I loved seeing the light in your sea grass. BEAUTIFUL! I have to say for as much as I write, walk and attempt to meditate I don’t think I ever thought about an image that quiets my mind. I do however have a special place I go to at every chance I get. Of course this is at the Bluff. I know I have mentioned it to you before, it is in a cove on the rocks by the ocean and there is rarely anyone there. I find it so peaceful listening and watching the waves.
You made me laugh when you said that my mind could give yours a run for its money! SO TRUE! You don’t know me at all! I am always twirling in my mind with ideas. I am slowly letting go of the worry as I am learning it serves no real purpose. For my ReVison I collaged a bunch of papers (many are hand painted) to suggest both the peacefulness I feel at the Bluff as well as my ever moving thoughts. I used quiet blues in contrast with bright color and pattern. The work is about the duality I wrestle with in my daily life between peace and chaos. I am trying to feel at home in both. Hope you are having a good week!
Reading your thoughts about your grandmother made me think of my grandma Hirsig. We used to write letters faithfully to one another while I was in high school, college, and when I first moved out on my own relocating across the country to Boston. She was a school teacher, world traveler through her church, and always interested in what her grandchildren were up to. I always looked forward to her letters in the mail. I also have her numerous handwritten travel notebooks (mostly notes about how much gas cost, what they ate, when they washed their hair, and how noisy their hotels were!) and started this week’s ReVision by collaging some of these pages as the background. My grandfather took numerous pictures of their travels which are now in my possession. I went through them this last week and found this great image of my grandma in a yellow dress with her feet in the sea. I added some photos of my feet in the South Carolina pluff mud and transferred it over the travel journal pages. I made this piece of art as a tribute to my grandmother and wanted to thank you for the invitation to remember her.
Your Vision post had me thinking the past ten days about time spent with good friends. I believe we are lucky to have a few good friends that will listen to us in this life time. This listening takes time. Time to sit with one another and ignore all the emails, to-do lists, work and family obligations, house chores, etc. I drew these two chairs to represent this time. I picked the chairs from this book I have that has photos of chairs through time. I chose the rocker for me because I have always enjoyed that feeling of being in a rocker ever since I was young. The other chair looked like one you would pick because of it’s comfort and unique style (it is white with a red seat and part of a garden set!). I decided, rather than draw these with value and realism, to create a negative space by drawing the lines in the background. I felt that I wanted to somehow represent the connection to one another while sitting in conversation. I hope you enjoy it when it comes in the mail!
Laura’s ReVision 2
I was thinking about how looking at the sky calms you. Sometimes it overwhelms me in it’s vastness, stretching so far to places I probably will never reach (at least in this lifetime). We are each so vast and unique in our thinking and perceptions of the world, aren’t we? I believe the one thing that connects us is LOVE. It is universal and something I wish we all experience in whatever form it comes. Sending my love of color, nature and whimsy your way.
Receiving something like this in the mail has always been a thrill for us. This is how our correspondence and collaborative art began back in 2006. All our work since: the squared postcard, collaborative book, Vision/ReVision, and Two Artists One Surfaceproject have all stemmed from this enjoyment of a gift in our mailbox and connecting over a long distance through creating art. It is hard to believe sometimes that we have been collaborating for six years.
In our recent visit together, we sat on the beach and dreamed about where we wanted our work to head in the future. Our main conversation centered around the Vision/ReVision project. We have stalled on it the past few months and wanted to identify why, how to move past it, or whether or not to abandon the project for a new one. What we came up with was that this Vision/ReVision project was always a consistent way for us to check in with one another, see what the other was thinking, give feedback, and start conversations we weren’t having in our other projects. With a new commitment to the Vision/ReVision project we started with “What do we want to learn about through creating this art together?”. Being teachers for many years we both share the same philosophy of “teach what you want to learn”. Why not approach our artmaking together with the same philosophy?
Through many ideas hashed out over the following days we settled on an idea that has us both inspired and refreshed. We are going to focus this project on the idea of ‘home’. Home for us is more than a structure we live in. It is a metaphor for being at ease, loved, comforted, connected to time and place with a touch of nostalgia. Home can hold memories. Home shifts and turns with life’s wanderings. Home is a place our true selves are accepted and honored.
What to expect with this project:
We will post a Vision on Monday in the from of a photograph to start the conversation (along with some written thoughts)
For the next two weeks we will brainstorm, create, and respond to one another’s Vision on ‘home’ by creating an original piece of art. This piece of art will be 5″x7″ and sent in the mail to one another (along with a written post on this blog on Friday/Saturday).
