Thursday, October 27, 2016

A lesson in scraps - NBS

When I get an envelope like this, I get goosebumps.  I was so happy to hear from Nancy Bell Scott that I messaged her at IUOMA. Mail from Nancy is always a lesson, not a didactic lesson, a subtle you shouldn't be trying so hard, natural is better, stop TRYING SO HARD. She makes beauty feel effortless.  She helps me to see the mundane differently.  She is just unique.
This arrived folded , like a palm sized card

I have stuff all over the place in my studio and I couldn't help but arrange nancy's scraps and card in a little still life.
I see the sky.

One of two three-scraps

two of two three-scraps


As ever text and colour, line and form combine to make jewels to marvel at.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Aristide 3108, Tiziana, the lions, friends and me.

So excited to receive an encarted from Aristide 3108. Joel Cohen helped me to make a mind map of mailartists who I exchange with, visualing it that way was great.   Aristide 3108 finds connections and makes them explicit here.  

This encarted comes from a project mastermined by Tiziana.  We all contributed red lions.   You can see them here:

Aristide's poetic and minimalist touch is glorious.

Meet me at Dan Lynch or La Jolla

 Our daughter joined a choir again.  I think it's a Greek choir in Glasgow. Our son doesn't have time this year; his schedule, as a junior doctor, is unpredictable.  Although I don't play any instruments and don't belong to a choir, the practice of music is something I esteem, and that esteem seems to have translated to our children.  What I'm trying to say is that if I were near Jude Weirmeir, I'm sure someone in our family would be high-tailing it to the corner of La Jolla Village Drive and Genesse to Learn the Blues. Would they be singing or playing them?

I love that concept, learning the blues, can you REALLY teach that? I thought the blues was embodied. 

When I lived in NYC I used to go to a place called Dan Lynch to listen to the blues. I understand it has closed.  That makes me sad.  I used to get right up close, shoes filling with sawdust. I also adore the puns on this mailing: the cow horns and 'meet'; 'fame and fortune guaranteed, the antithesis of singing the blues, And also the fab aesthetic above and below.
I am reminded that if I don't get my skates on and send some mail art to Jude, he will give up on me!
Huge thanks as ever.  My excuse this time is I am obsessed my Donna Tart's The Goldfinch.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Question, Exclamation, Eyes on Art - Dave the Rave

This altered postcard arrived from Dave the Rave a few weeks ago. On the back are some punctuation marks: question marks, exclamation marks, quotes and commas. To my mind, the punctuation symbolises the audience and as dave commented in a FB post in response to another eye-laden piece he had sent to TOFU, "So many eyes look at art , it seems only right for the object to become the subject." I like the joy, the fun, the haptic quality and the the colour!  Many thanks, Mr Rave.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Phatt Kayke - Meeow

 So much of what goes on online is a mystery to me.  I am quite tech savy, but I miss the nuance of some of the activities. So joining Phatt Kayke was one of those 'it's DK, OK, click yes' and then I forgot about it.  I'm not even sure I went to the FB page until today!

I guess being a member of Phatt Kayke is joining a cat appreciation club. We had cats once.  We found them in the basement window area.  There were two kittens.  We called them 'moon' and 'shot' because some men had just gone into space. Otherwise, cats don't feature in my life.  But I am impressed with Diane's marketing material and her crowd funder is wild.

morph material

Amazing stickers! My own TIGER LILY magnet!

This is TOO COOL!

What's good about getting unexpected mail is that it will send me in a direction I couldn't imagine going in: Cat mail here I come!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Stamp selvedge selvage salvaged

P Landon has a feel for confident simplicity and I am a sucker for variations on the theme of white, especially time altered white.  I am reminded in this mailing that mail art doesn't need to shout to be beautiful and affecting. I hate to alter it, but if I must… selvage.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Overhanging TP - Words from Walmarth

Extremely sensible advice imagery arrived from Walmarth Cascadia while I was in Maine and I can't believe I haven't opened it until now.  In fact, I can't believe I lived so long without knowing the absolutely key instructions for the correct way to set up your TP. 

I don't know if it's a common topic, but I have been involved with discussions around this issue before… when I taught at a secondary school in Ipswich, one lunch time there was an out and out tablewide debate (amongst the teachrs, SERIOUSLY) about toilet roll positioning, so it's great to get the expert advice from Walmarth once and for all.

