Outbound Mail Art: A Little of This and That

You’ve seen some of my recent mail art in other posts… A Piece of the Puzzle series, FISH mail art and Trash Bubbles. I won’t bother to post those again. These are recent pieces that didn’t make their way into the blog, just in case you wondered if I’d done anything else recently. 😀

LYA 2016 Envie 2 Kat Sloma

This was the mail art envie for my Liberate Your Art  swap offerings. It went to Kat Sloma, hostess of the swap. 😀

Shadow of a Girl/Hiding in the Shadows 2016 Tag Swap Scrap Proj. to April Cole

This was a piece created from the left-over scraps from a recent tag swap. The leader of the group sponsoring the swap sent out a little something to all of the participants. Of course, I simply had to respond in kind. 😀

Milkweed Moth

Milkweed Moth was sent to Judy Staroscik, a fellow mail artist who’d been waiting on return mail from me for some time. It was created from a hodge-podge of scraps that had been floating around. 😀

Corrugated Rounds At Play to Carina Granlund

Carina Granlund is another mail artist who hadn’t seen mail from me in quite some time. I knew I’d yet to send her any of my black or corrugated mail, so I went with this piece, Corrugated Rounds at Play. I wonder how it will fare the international post? Only time will tell. 😀

Eduardo Munez Project Envie

And last, but not least, this envelope was my offering for the Eduardo Munez project. I am eager to see how the film turns out. 😀

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again!

 

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Tuesday Trash Bubbles: Pan Lite

Today’s Trash Bubble was made from consumer packaging that closely resembles the product it once held. These kinds of plastic bubbles offer a jumping off point of sorts and I enjoy working with them.

This piece was originally the plastic sleeve for a flash light of some sort. It had spacers that extended out from the main body, to fill the space in the box it came in and keep it from rattling around. I removed those with scissors, as it made securing the sides easier and less bulky.

To begin, I filled the small cavities with game piece letter blocks, giving title to the piece. Next, I added “buttons” to the little divots where it seems the on/off button was on the product. Then I added printed washi tape (Tim Holtz) to the edges to define the piece. Note: static is not your friend when working with post consumer plastic as it is a magnet for the finest hairs and dust, which can clearly be seen in the first photo.

Pan Lite (beginning)

Below are are some photos of the finished product. I had wanted to use short lengths of electrical wires and electronic components, but opted instead for trash bits because I didn’t want someone to mistake it for an explosive device. If it weren’t traveling “naked” through the mail, I would’ve stuck with my original vision.

FRONT:

Pan Lite (front)

Pan Lite (front top close-up)

Pan Lite (front middle close-up)

Pan LIte (front bottom close-up)

BACK:

Pan Lite (back)

Pan Lite (back top close-up)

Pan Lite (main body close-up)

It was fun to assemble. I can only hope that the receiver enjoys it. 😀

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again!

 

Dada: American Style

Linda French - postcard Dada and Fluxus are only somewhat

Postcard for Keith Chambers, by Linda French, 2016

Dada hit the New York scene in 1915 and largely, it stayed there for eight short years. Why leave? Why New York? Who were the New York Dadaists? What was their angle? What did they hope to accomplish?

Keith Chambers (Amalgamated Confusion) with Charlie Holt A

Keith Chambers (Amalgamated Confusion) with Charlie Holt (A)

This week, I challenge you to dig in, to read about Dada in New York. I could conceivably write a fresh piece from my perspective, but I feel that there are several good sources online that can acquaint you with the basics and guide you on to further information, should you be so curious. I present you with three such links to start you off.

Keith Chambers (Amalgamated Confusion) with Charlie Holt B

Keith Chambers (Amalgamated Confusion) with Charlie Holt (B)

Every search will turn up something from wikipedia, from the mundane to the obscure. I’m not its biggest fan, but it’s a place to get generalities, a good starting point, if you will.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_Dada

Dada Art has an extensive website devoted to Dada. I especially appreciate its page of Dada links, all which are quality references.

http://www.dadart.com/dadaism/dada/023-dada-newyork.html

If you want to learn anything about modern art whatsoever, MoMA, is definitely the way to go. Factual and yet, interesting.

http://www.moma.org/learn/moma_learning/themes/dada

Denise Woodward - Dada Dreams of Elvis Hair

ATC for Keith Chambers, by Denise Woodward – Dada Dreams of Elvis Hair 2016

In closing, I’d like to thank Keith Chambers for the use of his images, including the collaborations with Charlie Holt, and those sent to him in recent weeks. Thanks to Charlie Holt, Linda French and Denise Woodward also.

May you all take time to learn a little bit about the origins of Dada in New York and may you connect with your inner Dada.

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again!

