Imagine. Create. Enjoy.
As a follow-up to my last post about using those stencils in your stash, I thought I would continue the story of how I turned my stenciled and painted paper into mail art! If you look on Instagram at the hashtag #artistcellarstencilchallenge, you’ll see the blank address side of the following mail art cards I am about to share with you. (And it’s not too late to post your art with your unused stencils. We’d love to see what you’re up to!)
I facilitated a workshop at our monthly Visual Journal Collective meeting this past February. We meet at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts. It’s an awesome and amazing place. If you come to the Twin Cities, you’ve got to check it out. They have an inspiring shop filled with handmade books, zines, cards, pens, books, stamps, paper, and book making supplies.
My purpose here is to inspire you to make some mail art and send it to family, friends, or other mail art fanatics!
Here are the results of the post cards I created:
The above post card is one I sent off as part of the Secret Message Society post card exchange.
Here’s my final post card, which I sent off to one of the participants at the February Visual Journal Collective meeting.
It was pretty awesome to hear that the recipient’s birthday is February 27 (2/27), and the mail art arrived in her mailbox on 2-27. I love such synchronicities, don’t you?
Can you spy the Star Coral stencil in the background of the above mail art post cards? I love stencils soooooo much!
May it be so.
WHAT'S YOUR BAG?
"Hey man, what’s your bag?" Couldn’t help but think of this relic of the Sixties when I discovered the theme of a French Mail Art Call was to recycle paper bags. As it happened, I was on my way home from one of my favourite restaurants, Neato Burrito, with my mission style burrito safely tucked away in a brown paper bag.
As you can gather by the name, Neato Burrito has a definite retro vibe. Now with several locations...and I’ve visited them all...you create your burrito by choosing from a delicious assortment of tortillas, rice, beans, meats, salsas and vegetables. Their jalapeno feta salsa is to die for and was just the inspiration I needed! I also wanted to have fun and there’s no better way for me than to dive into conventional collage work. I love being a recycler of images from a past age. Guess that’s my bag.
I started the project by deconstructing the paper bag at the seams. I liked the printed messages and did my best to keep them as part of my finished envelope. The brown paper was the perfect background for Artistcellar Halftone Dots Series. Stenciling with the largest dots first I changed colours as I progressed through the series. The Artistcellar Traditional Japanese Series is wonderful when you are looking for a pop of colour to accent your work. I picked the Cherry Blossom stencil to do just that.
As many collage artists know, the most wonderful ephemera are gifted to us through the US Postal Service. A gem recently dropped in my mailbox courtesy of a local gas station chain. The image of the woman on the front of the brochure was crying out for a new home...and I had just the place for her! The pinup style illustration fit perfectly with the layout I had in mind. And I liked the feeling of continuity...mail that came to me is now part of a recycled piece to be sent abroad.
When you visit the restaurant it’s great to see the selected vintage advertising that deftly crosses several decades. Motivated by the Neato Burrito experience I rummaged through the classified sections of magazines of the era. Happy with what I found, I surrounded the woman with a plethora of choices. Isn’t that what advertising is all about?
And here you have the final product, just waiting to be addressed, stamped and sent off to France. As they say, everything old is new again...so, I put the question to you: What’s your bag?
Isn’t it awesome when you receive actual mail? Isn’t it simply amazing that someone would take the time to write you a letter? Maybe handwritten notes seem antiquated, but I believe them to be special, meaningful, and personal treasures. To make “real mail” even more exciting, I’d like to suggest creating a decorative envelope for that lucky recipient!
Oh yes, we can go deep by sending messages of love and healing through chakra imagery and rainbows!
The Pocket Chakra Stencils are clearly labeled on the packaging, which is a tremendous help when attempting to reflect on their meaning as you work your magic.
You may even wish to write the corresponding words, like I did (pictured below).
On the opposite side of the envelope, I painted a rainbow of stripes, using up the paint on my palette.
I decided to NOT rinse my brush between colors, simply to give the colored stripes a bit of something different. (See first picture in this post.)
I also painted the flap.
In case you are wondering, your stenciling and painting do not require perfection. Putting yourself into the creative process is what counts. That’s where your love comes through.
Finally, if you still have some paint on your palette, or wet paint on the sponges you used for stenciling, grab that art journal and a paint scraper!
No need to waste any of the luscious color, right?! Dab, dab, dab, scrape, scrape, scrape. Boom! Two pages no longer “blank”.
May your day be filled with joy, color and love!
Now go send someone some mail and help make their day special!
PS Stop on by OrangeSpiralArts.com for more art ideas and inspiration!