 My only issue is I'm going to need the diagram to remember which is right and which is wrong.  Maybe I should frame it and place it in the bathroom!  

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Celebration of the note pad, among other things...

I thought I'd celebrate the exceptional news that Bob Dylan has won the Nobel Prize for Literature with some mail art from Joel Cohen, AKA sticker dude, but also apparently nimble note pad maker! To begin with, I found a beautifully stickered and stamped envelope front mostly on the travel theme.  But don't miss the THE EVOLUTION OF ART sticker - a collab between Joel and Vittore Baroni.  On the back we have a DYLAN quote, and some social commentary, all aesthetically placed for maximum impact!

Below is a letter from Joel explaining athe provenance of the selection of note pad pages he incuded in my mailing!

I purposefully scanned a few of the backs so you could see that many of the illustrations are by Thomas Kerr. These are great! There is lots of fun wisdom, some stunning art and more revelations about Joel.  I love the fact that his desk is heaving under the weight of his collections of stuff.  The big propensity page is on metalic grey pearly paper! My life is one big propensity, so that one really grabs me. The dead page has a dead stamp on the back.  There's so much thought and sharing in everything Joel does! Many, many thanks and I mailed in my absentee ballot.  I must get the additional Trump stickers out to delight the postman and my mail art buddies.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Issue 93 - in four parts - (it's all in the data) Jude Weirmeir

They say the arts and science are related and can result in collaborative masterpieces. Musical mathematicians, Painterly Pediatric Surgeons… Jude is systematizing his life in four parts and I suspect he sees this as a musical score that he can play or sing. I can even imagine some of the sounds the words in this first part serialize your life! I think the sound 'WAKE UP' would have a different timbre to 'WORK', for example. The fact that each box is the same size and the type is uniform (not bold, or narrow) does not mean the length or the volume would be similar. There are some mysteries... Not sure what noisrevni edargorter is!

In this one Jude is more specific.  Before I turned over and read the instructions, I had a vague idea what Jude might intend.  Jude's subscription Opus' are demystifying composing for me.  My musical development feels similar to when I realised that I 'owned' the reading of a poem when I read it. I think Jude writes music the way I do a drawing.  These are curious exercises that capture imagination, and may be worked up into something bigger.  and sometimes, these little gems stand on their own.  The spiral matrix feels a bit like when I get lost in my drawing and momentarily don't believe I know how to escape, or complete.

Look around and everything you see reveals itself to you in the context of your imagination and ideas.  Jude's beans, with their unique complexions and shape have a variety that is exciting. How can we use them to make our 'music' or our art.  Pehrpas move them around, squich them, roll them in your hands, sort them, click them, print with them...

And this one makes me feel the way the crossword does on some mornings.  Or like the stuff I write on the whiteboard for the ESOL speakers whose first language is arabic must feel to them. There's some kind of puzzle but it will take effort and if I give in and give up, I'm not as smart as I feel sometimes and if I spend all evening working it out I'm not sure that's the best use of my time.  I suspect this is music of a busy, crowded city full of bright young things.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Stardom and the Milky Way - Herman Kamphuis

Herman is long overdue a reply, but that hasn't stopped him sending me this packed envelope and another I haven't opened yet! He seems to have been paying attention as the envelope nods to my recent trip to Maine.  We did drive back down to Boston, but not in anything as stylish as Herman's car… and the ferry to Cranberry (while friendly and local) is not a Cunard.

 I've named this mailing 'Stardom and the Milky Way' because the first relationship I saw in the two parallel images was that the one on the left is dressed to go to the stars (well into space, anyway) and the one on the right is surely an actor, sat at his dressing table, readying himself to go onstage. Of course he is on his way to being a star. Herman's beguiling marbeled background is the Milky Way to me.
 Meanwhile, Herman and Vizma are focused on hands! see Vizma's collab here:
I love the way Herman expertly guides my eye from green to green and then hand to hand and stamp to stamp and onto radio grid. The sculpture and then the negative space around the radio and hand come next.  It a dance of objects and colour.
Next year I am fashioning the real thing of this vegetable hat. Ascot here I come! The way Herman, draws, assembles, collages and inks is sheer brilliance.

Below is a wonderful assortment of hand cut papers, ready for use in a return piece. I promise to reply, but suspect I won't want to cut, over even use a part of any of these treasures! Huge thanks as always.