Archive for July, 2011

Not much making for the last two weeks. I am sure breaks can be positive. Causes you to archive images and reflections that you come across. To remind yourself over and over again to remember them if they have impressed you so much. Sometimes I think that I work too much without reflecting, and so I see not making anything right now as a good thing; even though it is frustrating.

I try to make sure that I see a little mainstream gallery “acceptable” art when I go out East to see los padres. This time I went to the Aldridge in Connecticut where I had a wonderful time. The best art viewing experience ever really because I laughed and reacted so much while viewing. Plus, there wasn’t anyone else besides my father and stepmother in the galleries when we were viewing art which allowed us to say whatever we were feeling at a voice that was comprehensible rather than a murmur.

And, I decided that I would treat myself to a day to the city that I have both a love and loathing for: NYC.

At first, I was planning to go to the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum because Lorna Simpson had some art there and because I had never seen The Dinner Party in real life.

But, at the last minute, perhaps due to the heat and the prospect of a short subway ride, perhaps because I swayed by ye old NY Times, I went to see the “Ostalgia” exhibit at the New Museum.

At this moment, the work of Vladimir Arkhipov and Anna Zemánková stick in my mind.

What are these? A thread spooler and a maraca. The thread spooler is a personal favorite. They are basically the “DIY survival tools” that the artist traveled around Russia documenting.

And while on the subject of thread, I was a bit obsessed with it this trip and am consequently dreaming about an inexpensive, light-weight, and small sewing machine.

Anna Zemánková combines various media with embroidery. You can’t even see the embroidery in this reproduction. Ugh.

This womb is by Marloes Dukyer whom I discovered in Indie Craft. I love the use of thread that is allowed to stream, lace, and paper that has been left to the elements in a pile of leaves.

I could learn a lot from her.

Heather L. Murphy is an artist that I discovered through Painted Pages.  I love how she sews the kinds of materials I collect in her journals. I am having issues attaching the image to my blog. Perhaps protections are in place. I respect this. I like her work and don’t want anyone to steal it or use it inappropriatly. And so, in addition to the previous link that I shared, here is a page from her blog.

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chelpa ferro

I was on the East Coast this week along with the heat. I tried to see a bit of art while I was there. My father, step mother, and I went to the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, Connecticut. It’s a gem of a museum. I liked almost everything on exhibit mostly because it combined seriousness, fun, and collaborative endeavors.

This was one of my favorites by Chelpa Ferro:

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Now that I have relieved myself of the pressure of documenting everything that I receive and send, I suddenly feel like posting. Imagine that?

I received this amazingness in my mailbox yesterday.

I totally dig it. Not only is it the name of Ani Di Franco’s record label but it is the perfect card for me! I ended up putting it up on my wall in front of my desk at work. It will help me through some of the harder days when I have to listen to stories of discrimination that I cannot even fathom. Or for the times that I try to speak diplomatically and empathetically to a landlord that a client is having difficulties with and he proceeds to call me a “young lady.” I have previously visualized my streak of grey hair and verbally striken back. Now I can stare at the righteous babe showing her muscle along with her grey and wham! He he he. Insert scathingly sounding laugh here.

Thank you, Amy D.!!!

I’m off to the East Coast on Sunday. The mail (and blogging) will slow down for a week, perhaps.

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Up to this point, I have been trying to post all of the mail art that I create and send, as well as all of the mail art that I receive. It is making me crazy. I already am trying to make sure that I keep up with sending mail art to all those that send me mail art, and then I put the extra burden on myself of posting EVERYTHING on here. As my blog dilemmas well illustrate, I think that I need to put less demands on myself. I haven’t quite figured out what the solution is. Some people only share what they receive, others what they send, while others just share mail art and non-mail art creations that they are proud of or inspirations and moments where daily life seeps in.

All I know is that a change is needed.

Today, I will just share a piece of mail art received from Pretty Lilly.

It has sent me on a bit of a buzz creating little collages with all of my scraps and creating scraps just to collage them. Perhaps I will share some of the results later.

In fact, I have found myself experimenting a lot with different styles recently. I’ve also been playing with inks and paint, mostly influenced by Annie Yu’s amazing work. I know that I don’t compare.










I struggled with the front of this card. It has layers and layers. At the end, I just wanted it out. I like the address side much better.

I really like using inks and paints, but I do not feel that I am very good at using them. I feel much more comfortable with collage. I keep on reminding myself that I am supposed to be having fun, right? Letting go of my perfectionism and sharing with others.

Hopefully, I can keep it that way.

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Where do I start? A few months ago I received a hand stitched package from Australia with no apparent opening. The package was stitched with a red thread the shade and texture of which I recognized as thread that I myself had brought back from Guatemala many years ago. And the paper of the package was paper that I myself had made when I lived in South Texas.

The package was from my mail art correspondent Helen Amyes and was made out of materials that I had sent to her in an exchange. Even though I did not want to destroy the stitching, I went ahead and opened it. And, I found a veritable treasure inside.

A little book with a sandpaper cover and pages made of a clothing pattern and with stamp additions.

I just love Helen Amyes’ mail art. Sometimes it is hard to know what to send back since I don’t think my work can even compare to hers.

I ended up sending her the above.

Coralette Damme is another regular correspondent from the International Union of Mail Artists. What I appreciate most about that group is that nothing is too strange or morbid for them. They are open to all mail art expressions including this:

Beware. I seem to be a bit obsessed with eyeballs, evil eye protectors, and yarrow right now.

Not to mention circles.

Many eons ago, Millicent sent me an envelop full of goodies. I have previously posted what I have mailed back to her.

Mary sent me some cheery smiley faces. Perhaps she knew that I had been down for a bit. I sent her the following back.

He he. It smelled quite good because I glued on dried lavender. Let’s see if it makes it through the mail!

Rebecca sent me the clouds in a recyclable clear envelope. I like the contrast of the paper with text and the rich solid blue. Plus her work is clean in a way that mine never will.

I still need to send her something in return.

And last but not least, i am superhero i can like fly and shit. I really enjoy hir computer layering. The gas mask is such a loaded symbol that contrasts well with the rich purples, reds, and golds. Ze had also sent me mail regarding hir son, Gabriel that died. In return, I sent my heart.

What else could I do?

Some of you may know that during the week, I am a social worker. And in my current position, I work with clients that have experienced housing discrimination. This has been a particularly hard week for me where all I could often do was offer a part of my heart.

But, if you know Spanish, you may be able to decipher the fortune that I glued onto the card: “Esperanza es un desayuno bueno pero una cena mala,” “Hope is a good breakfast but a bad dinner.” For some reason, this fortune makes me laugh. You may find it on upcoming mailings. It cheers me up in some odd and incomprehensible way.

I received two more amazing pieces of mail art today but they will have to wait to be scanned.


mad madge

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I’ve been busily making but took a little break today and went on a short bike ride. Here are some of my favorite images.

And this last one is not from the bike ride. It’s a tree in our backyard and the sun was hitting it just right yesterday.

Hope that you had a wonderfully inspiring weekend too!

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