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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Mail Art Mailbox

toile la la mail art to E
Mailbox lid - mail art

Mailbox full of mail art and correspondence
mail art from E to toile la la

mail art from E
Within even the construction of our mail art lately there is a conversation or new kind of creative language... a back and forth of imagery.  E sends a letter to me, I alter it... and sometimes vice versa.  One letter made two round trips and then I mailed it to my daughter - who likes to observe our progression of evolving mail art and correspondence.

Initially, my handwriting was not as refined as I wished.  I serendipitously happened upon a wonderful antique typewriter and began typing my correspondence for a small number of recipients.  As another artform, I began stitching on paper to alter images - or in envelope assembly and to add texture or a border.  

E began typing and stitching to me too.  She has acquired quite a collection of vintage typewriters - and her sewing machine has a more extensive range of stitches.  

Having familiarized myself with her collection of rubber stamps, embossing seals, sewing machine stitch patterns, typing ink and envelopes - I recently requested from E a particular combination:  red thread, a French stamp inked with brown-black ink, red typing ink, and a seal on her natural envelopes - which remind me of unbleached linen.  I was delighted to promptly receive them and have been using them for correspondence with E, so she's been able to enjoy her own handiwork via mail art!  Stamps she shared with me from her own collection add great color and visual interest.  I was inspired by the writing on the stamp and decided to add a speech bubble with characters.

mail art, toile la la (on an envelope from E)

E's stamp collection and embellished envelope

two letters from E
E shares my affinity for antique imagery and vintage fonts.  As she knows how I adore the history of art and fashion, she often surprises me with vintage magazine or pattern ephemera.  

I love how the typing here is visible from the reverse side - and how E added gold touches to Renoir's blue nude:

For one of my letters to E, I altered a vintage photo of a man holding a baby. With scissors, I snipped around the baby to make him appear to be perched in a tree.  A few weeks later, the tree-baby returned to me on the outside of E's envelope!
Recently, E sent me several vintage postcards - to which I added collage elements, or handpainting.  For a few days, I contemplated the transformation of this souvenir restaurant postcard - and then decided to add George Washington, the lighthouse, and the painted clouds and seaside:
toile la la mail art:  collage and handpainted altered postcard