The belated postcard post

This is a very very belated post about my postcards I made for Hanna’s Postcard swap.  I showed the start of the cards in this post.

I was trying to decide what to do with my pile of backgrounds.  I didn’t want to lost too much of that background because I liked it.  It reminded me of a grafiti wall, or raw street art kind of feel and I wanted to retain that feeling.  I was thinking of characters initially and one night I woke up remembering this photo I had take a little while before:

One of my favourite walls.

It is one of my favouritest walls and I did some research on what it was representing and it was bringing attention to shark finning which is one of the most detestable practices done at the moment I think. So barbaric and pointless and inhumane. Learning that in fact made me love the wall even more. And so at about 2:30 in the morning I decided to do shark inspired fish. I decided not to be too focused on shark making so to speak, but to just do a series of shark inspired fish that were a bit zany and fun and would fit onto the street arty kind of feel I wanted. Once I decided I then didn’t go back to look at this photo because I didn’t want to completely rip them off, just be inspired by them.

I drew some rough shapes with charcoal and filled them in with gesso. Once that was dry I began filling them in, with a mix of coloured pencils, acrylic gouache and paint pen.

This is what I ended up with:

DIY Postcard

DIY Postcard

DIY Postcard

DIY Postcard

DIY Postcard

DIY Postcard

DIY Postcard

DIY Postcard

DIY Postcard

DIY Postcard

DIY Postcard

DIY Postcard

DIY Postcard

DIY Postcard

DIY Postcard

I am so grateful I signed up. Not least because just after I did my work as the chairperson of my children’s school board exploded and became so incredibly difficult professionally and emotionally (thankfully it is drawing to an end now so expect some catch up posts…just a warning :)), but this allowed me some time to decompress and not lose complete touch with my creative work, and so still stay somewhat sane. It was one of my self care practices.

Also I got the 10 most wonderful postcards in return. I can’t even tell you the joy each one brought me. I know I mentioned (I think I did), that the last 2 times I did not get the full amount, which was fine, but a little disappointing, but this time, all ten arrived. And on perfect days. Where things had seemed incredibly overwhelming and hard, there was a ray of joy. I was so incredibly grateful.

I thought I had taken a photo of all of them, and it appears I haven’t. And the light is too terrible to do this now (thanks to a dark grey early setting winter sky), but I will post a photo of all the wonderful cards I received. Because they are too delightful and wonderful to not be shown off a bit! :D

DIY Postcard swap is looming again

I have joined up with Hanna’s DIY Postcard swap.  A fantastic opportunity to send out happy mail and receive it as well.  So far I have always had extras which I have sent out to say thank you for cards received and to other friends.

I was not entirely sure I was going to sign up this time.  I think some got waylaid on their way to NZ last time because I only received four from the swap, but I found this paper I had painted a while ago (for some long forgotten project so I really hope I don’t remember what I had it for and want to finish the project!!) over the weekend and while wondering what to do with it thought it might look cool chopped up which made me think of the postcard challenge.  While I do love to receive happy mail, it really is joyful for me creating it and sending it out all over the world (as well as nervewracking) so with that as my primary motivation I signed up again. :)

I am so glad I did.  I am quite excited by the potential of these.

This is the sheet when I first pulled it out and decided what to do with it.  You can see how big it is from my feet at the bottom of the photo.

Have decided to join @ihannas postcard swap and use this paper as my background.  You can see how big it is by my feet so I figure it won't all be postcards!! #diypostcardswap

I added a bit more paint…

Background paper 2

…and then a bit of book text, more paint and some graphite…

Background paper 3

I cut up some cereal boxes to glue on to the back…(the description belies the wrist strain from brayering all those cards onto the background paper to make sure they are stuck down tight…but I will spare you that whining)

Making postcards

…and am now cutting them out (and may be doing that over the next week or so, it will probably be the job I turn to when I am procrastinating :)).

Making postcards

I am not sure what is going to go on the front.  I am thinking I may look for shapes and characters and some funky monsters and see what I see but I am not sure at the moment.

Here are the other cards I have sent out in the previous swaps…here and here.

