Searching for Letters Abroad

letters-abroad“There are places I remember
All my life though some have changed
Some forever not for better
Some have gone and some remain
All these places have their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I’ve loved them all”  In My Life” – John Lennon

Of late, the Full Moon has been my time of introspection. Urged on by the changing of the seasons, so it was again this month. The feeling of melancholy surrounds me as I see the leaves change colour and begin their spiral dance to the earth. And the progression continues with change as the only constant.

I have mentioned how much the Artistcellar Labyrinth series has inspired my work. Believing in Synchronicity, they came to me just when I needed them most. This time my chosen stencil to work with was Gonzaga. I love the clean straight lines. It would be a superb counterpoint for the elements I collected for the collage.

A new medium for me is the Deco Art Media Crackle Paste. Application is easy and all that is needed is a palette knife and patience to allow for an adequate drying time. I picked a piece of copper metallic writing paper for my substrate. As I spread the paste through the stencil I wondered how it would hold up. Would this technique be its demise? It’s an interesting process to watch. The thickness of application varies the size of the eggshell cracks. And like magic…there they were. I pulled the stencil away from the paper and started my clean-up. I’m happy to report, as with all Artistcellar products, cleaning was easy and the stencil held up beautifully. Quality, quality, quality!

Hearing “In My Life” on the radio brought back so many wonderful memories from a time before email. It’s no secret that I am a passionate lover of the written word. Letters, postcards…anything in the mail is nourishment for my Muse! I relish the anticipation as much as the delivery. Just to see an address in a familiar hand is uplifting. I wanted my theme for the collage to be the art of correspondence.

I admit I find it difficult to meditate. So many ideas, so many images interrupt what should be a place of quiet and wonder. By using the labyrinth as the focal part of my work, I am getting closer to quieting my mind. The Labyrinth pulls together my random thoughts. So the work you see here is an attempt at stream of consciousness meditation, for lack of a better phrase.

It was time to complete the collage. Drawing from my Book of Backgrounds (aka the Strathmore Mixed-Media Visual Journal) I selected other stencil designs I created: Halftone Dots, Seafoam, and Open Works from the Blocks series. Placing the images went smoothly…as if they knew where they should “live”. I allowed myself to feel, and to journey looking back at what once was with a definite optimistic view of the future. I recognize that accepting change is an integral part of the progression.

In my life all these places had their moments. And for that I am grateful.

Shameless Plug: The Labyrinth Series in addition to other works incorporating Artistcellar Stencils will be on show at the Oyster Mill Playhouse, Camp Hill, PA November 4 through November 20, 2016



The Gift Of A Creative Journey

Mail Art

CREATE – Mail Art

I have always loved receiving mail. Real mail. Snail mail. Having bits of paper in my mail box delivered by an honest to goodness person kind of mail. Before the age of emails, texting and social media, paper-in-your-hand mail was the best way to communicate and share your life events with those you cared about.

And even though it isn’t as immediate, I still love the anticipation and feeling of surprise when I open my mailbox and find a treasure waiting for me.

When I found out about a Mail Art Swap on the Bliss Angels Blog I decided to jump in! The theme is CREATE. The challenge was to assemble four envelopes.

I sat down with my box of ephemera and I allowed my Muse to guide me. I had a few lovely craft envelopes to use as a substrate. I found a copy  of a painting of First Lady Louisa Adams. I loved her pose and the wistful look in her eye. I decided to build the art around her.

I have a bag of fortunes from Chinese fortune cookies. I dug deep and pulled one out. It read:

Your flair for the creative takes an important place in your life.

It was a perfect start…again…Synchronicity? The substrate is a craft envelope. In addition to the reproduction of the painting I added art and handmade paper, a wax infused paper doily, a postage stamp, newsprint, and joss paper. I finished the envelope by adding rubber stamped and stencilled acrylic metallic paint. All that was left to do was address, stamp, and send.

As I eagerly await the Art that will grace my mailbox I can’t help but think about creativity and our lives. The power to create is a gift. Creativity can take us to the places of our dreams. Inspiration comes disguised and in many forms. Even on a lowly envelope.