Expect some mail in a few days!
Hello Sweet T & Friends!
You may remember from our newsletter (you can subscribe on the right side bar) that Tina & I wanted to renew our practice of sending handmade postcards to each other, similar to our squares. She has been great at sending me them as you will see from the two above. I received the first postcard, “renew” and immediately felt grateful as that was exactly what I needed to hear in that moment. Funny how that is sometimes, isn’t it? Like most people I find myself consumed with my ongoing “to do list” and rushing onto the next big thing. I call this my “crazy mind” and know when I get this way I need to make some time to just “be”, to enjoy, to look, to listen, to appreciate everything that is good around me. I recently came across an interview Oprah’s had with Thich Nhat Hanh. For those of you unfamiliar with him here is a description from Oprah.
“He’s been a Buddhist monk for more than 60 years, as well as a teacher, writer, and vocal opponent of war—a stance that left him exiled from his native Vietnam for four decades. Now the man Martin Luther King Jr. called “an apostle of peace and nonviolence” reflects on the beauty of the present moment, being grateful for every breath, and the freedom and happiness to be found in a simple cup of tea.”
I enjoyed this interview on many levels and tried to apply what I had learned about mindfulness to my morning and it just felt great! I tried to pay attention and appreciate everything. It started off with Brett surprising me with coffee in bed which I savored and really tasted. Skye (my sweet cat) was curled up on the end of the bed purring as I gazed out my window to our lush green backyard. As many of you know, she has a tumor and the prognosis isn’t good. I have been trying not to focus my energy on that and to just love and appreciate every moment I have with her. When I do this I am not thinking about the worst that can happen in the future and I am happy. This focused energy manifested into a new body of work I call my “hope series“.
Even making toast this morning became a fulfilling ritual. I actually paid attention and tasted the spices my mom put in the wonderful natural peanut butter she left me on her last visit. Drizzling on the sweet sticky honey made it all the better and I was grateful for my friend Kelley who tends the local bees who create this sweet magic. These simple gestures along with paying attention to my breath rooted me in my morning and gave me a huge sense of peace. This is what I wish for you today.
In the past we have created posts titled “Working Table”. Read more about what this is HERE (original post January 24, 2009!). Today’s working table is documenting a new project.
As usual, we will be starting a piece of art and swapping it in the mail. This time we will be working on paper and using our gardens for inspiration. We talk often about what is growing in our different climates and thought we would see what would happen if we made work directly about this subject. It is our intention to continue our visual conversation much like our other work.
This new collaboration will be sold for a very reasonable price in our ETSY shop. It is our goal to get Tina up to Connecticut to work with Laura in person, but we need some financial support to make this happen. We have money in the bank already from previous sales, but need just a bit more.
On my working table today I have been playing with sepia toned drawing ink. I thought I would create contour and gesture lines of my hydrangea with the ink so that Laura may work her color magic when she gets them in the mail. She has free reign to do whatever she wants with this work so keep in touch here at the blog because you might not recognize this once it has arrived in Connecticut and brought to completion.
An artist I was inspired by while creating these drawings was Julie Mehretu. Browsing the books at the library I happen to find hers and brought it home to study. Her use of line and composition is what I am interested in. Below are the drawings I will be sending you in the mail tomorrow. I am looking forward to seeing what you do with these Laura.
Dear Tina & delightful friends~
My studio has been a buzz with activity. I just finished teaching an AMAZING Altered Books class and I am getting ready to pack up my fun art supplies and head to NH where I will be teaching again at the Holderness School for Artward Bound. This will be the third year I taught here and always have an incredible time. The only drawback is being away from my sweet love and kitties for almost two weeks!
I was on the what they call the “show committee” at The Artist’s Cooperative Gallery of Westerly for a special exhibit put on by RISCA which the gallery hosted for the month of February. It provided our gallery the unique opportunity to share in the Contemporary art scene (which I love) in RI. In the process of putting the show together we had the luxury of working with the FABULOUS Christina Di Chiera, Director of Individual Artists Programs who really put her all into making this show spectacular. Everything was thoughtfully orchestrated, from hanging the show, organizing the highly attended Opening Reception, Writer’s Night and Artist Talk. I felt proud to be a part of such an event.
My dear friend, fellow ACGOW member and show committee chair, Diana Sartor asked me if I would like to do an art collaboration with her to send to Christina as a thank you, so of course I jumped on it! Diana’s paintings are often brightly colored, abstract and full of content and meaning. I could hardly stand waiting to see what she would give me to use.
I cut up the original painting Diana gave me into the two postcard size works below.
I then started layering color on top and pulled out areas with hints of colored pencil.
