On December 2 I will be participating in the indiemade craft market in Allentown, PA, with my clay work. I love this show, seeing many art friends at it every year, and the two women who founded the event are really special people and have become valued friends of mine.
One thing that is a tradition at this show is the swag bag given to the first 50 people in the door (yes, this show is held indoors!). Now, remember, it is December, and it is cold. Some years it has been snowing, and it’s never been balmy weather. But people line up outside the building for up to 2 hours to get one of these bags.
The bags are filled with examples of the work of us artists – we each donate at least 10 items toward filling the bags. The bags themselves are custom-made and differ each year.
I’ve always put my little items in envelopes and decorated them in some simple way. This year I went a little extra. I drew on each envelope and added a snippet of print. I’ll show you some samples of these envelopes here in part one and the rest in part two, a bit later on.
I made about 45 of these envelopes but I did not scan them all – just my favorites. I forgot to measure their size and I’ve thrown out the box, but I think they are about 3″ x 6″, more or less.
I was interested in the idea of etegami, a form of Japanese mail art. I bought some paper meant for this subject, postcard-sized and very soft. Following my version of the technique, I drew the figures in India ink.
Then I used watery acrylic paints to color the images.
I was not having a good time with this project. The paper is very soft, I think I said that! and I tend to scrub at my surfaces with my brush. Oh dear, the paper began to pill. I let the images dry, very sorry for hurting them.
The next step would be to write something on each card, a few words. I just did not feel like doing that, so I left them blank.
I am not going to do etegami, I decided. I’ll just do these.
I will say I like the philosophy behind etegami-making: anyone can do it and imperfection is welcome.
These two postcards were done as little studies for that project; I mailed them to my friend before he saw the final paintings, in fact before I even did the paintings.
I like the technique I used here. I cut cast-off cardboard (the kind from cereal boxes, etc.) to postcard size; gessoed on the shiny side; painted colors using acrylics; drew the images in pen, using waterproof ink (not dip pens, just the usual drawing pens – I have a whole collection).
I like how they came out. As I said, I sent them through the mail and they got there in good shape. So this method is sturdy and the post office took care of them, too!
I took some sketches I’d made, here or there, and used them in making these mixed media postcards earlier this year.
Nighttime. Imaginary city.
Lady playing violin at Arcadia University. I attended a couple of noontime concerts put on by the college’s music department; for this view, I was sitting only a few feet away and almost right beside her.
Lady reading a magazine at the dentist’s office. I drew this while trying to keep myself calm for major dental work.
A couple of days ago I went with my husband to a doctor’s appointment, for his knee. We’ve been to this same location several times and each waiting room experience has been the same as all the others. The crutches, walkers, hobbling people; the same TV blaring in the corner; the dim lighting; the same brown scheme of the waiting room.
This time the room seemed even more crowded than usual. I got out my little notepad to draw, hoping to distract myself. I hadn’t brought drawing materials; I used my little memo book.
It did the job. We didn’t have to wait long and I was content while we were waiting. I find drawing helpful in situations where I feel overwhelmed or pinned in by people – it’s a space in which to escape.
Who’d think a 3″ or so notepad could do so much?
This lady was apprehensive. And you can see the evidence of this little notebook being put to all kinds of uses – I was counting something on the flip side of the page and the marks show through.
This man was determinedly focused on his phone despite the comings and goings around him.
I am almost sure I saw this man the last time we were here.
If you follow my Sometimes You Get So Confused blog you know I’ve been working on my penmanship. Anyway, during a recent practice writing session, I got sidetracked and drew my husband sitting in his chair.
The pen wanted to draw instead of write. Everyone needs a break from practice, right?