Sunday, January 5, 2020

Mail Art at the Getty

They currently are having a mail art exhibit at the Getty in Los Angeles.  You will not find a mail art show on their website.  The curators are not describing the work as mail art but it is there as part of the show Manet and Modern Beauty.  
The exhibit begins with a gallery full of Manet’s dough-faced portraits.  The highlight in the gallery is not a portrait but a painting of a plate of oysters.  Are we allowed to make fun of any Manet portrait?  I clearly was in the minority – the gallery was packed with visitors stepping over themselves to gawk and photograph.  
In the next gallery the crowds thin and you find delicate watercolors along with Manet’s illustrated letters sent from Bellevue.  Manet the impressionist, and Manet the Mail Artist.  The exhibit continues with a gallery filled with flawless still lives of fruit and flowers.  With exception of Georgia O’Keeffe, I don’t usually get excited about paintings of flowers.  The trick with Manet is look at vases. Manet’s crystal vases are magic, pure magic.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Accidental Art on Masonite

Sometime in the last 10 years I purchased an 11”x14” piece of Masonite. I never used it for a painting or other piece of art.  Instead it has been the surface that I have taped 12”x9” sheets of paper to when I work on paintings on paper.  I pulled the Masonite out today and could not help but admire the patina-like caked on acrylic paint forming a picture frame.  I am starting to consider this piece of Masonite as a work of art in its own right.  It might be time to retire it from service and start with a fresh piece of Masonite for the new decade.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

First a Prototype.... test the tropical sunrise colors.  This one is 6"x6", next on to a bigger version with this palette.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Eyes in the Mail

In a bit of shared artistic vision, some of the mail art I recently received featured eyes and I just emphasized eyes in my holiday mailing.  Ans Theo Nelson is turning some of the mail art he receives into small, one-of-a-kind zines and then redistributing the work.  As I have been filling art scrapbooks  with mail art, this idea is tempting. I love maps and I love public transportation, So Karen Clowney Scott’s bear made out of New York City MTA Maps is perfect. And, it is always a treat to get an envelope of mail art from Cuan Miles.
  1. Debra Mulnick – Idaho
  2. William Mellott – Taiwan 
  3. Samantha Price – New Hampshire
  4. Lubomyr Tymkiv - Ukraine 
  5. Robin Sparrow — New Zealand 
  6. Karen Clowney Scott – New York 
  7. Theo Nelson (Republic of Whimsy) – Canada
  8. Cuan Miles – South Africa

Monday, December 16, 2019

20/20 Vision for 2020

My annual holiday card sometimes veers away from traditional Christmas imagery and typically focuses on the coming new year.  When I realized that 2020 could be perceived as a year of perfect vision, 20/20 became the theme.  Now more than ever, we need to focus and have clarity for a positive vision so we can take action and heal the planet move forward.  
150+ of these handmade postcards with custom rubber stamps are in the mail (and a special thank you to William Mellott  for his inspirational rubber stamp art). 
Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Part 4: If you save it long enough you might use it in a collage

Scraps old and new have ended up in the Layout Scrapbook.  As an artist, people give me things I might use, and a collection of metro tickets from around the world finally gets used.  
If you give me a box of Niederegger Marzipan, I’ll be sure to recycle the foil wrappers.  The remains of a copy of Avant Garde, a short-lived magazine from the 1960s, are in the book after lingering in the family’s attic for decades).  

Go through boxes and find photos of young cousins eating ice cream (he now has five of his own children).  The polka twins are really one young lad who is now becoming a star down in Los Angeles and that punk with the goats is still rocking up in Portland.  You will never forget a trip to Mexico when you think about dairy products and Supradol (the best name ever for a painkiller).  

On the back cover of the book we get an illustration of Allen Hurlburt himself.  And finally, honk if you know Ken Budka.

Part 3: Scraps of 1990s Queerphemera

Club fliers, Queer Nation and other political stickers are among the things being liberated from boxes and ending up in the Layout Scrapbook.  My friend Daniel and I go back 30 years and he gets a whole page made of pieces of his past.  I remember when I first met Adrian Roberts showing pixelvision films of his naked body in grainy black and white.  Then there was his band Blue Period and now he is a famous club impresario.  Speaking of clubs, Jerry gave me an annotated map of New York City featuring venues that I imagine are long gone.