Mail art…

Back in September (ignoring the fact it is now not September!!) I participated in a mail art challenge for Tim’s Sally True Free Spirit Art Group.  I was a little nervous about who I was swapping for but ended up producing this:

Mail Art  - True Free Spirit

I really liked the sketchy quality of it, and the imperfection. And it was something I wanted to explore a bit more so I made a note. :)

And then I saw Hanna was holding her DIY Postcard swap and at the last minute decided to join up. To get my art mojo back again…nothing like a little art deadline pressure! When I was thinking about what to do I thought about the mail art I had made for Nolwenn and thought I could do something similar…also further exploring what it was I liked about the original piece I did. Which also makes this a series!! Which is a proper artist kind of thing to do. Also I am not finished with the idea. I still want to play a bit more. I also really want to do life drawing classes now.

But here are the cards I did for Hanna’s swap:
Mail Art #19

Mail Art #18

Mail Art #17

Mail Art #16

Mail Art #15

Mail Art #14

Mail Art #13

Mail Art #12

Mail Art #11

Mail Art #10

Mail Art #9

Mail Art #8

Mail Art #7

Mail Art #6

Mail Art #5

Mail Art #4

Mail Art #3

Mail Art #2

Mail Art #1

Some I felt called to write on, others I didn’t. I really enjoyed making them. I was careful about what poses I chose since other people would be receiving them who may be sensitive to glimpses of breast or the like. I hope all the receivers are happy. I really liked how they came out.

I didn’t take any progress shots, but I did not finish all of them that I had prepped so the backgrounds did all look a bit like these unfinished ones.

Background  Mail Art

Background Mail Art

Rocking moments

RYWLinking up over at Virginia’s as I record the moments that rocked this week

The biggest thing that rocked my world this week was a 6.5 earthquake (hahahaha), thankfully the aftershocks have dropped to only the one or two that we can feel each day and I am studiously avoiding the website that will tell me how many aftershocks we are actually having for the sake of my anxiety and so I don’t become addicted to red wine!!  :)  Also thankfully we had only a little bit of damage.

I won a spot on Nataša May’s art workshop Cotton Candy Girls which was very thrilling and I am looking forward to it!

Also Pixie Campbell’s Visual Quest workshop is opening very soon and I am most excited to be able to participating. It has been on my wish list all year so I am thrilled to bits that the start date is nearly here!!

I am grateful for ICAD, and so pleased that Victoria and I are up to date and on target to finishing this week (post coming up later today when I have taken and processed photos!!).

It is winter holidays over here, and we have had an awful amount of sun and even been hanging about in t-shirts and shorts.  It helps my sanity greatly to be able send children outside to kill each other where I can’t hear them.  We have also had an extra two boys for three days, so the good weather where three boys can go outside and make as much noise as they want makes me very grateful.

We have also had some crafty days (possibly more than just some!!)…

Craft central around here today...

We have also made playdough…

Keeping her handbag close just in case!?

I am also grateful for art mail making it’s way to my mail box courtesy of Jana at Tangled Pen.

Mail art makes me very happy!

I have thought her birds were amazing since I first saw them and I was so excited when I found one in my envelope.

I HAVE FINISHED THE ARTIST’S WAY AT LONG LAST!!!! I have been trying to finish this book for years and years and years. Even joined an online group last year and I just couldn’t do it, but I have done it this year thanks to making my blog hold me accountable and I am so excited by not only that I have finished (and that would have been enough considering how many times I tried to do this!), but also how much I got out of it.

I am also grateful for my online connections and the lovely comments and motivation I get from all of you. I feel blessed for the support and that I have people who see me in this way.

I am grateful that with some challenges and deadlines coming to an end I will have more time to get to the things I have been neglecting and feeling bad about…bonus time!

I am grateful for my beloved who opened the red wine last Sunday and indulged my high anxiety for the most part, as I did things like fill the bath tub with water in case we had the big one and we had no access to water. Also to my dearest snorting sniggering Wellington-based friends…I would probably still share with you LISA!! Maybe… :)

Sebastian is turning 10 next week, so this is my last week of him being in single digits as he keeps reminding me. It is hard to believe that I have been a mother for a decade (it has gone so fast) and at the same time, being a mother for only a decade, it feels like forever, most of the time in the best of ways! :D

And that is me for this week. I hope everyone is having a fabulous weekend. :)

Navigating memory with mail art

This week’s assignment on the Coursera Art course was mail art, with the theme of memory.

