Tag Archives: carney oudendag

back in the swing of things

3 Sep

Well I guess things are finally back to normal: it’s Saturday, I’m in 100 Mile House and writing a GIANT mail art blog post. Being back in the swing of things feels good. I was greeted by several lovely things in the post box this week and there was a good flow of outgoing mail that has arrived as of late also. First, my adorable hand-painted owls that I ordered from Kayleigh Buck‘s (@illustratingkay) etsy shop arrived. They are so small, cuter than ever and have found a happy home on the small shelf in my studio! The zine making mad-man known as Tim Conley (@aproposzine) is the mastermind behind the VERY limited collaged mix-media editions titled “Apropos Zine.”  This particular piece began print based, with Tim experimenting with a new way to create engravings – he was scratching into vinyl records!!! As awesome as the idea was, Time unfortunately had a struggle printing the plates, and thus “was forced to cover up these very vague prints with collage and some creative use of paint.” Like all of Tim’s zines, I feel honoured to own this edition and I add it proudly to my bookshelf! Amanda Nicole White (@amanda_ink) blew my mind with her second package in the series of 26 themed around the alphabet. As you can guess, “B” was the letter and all things inside were B-related. Upon opening the package I discovered buttons made of BOIS (french for wood), a BOOK necklace, a business card printed on balsa wood and a small box which housed two bottles: one containing buttons and one containing “the big bang theory” definition. HOLY INNOVATIVE BATMAN! The fun didn’t stop with a 4 page typewritten personal letter that was bound like a book, 4 original hand pulled prints (Bear, Bunny, Bluejay and British columbia western red cedar), two altered book pages “begin at the beginning” and “binary stars,” 3 letter-press printed posters for the OCAD book fair and bit of “B” found ephmera. She is SO generous and SO talented. Speaking of talent, Anika Starmer (@aisforanika) sent me a package I’ve been anxiously awaiting, as it contained our collaborative project “patterns & paws.” Along with progressed sketchbooks was a bonny pile of treats: the original painting I won in Anika’s giveaway, cute stickers, an AWESOME embroidered trout (which reminded me of out n’ about trouts), stick on earrings, sick geometric drawing, some fun ephemera, a pile of assorted graph paper and another one of her handprinted cards. To see the progress on our collaboration, keep your eyes on this blog next week, as I will be posting her additions to both sketchbooks very soon!Yesterday a wee package from my BC buddy Jeannine Saylor (@saylor_made) showed up and it of course was filled with many fun, collected, bits of ephemera. Favorites among the bundle include the 2 animal stamps (deer & saw whet owls!), an original feather transfer image of Jeannine’s, a funny cartoon about the royal couple, a stamped “win” card, and a rainbow drawing by one of her daughters. How cute is that? Oh & might I add that she admitted that brussel sprouts are starting to look appetizing? Progress people!I had to send something off to Rhya Tamasauskas (@Rhyat), because she gifted me a little diorama and said it was to tide me over as she was still working on something. I am scared of how epically awesome this ‘something’ is going to be. So in the meantime, I wanted to make sure her postbox wasn’t getting lonely, and thus made a postcard out of an alphabet flashcard & then taped a mini handmade envelope to the back and filled it with a bit of fun ephemera and a photo of a cheezburger cat doing an air guitar solo. For Beverly Ealdama (@beverly_e) I sent a cardboard envelope fancied up with washi tape and color coordinated addresses & vintage stamps. Inside was a pile of quotations on vellum, because she does mostly typographic artworks. A set of comic book pogs and a big cartoon head sticker were also in there along with found ephemera including a bike illustration, wildlife stamps, dayplanner stickers, a stencil ruler and a set of un-opened San Francsico coasters (found HERE in a thrift shop)! At the last minute, after finding out her favorite animals were tigers, koalas and dogs, I added in some cute stickers and a funny illustrated flash card for some extra treats. I’ve missed my friend Carney Oudendag terribly since leaving the valley, and wanted to write her a little thank you note for being such a wonderful person and influence in my life! I used one of the cards & envelopes created during my snail mail surprises workshop. Other people I’m missing a lot are my pals at the Scotty Burger Cafe: Kristine, Ruth and Nick. It’s torture enough not being able to eat their delicious food, but being without their company is definitely worse. I wanted them to know that I was thinking of them often, and so I sent an envelope of scantily clad ladies filled with just a few little reminders of my love: a post-it “i fucking miss you guys… bad,” a joke sticker about the health facility shutting the place down (which is extra funny cause Kristine got 100% on her health inspection) and lastly an “i can has cheezburger” cat, who in some ways represents me without their deliciuos scotty burgers in 100 Mile House, a fat cat sits under a BBQ in the snow with the subtitle “I waitz here for cheezburgers.” Robert Sae-Heng (@mrRubbertoes) got his first dose of mail art from me. After writing inspiring & supportive e-mails to each other for a few months, it felt right to move our correspondence to snail mail. The first thing I grabbed for him was an epic sticker with a spray paint can turning into a corpse. Made me think of Rob and his AMAZING skills with murals and spray paint – it truly is a part of him! Also in the handmade envelope adorned with a swallow was a small screenprint of a bison, one of my cross-bearing ram notes and tons of fun found ephemera, my favorite of which is the MUSCLES advertisement from the 1970’s. Hope he loved the beginning of something wonderful!Michelle Ashton (@zbyshka) was “beary” spoiled with her last package from me. From magazine cut outs, to stickers, cards and originals, over 20 individual bears are featured in there. My two favorire things? The thick wooden cut out of a bear silhouette that I found in a thrift shop here. The second is a series of photographs I did that document the travels of a 3D bear sticker Michelle gifted me… she said she had a hard time giving him away, so I decided to gift him back to her with a collection of his Canadian memories.