Here are the final two pieces. I had SO much fun doing this and felt honored that Diana trusted me to embellish her work. We had a great conversation about collaboration and I have many thoughts brewing about the topic. It is always fun to step outside your comfort zone and I loved how this was a different spin on our ongoing postcard project. I will let you know which one Diana chooses to send Christina. Which one are you most drawn to and why? As you know we are fond of mailing artwork to our biggest fans so leave a comment or sign up for our newsletter (on the right hand side bar). Sending a slight hint of spring your way…Laura
Which one would you choose?
A jazzy hello Tina & friends~
I have been inspired by LOVE this week and have been creating cards with fanciful hearts on them in lieu of my postcard for the week. I started them on Sunday by painting an abstract watercolor that I then cut up and added to. My intention was to have them all written out and mailed in time for Valentine’s Day (or shortly after) as an expression of caring and gratitude for the people in my life who are both close to me and who I don’t see very often. Like most things I do they took me MUCH longer than I had anticipated! Although MOST of them are finished I would like to take the time to write thoughtful, reflective sentiments and have decided to not rush and write them a little at a time. In the meantime I thought I would share a few of them with you. Sending you a day of bright sunshine & warmth!
p.s. Don’t forget to leave a comment for our art GIVEAWAY! Whooo hoo!
When was the last time you made a card? We would love to know!
About once a month Laura and I will be posting a “working table” of what is happening in our studio work. I will do that in the pictures below but FIRST I want to post a few pictures of this newly created hand-crafted postcard. We have been creating these postcards for the past few months as a gift to our readers and subscribers. I am now going to be picking from our newsletter subscriber list. You can sign up if you would like.
I have been sending antique book pages through my Epson printer to see what would happen.This process produced a “wow” from me when it came out of the printer. Not sure how I will utilize this yet, but for now I created a postcard with a few of these prints (torn and re-assembled of course).
A friend took this photo below. I think the piece is finished, but I am sitting with it awhile to see if I need to adjust anything. Once I feel it’s done, it’s off to be professionally photographed and then out to the world.
The doors are meant to be opened by the viewer. Inside are delicately etched pieces of glass, soil, and maps. I etched this glass with my trusty DREMEL tool.
…This series of work is an inquiry into how we seem to be less connected to our humanity by becoming a more developed society. Being in a historic age of science and technology, that attempts to quantify anything it can get it’s hands on, I wonder about the experiences I have that go beyond what “knowledge” can tell me. I wonder how I balance my intuitive connection with the natural world while enjoying the comfortable suburban life I am living….
This new series of work is really keeping me humming in the studio. Any thoughts on the work or suggestions on materials, don’t be shy~ let me know by leaving a comment.
I sure appreciate you reading along.
It certainly has been awhile since we have posted a Working Table, but know that we have been busily working in our studios creating new work, writing, and developing teaching ideas.
FIRST AN ANNOUNCEMENT: Laura is coming to visit me next week! The last time we saw each other was July- too long. Our plans are to create some art, develop a course accentuating our two teaching styles and ideas (will be offered online in the future), as well as have some fun. The fun part is a surprise, but keep in touch because these photos will make you laugh- guaranteed.
Tina’s Working Table Notes:
The postcard this week goes out to my brother Ande. I created this by cutting and carving a heavyweight coldpress watercolor paper and adding an antique map underneath. I felt it needed one more thing and added the bird, but kinda regretted it after doing it. I think it might have been better without it. oh well.
Tina’s Working Table Notes: I wanted to use my circle shape hand punch today and went through my trusty drawer of paper scraps. This was a quick and random collection to see what would come together.
Laura’s Working Table Notes: Before I rush off to ACGOW to gallery sit (1:30-5pm if you want to stop in for a visit!) I pulled out my paints and made a little time to PLAY. It has been awhile since I painted and I just enjoyed building up layers of color in this little abstract. I decided to sneak in a little dragonfly, which is part of a new series I am working on and will fill you in on soon. Can you find it hidden in the chaos?
My postcard series is now featured in the Laura TWO Tina Etsy shop. I have been inspired by our postcard project and the personal connections being made and reignited. I have always wanted to create a project with the numerous antique photographs I have acquired from my parent’s antique business, and now here it is. These are for sale so check it out in our shop. I wrote about this series of work HERE.
I also wanted to point out an opportunity for everyone to submit a piece of “Cherished Mail” to NPR. They are looking for submissions for a future story. “NPR wants to see your most cherished mail: a postcard, a love letter, a care package. Upload images to Flickr.com, tag them NPRpostal, and tell us its story. If you’re a new Flickr user, leave us your link in the comments. We’ll feature some on NPR.org as part of an upcoming Postal Service series.”
Laura and I will be submitting some of our first postcards that started our collaboration back in 2006. The submission costs no money and it is as easy as uploading a photo to Flickr. Let us know if you submitted something- you know we enjoy hearing about connections through the mail.