I am so glad I decided to do this course.  It has been really interesting.  I was very close to deciding I did not have the time to do it, so I am glad I found the time, and decided to submit what I had, not worry if it was ‘perfect’ or not. Despite the imperfection I am learning a lot and this is stretching me as an artist.

Here are the photos and art statement about the work that I submitted as part of this week’s assignment.

The open envelope:
Ship envelope

The closed envelope:
Ship envelope sealed

The insert:
Memory map

The insert inside the envelope:
Ship envelope with insertThis work is titled ‘Navigating the turbulance’.

This work was created with mixed media.  The materials used include acrylic paint, glue, pencil, watercolours, artist crayons, and also the use of controlled burning.

in thinking about memory and what it means to me I considered the turbulent nature of some memories and experiences.  This made me think of navigating turbulent waters and from there I came up with the idea of a ship and ‘map’.  I constructed the envelope to resemble a ship, and it folds down, with the sails over the main part of the ship on one side.  Both sides of the envelope are painted the same.  I wanted the paint on the ship to be not pretty and perfect, because navigating the waters of memory is often done with a worn ship that has been through some storms.  There are two slits cut into the envelope, and the ‘crow’s nest’ threads through the two slits to seal the envelope.

It seemed appropriate to use the crow’s nest in this way to seal the envelope, as that is the look-out post, and where you look at the surrounding terrain, both for what you are looking for, and also potential hazards.  Both aspects come into play when considering memory and looking at memory.

For the ‘map’, I aged the paper using watercolour and burnt the edges.  I decided to use the map for locating memory, hence the profile drawing with a picture of the brain.  The hippocampus (in the brain) is where memory is responsible for memory creation and retention.  I highlighted that part of the brain in red, and then lightly scorched the area with a controlled flame, to indicate the potential hazards and turbulence that memories can create when we are looking at them, and remembering.  The part if the hippocampus that is missing with the scorch hole also represents missing memories, and holes or gaps in our memories.

Whatever happened to the collaborative postcard project I was doing??

It finished! :)

Here was the first post on the Millenium Postcard Swap, and what it was about.

I have been meaning to write this post and today is the day that this gets crossed of my to-do list.

Look what I got in the mail!!

Collaborative Postcard Millenium postcard challengeThe collaborators were myself, Tammy from Daisy Yellow, Hanna Andersson from iHanna, Michelle Remy from Lost Coast Post, Karen Isaacson from I am Rushmore and Roben-Marie Smith.  (The links go to the posts they wrote about it.  Tammy’s link goes to the final write up where we all answered a couple of questions for her about our experiences :) )

I love my card which had the theme of ‘Ocean’, it was so interesting to see everyone’s take on each theme.

I was nervous because there were some ;big’ names joining in, and I didn’t want anyone to be disappointed with my contribution to their card.  I said yes anyway, and I am so glad I did!  The experience was wonderful, and I loved tracking the process through everyone’s blog posts.  I highly recommend it.

Making postcards

WARNING: VERY PHOTO HEAVY!! 

The last couple of weeks I have had postcards on the brain.  I joined Hanna’s postcard swap, and Tammy suggested doing an extra 10 so that you could send a postcard to those who send to you…extending the happy mail joy, so I did an extra 10…and then a few more besides.

The backgrounds were all finished last week, some were shown here, and the other three backgrounds are here:

Painted background
Painted background
Painted background

This week I have cut the backgrounds up:
Painted canvas

Cut up cardstock for postcard backs:
Decided my original idea to sew the lines on the postcard backs was a stupid one (and stressful), much happier with free-styled lines! #DIYpostcardswap

Glued the canvas onto the cardstock and then decided to do found poetry on the front so I went through my book text pile and glued on my found poetry (which also means I am joining in with Aimee’s Glue it Tuesday, because there has been A LOT of glue this week, and she suggested it was about existing work rather than working new prompts, so I figure this counts).

So here are the finished cards:
Disprited
The way is clear
I don't believe
Unexplained facts
Giving orders
Looking down
Telling the truth
It is winter
Listening for love
Illusions
Pastel shades of disappointment
The eye of the beholder
There was love
Smiling lips
Sanctity
Defaced symbols
Summoned up
Iron gates
No doubtsCourage
Herself
Your hat
Spared
Rusted time

Next week they will all be written, addressed, and posted!  :)