Monday, March 28, 2011

Mail Art for and from Ms. Gowling

I'm fairly new to the art correspondence scene. I dabbled a little bit with a friend a few years ago, but sometimes life gets in the way and before you know it a few months turn into a year between postcards. Now that we're settled into our new place and my studio is set up, I'm looking for large and small projects to keep me busy and inspired while developing my style.

The lovely and talented Jessica Gowling has been tweeting about mail art for some time. While we were in the process of moving and most of my supplies were packed away, I made a promise to trade mail art with her once we were in BC. A few days after we arrived in our new home, there was a postcard waiting for me in my mailbox. I was already feeling happy to be home but receiving this personalized mail piece truly made my day. She wrote about it here.

What I like most about this are the layers involved. The postcard has a design on one side and a message on the other. Upon opening the mini envelope I discovered a small message on the other side. If I flipped that over I discovered her mailing address. Inside the envelope was an array of stickers and interesting found items. (Grrr! I'm 19 years too late for the Llama show.) Not only was this a visual treat, but I loved that I had to explore it a little to get all of the elements.

In my reply to her I gathered items I thought were interesting from a little box of mail trinkets and inspiration. Jessica loves nature so I created my pieces with this in mind. I took an old watercolour card which has a light wash of green, blue and pink and added a root-like pattern with ink. I cut out a few of the crescent shapes for a peek at the inside of the card. I wrote a message on the envelope that contained the stickers and created a two-sided framed piece from from scrapes of fabric and mini paper frames. I remember her mentioning that she loves stickers and I received a Canadiana set with animals and mounties earlier that week. I stuffed in, even though I desperately wanted to keep the cardinal sticker on the page.

The inside of the card includes one of a couple of dozen animal stamps I have from college. I added to the envelopes with ink, stickers, white-out and a snowflake punch-out.

One of my resolves this year is to use all the art supplies I've accrued and stored over the years. Now that I have a place to keep everything I am rediscovering some nifty material that will be perfect for mail art projects in the future.


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