Learn more about this POSTCARD PROJECT
Tina’s Working Table Notes: Thought I would take a picture of one of my scrap paper drawer. I have collected and made these papers for many years. Whenever I see a hand crafted paper that I find interesting or paper that came in packaging from the mail or from my parents antique business or created with paints or from anywhere else… I stuff it all in this drawer to use later. This is my prime picking place for creating these postcards. This week the postcard goes out to Marci- my buddy from Boston (I miss you).
Laura’s Working Table Notes: I have been experimenting with some collaged backgrounds for our TAOS project and tried using some old book pages and painted papers. I then antiqued them with a warm colored glaze and added a small image which reminded me of Tina’s love of trees and how she expresses them in her work. I then thought of my nature loving friend Cheryl and wondered what adventures she has been up to.
This week I created a series of hand-crafted postcards for our Etsy shop. Click on the right side of our blog where you see ETSY to go to our shop. I will be adding more postcards (I made seven of them) throughout the week so check back now and again.
Here is how I described it in the shop…
This original hand-crafted postcard was created by Tina Hirsig. Using antique sheet music, photographs acquired through garage sales, thread, and paint she creates a unique vision of the American Mid-West (where she grew up). This vintage photograph is not dated but estimated to be taken in the 1920′s.
You may put this piece of art in a frame or write a note on the back and send it through the mail. In an age of email, texting, and facebook status updates, imagine giving a hand-crafted postcard. This personal connection is an intention that Laura TWO Tina applaud.
The postcard measures 4″x6″
See you at the shop!
Here I am Laura- sorry for being late folks! Some weeks are just like that…
Tina’s Working Table Notes: I am using many antique objects in this next series of postcards. Here I used sheet music, photos bought at a garage sale and thread.
Tina’s Working Table Notes: I did a major clean up of the studio this week and finally cleaned out all my paper drawers. In the process I did not take a picture of this mess as I was creating this postcard. At least I have the final picture. The materials were simply what I had found interesting during the clean and then quickly assembled them. The swiftness of this postcard was a joy. I wish all my work was like this. This week it goes out to the Mail Carrier. I wonder if my regular Mail Carrier will look at it or just throw it in the pile for the next person. I have no idea where this one will end up!
Laura’s Working Table Notes: Interestingly enough I cannot find the pictures I took of my studio table while I was working (weird that Tina doesn’t have hers either!). What you would have seen was an array of paper towels scattered about which I used to blot my paintbrush throughout the day. I heard somewhere that if you glued the paper towel down it would become translucent so I decided to try it and loved the texture. I then layered the wine bottles using several stencils I cut out.
*Learn more about our Mail art project HERE!
Tina’s Working Table Notes: Looking out of my studio window I watched the oak tree move in the stormy weather. I captured that through a pencil drawing and collaged that with maps and sewing with orange thread.
Laura’s Working Table Notes: I have been experimenting with stencils in my work. This woman is a reminder to me to be present and open to whatever comes my way. I wonder if it will translate this way to it’s recipient.
Side Note: If you look to the left you can catch a sneak peak at some new work I am creating for the Open Studio on Dec. 10th & 11th 2010. SO EXCITED! Hope to see you there!
I found it interesting how Tina’s working table for today reflected her working early in the morning in her studio and ended with me working late into the evening in mine. What a contrast in the way our work is photographed! What time of the day are you most creative? ~Laura
*Learn more about this project HERE!
Tina’s Working Table Notes: This postcard was created using imagery from the Sears Roebuck and Co. catalog from 1949, another gem from my antique-dealer parents. I added sewing and drawn lines to pull the collaged pieces into one cohesive piece.
Laura’s Working Table Notes: This postcard was build up in layers with watercolor paint, stamps and old book pages that were painted and collaged.
This is our third week of creating and sending off postcards in the mail. We have really been enjoying this process!
Tina’s Working Table Notes: I started this postcard and then reinvented it as I went along. What you see in the process photo is very different than what I settled on. I found some of my Grandmother’s travel journals (I used one page for my first postcard posted HERE) and felt moved to make this one for my Dad who is turning 72 on October 13. Thought he would like some notes from his Mom from so many years ago. Happy Birthday Dad!
Laura’s Working Table Notes: This week I have been continuing to work in my meditative style. I often look through old book pages for inspirational words and this week the words, “a special meditation” jumped out at me.
This is our second week of shifting our Working Table from a general peek into our studio work to a more refined peek at our Postcard Project. In these Working Table posts we will be discussing our thinking and processes with materials for creating a postcard. See our original post HERE.
If you would like to be on the list of people to receive an original hand-crafted postcard simply sign up for our newsletter and add in your mailing address. We will be choosing from our personal mailing lists and our blog mailing list. You can also email us your address if that works for you.
I often use painting as a way to center myself and usually work intuitively, open to the outcome. I refer to these as my “mediation paintings” which are very calming to me. Often times they are merely an exercise, sometimes they stand on their own and other times I turn them into something else, like my postcard this week.