is a 'fractal face portrait.'  

Ryosuke and Noriko travelled to Europe, meeting up with mail artists so that Ryosuke could create a fractal portrait of his own this summer and Aristide 3108 is paying tribute to this visit. As ever, I am delighted to be included in the mailing.