Hand Work and Junk Mail

I’m still working on a small piece I shared with you earlier here. I’ve added quite a bit to this but I still don’t feel quite done.

01-27-work-in-progress-1Decisions, decisions!

01-27-work-in-progress-2While I pondered the seeming endless possibilities open to me, I realized that my stack of junk mail postcards is almost gone. Naturally I jumped at the opportunity to refill the supply and — more importantly — feel a sense of completion.

In no time at all I had mail painted with gesso drying. Then I pulled out a set of rubbing plates recently gifted to me and I rolled acrylic paint on, using the plates like stamps. This fern plate got a second color of paint and a rotation; finally I used some watercolor paints and a two-inch brush and had fun dabbling it on.

01-27-junk-mail-3I used a ginkgo rubbing plate in the same way and with the same color scheme. Why not?

01-27-junk-mail-2 01-27-junk-mail-1In a very short time I created 25 postcards. Very satisfying!

If you’re just learning about my junk mail frenzies, read back from here about other projects where I turned recycle into something fun and useful.

More Junk-Mail Postcards

Okay, so I got a bit carried away. But there I was, between steps in a project that meant I had to wait. Not wanting to waste the time without creating something, I pulled out some leftover junk mail. Pretty soon the rotary cutter and the paints were flying. I was simply having too darn much fun to stop myself. And I’m not unhappy about it. Click on an image for a larger view.

I was thrilled to have found a quote from Edgar Degas which I used on postcard #17:

Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.

What a great find!

I intentionally left a large clear space on postcard #20 so I could sketch something on it. Quite a few of the others have enough space for a little sketch. I’ll see what happens when I’m ready to mail them out. I plan to grab some of these the next time I’m on a trip or just out sketching.

My first two experiences of creating new art from junk mail can be seen here and here.

Embracing Junk Mail

No matter how I fine tune the flow of mail that comes to my letterbox, there is a daily abundance of junk mail. This year I’ve finally embraced the inevitable with new vision. It started with Carla Sonheim’s on-line class here.

Recent inspiration from my friend and fellow artist Priscilla Read followed this week! She created postcards using junk mail. And I received one of them in the mail. Click on image for a larger view.

Postcard from Priscilla ReadThe postcard made its journey and arrived in fine shape. Thank you, Priscilla, for the postcard and the inspiration!

I’ve been creating and mailing fabric postcards since 2004. I’ve shared that experience and my affiliation with Postmark’d Art here many times. But until now, I haven’t created my own paper postcards. After reading Priscilla’s how-to description, I couldn’t wait to get started.

I recently went on an art walk with a friend and picked up quite a few postcards. Some of my junk mail postcards were too large so I trimmed them to 4″ x 6″. Using a hard rubber brayer, I applied gesso to one side and let it dry. Next I used the brayer to apply acrylic paint mixed with matt medium.

junk mail in progressThen I added more junk mail. Click on image for a larger view.

A few of the postcards received some sketching

07-25-PC-0107-25-PC-0707-25-PC-12One also needed some watercolor.

07-25-PC-15I’m viewing junk mail with fresh eyes!

 

Junk Mail Artist Book Done

I’ve completed the final lesson of Carla Sonheim‘s Junk Mail Artist Book series. There was more painting, more drawing. . .then changing of the mind involving more painting and more drawing. At some point one has to say it’s time to stop. Done and done. And here it is. Be sure to click on an image for a larger view and clearer understanding of the page overlap.

CoverPages 2-3

Pages 4-5

Pages 6-7

Pages 8-9

Pages 10-11

Book BackThis brain-teaser was a lot of fun. Who doesn’t have a near-endless supply of junk mail? And I had all the other art supplies in my studio.
See the progress of this project here and here.

 

Back to the Junk Mail Artist Book

Finally! I’ve completed the fourth of five lessons with Carla Sonheim and her method for creating a small book from junk mail. This step was extremely challenging for me — each drawing extended beyond its page to pages behind creating a puzzle to solve: what the heck can be created from the partial marks here?? Here is what I came up with (click on image for larger view):

Book cover Pages 2-3 Page -4-5 Pages 6-7 Pages 8-9 Pages 10-11

Back coverThe final lesson involves more painting and drawing. Stay tuned — I will share the final book.

Click on the ‘junk mail’ link above to see the beginnings of this project.

Junk Mail Artist Book

I learned about Carla Sonheim from my friend and fellow-artist Priscilla Read and I simply could not resist trying her Junk Mail Artist’s Book class! In just five lessons at Silly U I am turning junk mail — the stuff usually tossed straight into the recycle bin — into a book. I can’t see a down side to this project.

Each lesson begins with a drawing exercise designed to get us ready to draw in the book by lesson 4. Here is a one-line drawing I did — no lifting the pen from the paper until the drawing is finished. (Click on image for larger view.) These exercises are not intended to be cherished art — they are simply warm-up drawings.

warm-up drawing The painting comes next. Using a brayer, a thick layer of gesso is applied to both sides. Viola! Great texture.

junk mail with gessoThen both sides are painted with 2 layers of watercolor paint — 2 different colors.

two layers watercolor paintWhen everything is dry, the pages are turned into a book, ready for drawings. Here’s the cover.

CoverNote that the pages are irregularly shaped and sized. Pages 2, 3: (Click on the image for a better view.)

Pages 2, 3This means that the drawings will overlap onto pages underneath! Very exciting. Pages 4, 5

Pages 4, 5Pages 6, 7

Pages 6, 7Pages 8, 9

Pages 8, 9Pages 10, 11

Pages10, 11The back.

BackNow the real fun and challenge begins. Here is my first drawing on pages 2-3. Notice that the top and bottom of the sunflower extends to the page behind it — page 5.

Page 3, The drawing beginsThe partial sunflower  petals at the top of page 5 inspired the dinosaur.

Page 3 drawing goes onto page 5

I have no idea yet what the tail of the dinosaur or the stem of the sunflower will inspire, but something will come to me.

This is a very different way of drawing and painting for me and it’s just plain fun. So, back to drawing, then the final lesson. Stay tuned, there’s bound to be another layer of surprise.