My future sister-in-law Noi Helm sent me a lovely card congratulating John and I on our engagement on behalf of her, Mike and their cutie daughter Lucy. Plus a Martha Stewart Wedding magazine, so I can flip through the pages and start fantasizing. How sweet! Lastly, Amanda Mcnair (@shmanda13) texted me and said that my mail art package was a nice boost after a rough week. I was particularly proud of the envelope I sent her goodies in: the cardboard box that used to house my mickey mouse stationery. Amanda loves oragami and is a true paper crane master, so when I found this CHRISTMAS oragami book, I thought it would be the best gift it to her 3 months before the holidays, along with  a plentiful pile of scrapbook papers that I cut down for her to play with. A lovely note was written on a filigree deer a/p and I also added in some funny blank note cards. As always, I hope these posts make peeking into mailboxes fun! Your comments and feedback are encouraged and welcome.

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art n’ soul

7 Aug

I helped co-teach an adult art workshop with the incredible mixed media artist Carney Oudendag today titled ‘Art ‘n Soul”. The class list was full with 10 wonderful ladies who came out, ready to get their hands dirty and have some fun! Carney taught a bunch of her fabulous mixed media, texture, and collage techniques, while I shared a bit on altered books, found narrative, and simple printmaking techniques. Here are some of the completed pieces which we sat in the window sill for a mini-critique at the end of the day. These artists really made some lovely mixed media pieces. These are the two altered book pages I made as examples for the demos.  It was a really positive experience and fun to share the techniques, innovation & excitement inherent in altered art. This past month full of teaching, exhibitions and expos have been both rewarding, tiring, exciting and challenging… but all well worth it in the end. I am happy to have had a successful and well received “art road-trip” but am definitely looking forward to returning back home to 100 Mile House at the end of the week.

patterns & paws

14 Jun

I made friends with Anika Starmer on twitter over half a year ago now… She is a lovely designer/artist/friend who is supportive, encouraging and a total sweetheart. When it comes to creating, she is fascinated with pattern, line & color and her love of these elements is easy to understand if you take a peek at her funky creations on her blog. We have been trading mail art for several months, but I wanted to push it to a new level… so I created a collaborative project we could both work on, that could be then sent back and forth through the postal system. Essentially the premise is based on the fact that Anika is fascinated with textile, motifs and design while I’m obsessed with animals, texture and anatomy… with our two main focuses in mind, the collaborative and postal bound project patterns & paws was born.

The project utilizes two blank moleskine cahiers and I have already created the front and back cover designs and marked them as volume 1 / volume 2. The way the project works is Anika will make imagery on the left-hand pages, I’ll draw on the right-hand pages and then there will be some 2 page spreads featuring our imagery colliding: thus creating a book full of vertical diptychs (two images, one piece) and horizontal mixed images (2-page spread) of patterns and paws.  Why are we working on two at the same time??? So that when the project sadly comes to a close, we each get to keep a volume (no need to fight over ONE sketchbook).Each time both books get sent, a minimum of 6 new drawings must be made in each sketchbook: 2 images in response to the images drawn by the other artist on the opposite page, 2 new drawings opposite blank pages for the other artist to respond to and finally 2 images over 2 page spreads that include both of our drawings working together (again one started by me and one started by anika). This way whenever either Anika or I recieve the sketchbook, we get to finish or create diptychs by drawing something inspired by/in correspondence to the opposite image. Then we also get to create cohesive images by sketching together on both left and right pages to create horizontal images with our styles intermingling. There are no rules on what mediums to use… Make sense? My first page in both books were drawn in pencil and feature two different ground squirrels (one of which is the pesky marmot who has been chewing at my car). The second page in both sketchbooks, is a black gocco screenprint of dog paws. Anika will be the first to start a two-page horizontal spread that we will both contribute to.She finally found the fat stamp plastered envelope that contained the sketchbooks just yesterday, after what feels like weeks of anticipation (especially because it was returned to me demanding 22 cents more postage, UGH). Along for the ride were my two zines that I owed her, a paint palette sticker and my fairly sloppy project explanation note.  I have A LOT of collaborative projects on the go, and it is exciting! My good friend and mentor Carney Oudendag and I began altering an accordion book, which I recently blogged about here. I am currently binding two books for an upcoming project with Justice Bicycle that we will launch in August when she visits for her “artist residency” at my print studio. I am halfway through my pages on Jessica Mack’s Traveling Journal  and will be posting my contribution to this collaborative effort next week when I send it off to Jeannine Saylor. And at some point when I find some time amongst all of this summer madness, I really ought to resurrect an old altered book collaboration that Marcus Jackson and I started a few years ago, (it become forgotten amongst our ACAD projects during our studies a few years ago). So make sure you check back to learn more about some of these yet-to-be-detailed collaborative projects or to see how the ones that have already been chronicled, evolve and transform.