Tuesday Trash Bubbles: Original Quadra Trash Bubble

Usually, my Trash Bubbles are created from one, single post consumer package. Often, they are too small to mail as art and are used as ornaments and gift tags, or are added to a larger flat piece for posting.

Close-up Original Quadra Trash Bubble (top)

This time, I broke the confines of my own definition by building a piece made up of FOUR!!! identical packages.

Introducing the Original Quadra Trash Bubble!

Original Quadra Trash Bubble

These pieces were anchored together using Tim Holtz’s Tiny Attacher, permanent double-sided tape and seals.

The interior packing cards were replaced by heavy paper cut to size, and folded accordingly to mimic the original.

Original Quadra Trash Bubble close-up (bottom)

Despite using trash as filler for these pieces, I follow closely the elements of art composition. Form. Line. Color. Space. Texture. Doing so turns the trashy bits into a cohesive art form.

Original Quadra Trash Bubble close-up

This particular piece is heading to a fellow mail artist in New Hampshire. You may recognize him as having been around a while.

Original Quadra Trash Bubble (back)

Be sure to check back next Tuesday for another installment of Tuesday Trash Bubbles.

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again!

 

Dada: The Celebration Continues 2-19

Last week we touched on what Dada is and I invited you to create your own Dadaist poetry and exchange it with me.

This week, I’d like to expand a little on Dada, sharing a bit about two key women in the Dadaist movement.

Before I do, I’d like to share a piece of Dada mail I received this week. Jude Weirmeir is a very active mail artist whose prolific work is a delight to behold. It is quirky, whimsical, musical and highly entertaining. The things I’ve received from San Diego, California in his name are some of the most treasured pieces in my archives. This one is no exception. It is a celebration of 100 years of Dada.

Jude Weirmeir Dada 100 Years (front)

Jude Weirmeir Dada 100 Years (front)

Jude Weirmeir Dada 100 Years (back)

Jude Weirmeir Dada 100 Years (back)

It must be said that I swooned over the Dada stamps on the back side of this envie. And they gave me the idea for this post.

One of Jude’s rubber stamps depicts “Emmy Hennings, 1st Dada Donor.” Emmy was the wife of Hugo Ball. She gave herself over to a life of Dada from the moment they met in 1913. She had been a published poet and performer with left-wing leanings, so this transition was a natural progression. She and Hugo were founding members of the Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich, Switzerland and she was known as the “shining star of the Voltaire.” I strongly encourage you to learn more about Emmy and her poetry and performance art, though I will say that not much of her work can be found independently of Hugo Ball. They were inseparable and their work was codependent.

Another of Jude’s rubber stamps shows the silhouette of Hannah Höch. She was the most prominent female member and contributor to the Dada movement in Berlin, Germany. Her humble beginnings in fashion and textile were short-lived and she is more widely known for her social, feminist commentary via photo montage and collage. She felt strongly her position of being on the outside, looking in, the only woman in a largely male group of Dadaists who exuded their gender superiority. The chauvinist group included Raoul Hausmann, Georg Schrimpf, Johannes Baader and Hans Richter. In response, a good deal of her work addressed this. Her collage style was more harmonious and cohesive than her male counterparts, another reason they discounted her work. Her art was offensive to the Nazi regime and was included under the “degenerative art” label. She led a very quiet and secluded existence during World War II and her art thereafter did not achieve the acclaim it had before the war. In January thru March of 2014, a comprehensive collection of her work was exhibited at The Whitechapel Gallery, London. I would have loved to have been present at that exhibit! It must be said that I consider Hannah to be the Mother of Modern Collage. One needs only to view images of her work to see how she paved the way for much of what we, as modern day collage artists, do. Once again, I urge you to learn more about Hannah and her work. There are lots of excellent links to be found online, as well as images of her work. Start with the link below. You’ll be glad you did.

http://www.moma.org/explore/multimedia/audios/29/704

If you’re at all like me, you’ll have developed an insatiable curiosity for the people and concepts that we have barely touched upon. Go forth, feed that curiosity and expand your knowledge of Dada and its central characters. Celebrate the accomplishments of those who have come before.

In the tradition of Hannah Höch, I challenge you to create a Dadaist collage with a central theme of great social or economic import to you. Look to the headlines of the day, if you need inspiration. You can share it via social media using the hashtags (#)Dadawatch and (#)MyDada. If you send it to me at The Studio at Piney Creek Acres as mail art, I will send one to you in kind.

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again!

 

 

On My Desk: Liberate Your Art 2016

Another year has passed since we talked about the Liberate Your Art Swap hosted by Kat Sloma of Kat Eye Studio. Read about the swap here: http://kateyestudio.com/liberate-your-art-postcard-swap

The idea behind the swap is to get artists and photographers thinking about reproducing their work and sending it out into the world. Many of us create one of a kind (OOAK) pieces and move on. But… the life of a particular piece is not limited to its original if you can reproduce it. We’re not talking about large professional quality prints for sale, although you can certainly take your artwork in that direction if you wish. We simply use the art to create postcards. Small. Simple. Easy.

