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.
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
Julie C. has a rather avant garde take on the eclipse.
Dori Singh has commemorated the eclipse as well.
Philippe Charron has received one of my eclipse
pieces, but it was much sunnier in France.
The Crackerjack Kid sent all sorts of things in this rather
A full envelope of things from Marina Salmaso included this latest mixed
Ed Giecek sent an envelope including some big circles that I
am sure to repurpose soon.
I have seen some of Heather Ferguson’s sticker collages in
person and was happy to receive one of my own.
boldly sends handmade bookmarks from Ireland.No envelope, just what you see as a postcard.Glad it made it through.
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.
Rani Goel sent and
envelope of all sorts of goodies.
Could you make Victorian ATCs?I am not sure of that was Fleur Helsingor’s intention, but I do
really like them.
Gregg Biggs’ newest piece includes the snippet of a story
where we learn that “Billy was fingering the old sea captain’s interesting
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.
I am an artist living in San Francisco. I work primarily in mixed media, collage and landscape painting. My work has included maps, postcard-themed art and mail art projects. In 2013 I began a series called Collagescapes where I start painting paper with areas of color representing the palette of a specific place. Next I cut the paper into hundreds of small pieces, randomize the pieces and then reassemble them in various geometric patterns. Collagescapes are both landscape paintings and collages. They appear abstract but retain the color palette of the places they represent.
My new series is Time Travel Photos — handmade photo collages showing places in San Francisco where I have cut and sliced present-day photographs and interwoven photos of nature representing how the City looked before Europeans arrived. Each is an image of an urban space with the natural past emerging through. For example, creeks once again run through the Mission and dunes reappear in Golden Gate Park and tidal flats fill the Embarcadero.
My work has shown in over 40 venues, primarily in California but also in other locations in the United States and abroad. My artwork can be viewed at tofuart.com