The Ghost of Guido Vermeulen

This morning’s Monday Morning Mail Art Call is a little different from the ones that have come before, in that I am not only announcing a call, but paying tribute to a dear friend and fellow mail artist who passed away in 2014.

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Breathing Polluted Air Blues by Guido Vermeulen

Guido Vermeulen was a “POET, MAIL ARTIST, PAINTER.” He was the self-proclaimed “dispatcher from signs and stones” and the “Editor of FRIOUR Network Magazine.”

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This Is The Result Of Just Another Sleepless Night by Guido Vermeulen

He impacted the lives of everyone with whom he came in contact. Many became treasured friends via their regular correspondence with him. I am no exception.

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HELL & HEAVEN were invented by my mother; a tribute to William Blake and Lynn Britton Radford by Guido Vermeulen

Guido and I met through mail art, but we quickly bonded on many levels which gave us plenty to discuss as we sent envelopes back and forth and interacted via social media. We never did meet in person and I am saddened that I will not be able to collect on the promised hugs in this lifetime.

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At Crescent Creek Cane – Sugar Comments On A Sunset by Guido Vermeulen

Recently, Guido’s birthday passed. He would have been 62. Many of us have been thinking of him and reminiscing. I’d remembered having seen a call for Guido inspired mail art and I created an envelope for the event, only to find that I had not saved the information. I was distraught at the thought of having created a tribute to my dear friend, only to drop the ball.

This past week, an envelope from another dear friend gave me the information I’d thought was lost to me.

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This is the envelope I painted with acrylic inks for the call:

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The Ghost of Guido Vermeulen by LKR (A Tribute to the Memory of Guido Vermeulen, the dispatcher from signs and stones… A True Friend ‘Til the End.)

Had I sent this on to Guido, there would have been discussion, no doubt. Were they bunny ears? Was it a two headed monster? Were they representative of demons? Alas, we have to think on these points without Guido’s thoughts.

An envelope much like those Guido often used was utilized for the project and I even took care to address it in the manner he most often used. Having plenty of his cards, I used one on the envelope, a testament to his having been here.

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This morning, this piece is on its way. I hope that it touches people as it goes, just like Guido did.

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again!

 

On My Desk: Trial and Error

It seems, to me, that folks don’t just want to read about artists’ successes and their perfect projects. They want to see their crap and their mistakes, not to mention; their epic fails. So here I am to share a bit of that with anyone who cares to stop by.

Artists are an experimental bunch. We are continually inspired to see what happens when we use an art supply in a new way or when we use an ordinary, every day item as an art supply. In so doing, we make plenty of mistakes, throw away or rework numerous pieces often to no real end… Except, that in our attempts and failures lies the key to better art. We learn what works and what doesn’t. We push the proverbial envelope in search of new techniques, ultimately seeking that one piece that speaks to our soul….

My Trash Bubbles were born of this kind of curiosity… I call it the WHAT IF? mentality.

Over the weekend, after I finally let go of my glow-in-the-dark paint thing, (if you are unfamiliar with my dilemma, read more about it here: https://trashbubblesandlifeslittlebits.wordpress.com/2014/03/05/the-folly-of-hoarding-art-supplies/ ) I decided to add dripping blood to the top edge of my piece for the Dreadful Project.

It was easier said than done.

Specters in the Dark

Specters in the Dark

My background being black, I needed a medium than was red, would show up on the black and not blend in, that was thin enough to run, but thick enough that it would congeal quickly and not run down the entire page. That’s a lot to ask from any ordinary art supply.

Red acrylic ink and fluid acrylic paint were considered and dismissed because of their thin consistency. I thought about watering down an acrylic, but that seemed like a great deal of pain for something that would be very tempermental.

That was when it hit me! Why not use red candle wax?! It would be the right consistency for easy control and would set up quickly! So long as I had a rich, deep  red that could be seen atop the black gesso layer, I was in business!

I was so excited that I went straight to work! I could finally see the light at the end of the tunnel… in this case, that meant the completion of my contribution to the Dreadful Project.

This is what it looked like when I finished…

Wax Blood on Specters in the Dark

Wax Blood on Specters in the Dark

It was pretty cool, except that the droplets were peeling up off the page, leaving them vulnerable to being broken off in transit or by handling.

Peeling Blood Drips on Specters in the Dark

Peeling Blood Drips on Specters in the Dark

Can you you say, “Epic Fail?”

I have since scraped the wax off and am back to square one.

Back to square one....

On a more positive note, I DO like the look that the Antique Linen Distress Ink Pad gave the specters. (Used in lieu of glow-in-the-dark paint to soften the bright white page showing through the black gesso.) I also like that my black on black Jane Hancock in the lower right-hand corner is readable.

Back to the drawing board… the deadline is looming!

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again!