Friday, April 9, 2021

Shopping in Lithuania

No Easter eggs in the mail, but Mindaugas Žuromskas assembles old supermarket receipts to make collages. If I could read Lithuanian, I might be able to figure out the price of eggs in Vilnius.  The fish, or are they Poisson d’avril, come from France.  More Lithuanian including a streetcar ticket in a collage from Peter Müller in Germany, also some nice local work that did not travel so far to reach me.  The mail shown here includes:

  1. Victoria Gray – Nevada
  2. Gregg Biggs – Museum of Unclaimed Ephemera – California
  3. Peter Müller – Germany
  4. Artist in Seine (aka Dean Marks) – France 
  5. Rani Goel – California 
  6. Mindaugas Žuromskas – Lithuania 

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Hand-Painted Wood Pisanki

This is the time of the year when I gather with friends to spend a day making pisanki — the traditional springtime eggs that are made in Poland, the Ukraine and other parts of Eastern Europe.  Often associated with Easter, this is a custom that predates Christianity in that part of the world.   Alas, Covid is still shutting down many traditions.  

On my own, I have been hand-painting wooden eggs (a form of folk art also found in Poland).  With pisanki the process involves layers pf dye and wax on the eggs.  A layer of wax, a layer of dye, a layer of wax, etc.  When the wax is removed from the surface of the egg, the complete colorful design is revealed.  

With wooden eggs, it is just paint.  But I do not have the steady hand required for the delicate paint work.  I have been experimenting with using small pieces blue painters’ tape to cover areas of the egg as I apply different colors.  The tape method is similar to the wax method.   These are the results so far.

Monday, March 29, 2021

“Traditional” Ham Eggs


Over the past few years, I have been exploring what I call post-folk art.  I have used traditional Polish and Kashubian folk art as the inspiration for a new direction in my mixed media work (see for examples).  

Painted and dyed eggs, pisanki are a spring tradition in Poland.  I realize I have pushed the limits of what might be post-folk art – but another great Polish tradition is producing the best ham in the world.  Could you make folk art by painting wooden eggs to look like they are made of ham?  Well, of course you can….

Thursday, March 25, 2021

The Mail Marches on


The past month has seen everything from late arriving Christmas and New Year’s mail art to Kathy Barnett’s fabulous King Eggshire Eggbert (is that for Easter?).  Some of the mail is still incredibly slow.  But zines and prints and postcards and collages are still arriving, and I appreciate them all.  These are the artists for the pieces shown:

  1. Meral Agar – Turkey 
  2. Debra Mulnick – Idaho
  3. Katerina Nikoltsou – Greece
  4. MiM – Virginia 
  5. William Mellott – Taiwan 
  6. Kathy Barnett – Missouri
  7. Fleur Helsingor – California
  8. Serse Luigetti – Italy

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Ham in the Mail

It might surprise people to learn an artist known as Tofu has a great appreciation of meat art.  I have a modest collection of meat-themed art and have been known to create meat art myself.   My latest effort involves sending slices of “ham” in the mail just in time for all those Easter dinners.

Monday, March 8, 2021

World Collage Day in a Library

Sending this one to Belgium for a mail art call for World Collage Day (May 8th).  The exhibition will be in a library, so it seems appropriate to make a collage from left over event calendars from the San Francisco Public Library.   I always recycle the calendars and use them when I am painting.  Now for recycled a second time and turned into collages.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Swedish Bookcases

As I continue painting books and things for this Chaekgeori-inspired series, I am never surprised that some of my friends have the same books on their shelves — and in a few examples the same objects.  The other thing we have in common is Ikea bookcases.  Not all, but many of the books in this series sit on those ubiquitous bookcases (including some of my own).   The first time I was in an Ikea, it was in Sweden, many years before it was a global empire.  It is weird to think that the plastic silverware tray in my San Francisco kitchen drawer was purchased in Stockholm in 1984.  

Look closely, you might even notice the holes in the sides of the bookcases for the shelf pegs.  This painting shows the multilingual dictionaries, books and things of artist friends in Sweden.