This is my third consecutive year participating in this swap and it never disappoints. You might think it would be boring year after year, but rather, I find it more challenging as I go along.

Read about my first year here: https://trashbubblesandlifeslittlebits.wordpress.com/2014/04/17/liberate-your-art-follow-up-and-blog-hop/

Read about my second year here: https://trashbubblesandlifeslittlebits.wordpress.com/category/liberate-your-art-2015-post-card-swap/

This year, I chose two images to work with. The first was a photograph I took of some colored pencils that, to me, was striking.

Colored Pencil Photo

The space off to the right felt empty. I almost abandoned the use of the photo for that reason. Then, I had the idea to pair it with one of my favorite quotes about color and this is what transpired…

COLOR QUOTE Colored Pencils

The colors changed from my original in the uploading/printing/scanning process. Sadly, there was no way to prevent that. My preference was for the brighter, truer, more crisp colors, but I am satisfied with the final product, knowing that if you don’t see them side by side like this, you don’t know there is a difference.

The second image I worked with was a 4×6 collage I created using Crow About StudioB elements from Nancy Baumiller. You can find the image packs I used here: Funky Borders: http://www.mischiefcircus.com/shop/product.php?productid=23280&cat=0&page=1 and Tree Lovers & Things: http://www.mischiefcircus.com/shop/product.php?productid=23281&cat=0&page=1

TheWallflower

The Wallflower

Once again, the colors were more muted than I’d intended. Firstly, I do not have a laser printer with which to print the image packs for use in collage. Secondly, re-scanning/printing further changes the colors. For my purposes, the softer more muted colors were okay.

Vistaprint was my printer of choice for quantity and cost concerns.

Five printed postcards are required for the swap. I’m not sure if I will choose one design over the other, or if I will send a mix of the two. I also need to art up the envelope I’ll be sending them in. That’s what’s on my desk today.

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again!

 

 

A Piece of the Puzzle

In an attempt to find my way back, I’d begun the month of January cleaning, sorting and organizing my studio. I didn’t get very far.

One item kept tripping me up — literally. It was a large puzzle whose artwork was created by Christina Riese Lassen of Maui, Hawaii c2004. My daughter’s friend built it, sealed it and presented it to her when she was still in high school. She left it behind when she moved out. It was missing a few pieces in the lower right-hand corner, but I couldn’t part with it. Something about it really spoke to me. And so, it floated around the floor, sometimes being used as a backdrop for photos, but mostly, it was in the way.

The other day, I accidentally loosed a four inch section when I tripped over it. Voila! The idea was born to break it into mail-able pieces I would re-seal them on both sides to make them sturdy enough to survive the postal journey on which they were about to embark.

DSC_0381

But… how to make them my own? I didn’t want to destroy the artist’s work. That was what I loved and why it stayed so long on the studio floor.

While sorting and organizing the magazines I use for collage, words and phrases kept jumping out at me. I decided to take the time to clip some and found that the choices I made had me thinking about the puzzle. In an effort to move past it, I began matching the clippings to the sections I’d broken up, thinking that I simply needed to acknowledge my mind’s connection so that I could move on.

Instead of the release I sought, I found deeper meaning in the bits. I jotted down each word snippet on scratch paper and wrote the first two or three things that came to mind for each one.

When I finished, I had an outline of sorts. Reading over it, I found it was a lesson in self. It reminded me of some things I’d forgotten, showed me where I’d been meaning to go and delivered the promise for which I’d been looking.

Here are the twenty one pieces before mailing:

PuzzleAllTogetherNow PuzzleBalanceBlues PuzzleBeautyElectric PuzzleBloom PuzzleCarvingAnUnusualPath PuzzleCreativeControl PuzzleEnergy PuzzleFuturePerfect PuzzleHeadingIntoTheFuture PuzzleHiddenBeauty PuzzleInspiration PuzzleJewelBox PuzzleRareBirds PuzzleSeaShades PuzzleStrangerInParadise PuzzleSundance PuzzleTheGrassIsAlwaysGreener PuzzleTranquility PuzzleTrueColors PuzzleWhatLiesBeneath

PuzzleMystery

And this is what they inspired:

PieceofthePuzzleJournalArt

They were mailed domestically. Look for them to land soon, in a mailbox near you!

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again!

P.S. I have recently contributed a piece to the blog You-R-Here. I would really like all my readers to see it because I mention each and every one of you. Please take the time to check it out: http://you-r-here.net/2016/02/01/goodwill-lynn-radford/