Sunday, September 24, 2017

Mail Art – Hecho en México

Normally, this time of the year I leave San Francisco for a road trip visiting national parks and other places I love in the Western U.S.  Not this year, I am enjoying the generosity of friends and hiding out down in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.  Lovely condo, right on the ocean, the constant sound of the surf, some epic thunderstorms — the light, the sky, it’s inspirational.  The heat and humidity takes some adjustment, but after a couple of days I have adapted – and slowed down.  Let taxis take you places – it is too hot to walk at my San Francisco pace around town.
Armed with reading material and art supplies, I planned to make some mail art to send from Mexico. 
The closest post office is just beyond the touristy end of town — an easy taxi ride.  No line, no waiting, and I checked earlier online, there are stamps for North America and slightly higher priced ones for mailing overseas (just like it used to be in the U.S. until recently).  The postal clerk asked me what I needed (amazingly I am able to communicate in my rudimentary Spanish).  Of course the postal clerk looked in her folder of postage, and then decided that no, it didn’t matter.  It was all the same.  Am I going to argue with a bureaucrat over 2 Pesos per stamp?  Uh, no.
I also found a dollar store, er, no, a 25 Pesos store.  Lotería cards! Play money!  I had what I needed.  I love how each bill of play money has “Billete cultural sin valor” printed in big read letters.  I am thinking of getting a rubber stamp with that made up for all my mail art.

So yesterday two series of mail art were stuffed into the mailbox.  One a series of ten pieces with the Puerto Vallarta Palette and another stack that incorporated the Lotería cards and play money.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Ecliptic Mail Art and more...

Every time I walk up to the post office in the Upper Haight, I am finding a full post office box.  And, I am not the only one being inspired by the recent solar eclipse.  Here are some of the recent arrivals:
  1. Julie C. has a rather avant garde take on the eclipse.
  2. Dori Singh has commemorated the eclipse as well.
  3. Philippe Charron has received one of my eclipse pieces, but it was much sunnier in France.
  4. The Crackerjack Kid sent all sorts of things in this rather mesmerizing envelope.
  5. A full envelope of things from Marina Salmaso included this latest mixed media piece.
  6. Ed Giecek sent an envelope including some big circles that I am sure to repurpose soon.
  7. I have seen some of Heather Ferguson’s sticker collages in person and was happy to receive one of my own.
  8. Taidgh Lynch boldly sends handmade bookmarks from Ireland.  No envelope, just what you see as a postcard.  Glad it made it through.
  9. An add-n-pass that had been through many hands now has a little more added to it and is on the way to Sacramento.
  10. Rani Goel sent and envelope of all sorts of goodies.
  11. Could you make Victorian ATCs?  I am not sure of that was Fleur Helsingor’s intention, but I do really like them.
  12. Gregg Biggs’ newest piece includes the snippet of a story where we learn that “Billy was fingering the old sea captain’s interesting collection.”

And finally, a card arrived featuring the latest additions to Connie Jean’s Squirrel Museum in Cocoa Beach.  I hope all is well at the museum after Irma came through.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Geo Graphic Mail Italian Style

The Geo Graphic Mail Art series has been an ongoing project since 2012 where geography and “graphic” art meet.  I have been altering various art postcards with maps.  Am I making some sort of statement about censorship?  Not really, this is just about making some silly mail art.  This week some Modigliani is on the way.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Art in the Mail: August

Here is a sampling of some of the mail art that has been filling up my post office box this month:
  1. Summery mail art from Virgo.
  2. An especially pink bird arrived from Stripy Goose.
  3. Pamela Gerard turned our recent meeting of the San Francisco Correspondence Coop into a postcard.
  4. Mail art from Tiina from Finland (but I don’t have a mailing artist to send something back).
  5. Punkie Ebert has printed up these cool little booklets/zines that incorporate both literary postage stamps and works by the authors.
  6. Dori Signh’s mail included a rubber stamp mandala.
  7. Robin Sparrow sent this incredible tactile mail art/envelope piece from New Zealand that brought me back to the children’s book Pat the Bunny. 
  8. Eberhard Janke sends out Call & Response, a zine compilation of mail art received — I love receiving these and really appreciate it considering the cost of printing and postage.
  9. Two new prints from Serse Luigetti in Italy including this Barbed Wire Poem.
There has been some additional mail coming in that responds to pieces I have been sending out, stay tuned for those.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Polish Wallpaper

The Lewandowski’s Wallpaper, mixed media on board, 10”x10”x1.5”

Recently I have been exploring ideas about memory and color.  Pink Week will be coming up in Sacramento in just a few months, so it felt like the time to explore some pink memories.
When I was in my 20s, I spent a lot of time travelling and living in Europe.  Different countries, different cultures and some color palettes and home décor that was not what I was accustomed to.  There was a lot of wallpaper, including in the places I lived.  There was also a more liberal use of the color pink in all shades imaginable.  Go back to an Easter Monday (Śmigus-dyngus), over thirty years ago in Poland.  It was a visit to the home of my cousin’s in-laws to celebrate the holiday known for water fights and, of course, another big meal.  Poland is the sort of place where the most distant and long lost relative, like I was, can be made to feel incredibly welcome by everyone you meet.  That afternoon will always remain in my memories, made to feel so very welcomed in the Lewandowski’s home.  And, here is where the pink comes in.  I remember that every room I saw in their home had pink wallpaper — each room different from the next.

I would have never imagined, decades later that I would recreate that day and their home the way I have, in the summer of 2017.  But here it is.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

What did I miss?

While many friends journeyed towards the path of totality, I stayed in San Francisco for this week’s eclipse.  The skies brightened up briefly about 9:45 a.m. but then the fog thickened.  I need to use up the postal service’s cool Total Eclipse of the Sun postage stamps.  Today some mail art is heading out, inspired by San Francisco’s fogclipse on Monday.