This is a slower approach to this project (previously we posted weekly), but we believe the conversation will be much richer. So essentially you will see two Vision posts a month and two ReVision posts a month.
We are going to see where this leads us and will most likely be exhibiting the envelopes and artwork at our upcoming exhibit in Mystic, Connecticut in March 2013. We are so inspired to get this started tomorrow!
Inside the envelope posted above was this beautiful collage created by Laura. Look for more work like this in the coming month!
I have been inspired by LOVE this week and have been creating cards with fanciful hearts on them in lieu of my postcardfor 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!
Heart cutouts with golden edges
abstract watercolor by Laura
close up of cards
a few more cards sitting on my studio desk
When was the last time you made a card? We would love to know!
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.
Tina’s postcard for Alyssa
Working Table, Laura Gaffke 2010
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!
This is our third week of creating and sending off postcards in the mail. We have really been enjoying this process!
Tina's Postcard for Dad's 72nd Birthday
Tina's work in progress
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
Laura Gaffke, postcard for Peter
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.
Tina: Materials today are maps, a grass-like paper, drawing of a bowl of cherry tomatoes, Goldern Matte Medium, and red thread
Postcard for Andrea
Laura Gaffke: Working Table 10/6/10, abstract watercolor "meditation painting"
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.
postcard for LIza, Laura Gaffke, "Let your light flow" 2010
Our ‘Working Table’ has been an ongoing series of posts that allows you, our readers, to step into our studios and see what and how we are creating our artwork. We would like to expand this idea and add in our practice of mail art. Mail Art has history in all of our lives. Think of the postcard and how anywhere you go on a trip there is always a postcard you can purchase, write a quick note, then send off to a loved one. The postcard is a sharing of travels, journeys, and experiences.
Isn’t it a joy to receive this bit of mail in your mailbox instead of bills?
We have been creating artwork and sending it through the mail to one another for years. Now we would like to send this art to YOU!
Our Working Table will be about the process we engage in to hand-craft a postcard and a few notes about who we are sending it off to. Why are we doing this? Our work has always been about community building, joy, relationships, and collaboration. To extend this practice to you is just plain fun. Each week we will pick a friend, relative, newly met person, colleague, or stranger to mail a bit of hand crafted goodness.
Check your mailboxes. You may have mail!
Tina and Laura
Tina working on her postcard for Liz. I used some pages from my grandparent's travel journals and my son's watercolor set.
Tina's postcard for Liz
Laura's Working Table: I painted the background with many layers of paint and then cut out the stencil of the leaf and repeated it along with some circles. The word LISTEN came to me while I worked so I hand stamped it on the card.
Laura Gaffke, Ten nice things (detail), mixed media, 12" x 12"
Hello Tina & friends,
As you can imagine I am busily preparing for my trip to Italy (in just twelve days, but who’s counting!) as well as finishing work for ACGOW‘s new show, opening September 1st from 5-8:00pm. It promises to be quite a party that I am sad to say I will miss-Can you believe it? The day of the opening I will have just arrived in Italy, giddy thinking about my workshop. What are the chances these two wondrous events should coincide?!?! When I found out I was one of the featured artists for September it was almost a year ago and I was elated. I did not know then that life would throw me such a stupendous curve ball and that I wouldn’t be attending the opening! In fact, I am jittery just thinking thinking about the new work I created, wondering how it will be received (if you should go, I would love to know!). As a means of reconciling my absence I actually dreamt, yes dreamt (this has been keeping me up at night) of creating a special piece of art that could be given as a “gift” for anyone who attends the opening. (I would SO appreciate that!). I will print the work as a postcard to reflect my traveling. The postcards can be kept or sent as a random act of kindness to brighten someone’s day. Being a huge mail art fan I know how much I LOVE getting special surprises in my mailbox and wish to reciprocate this goodness with others. The piece is almost finished and I will be delighted to share it with you soon! Until then I will leave you with the image above, a detail of one of my new pieces that will be in the show.
Creativity & love your way,
I was greeted by this lovely sign announcing my class. It even had my name on it, I felt so honored!
Can you feel the creativity happening in this room? It was infectious!
painted background pages (click to enlarge)
example of how to use these papers (click to enlarge)
dragonfly mini painting (click to enlarge)
dragonfly mini painting (click to enlarge)
Dear Tina & friends~
I thought I would share some pictures of you from the Artini night I taught at the Mystic Arts Center on thursday. I taught a basic, expressive acrylic painting lesson, similar to the techniques I will teach in my upcoming Mixed Media class at MAC. There were about 25 lovelies, and I DO mean lovelies who attended! I had an absolute blast meeting new friends and seeing them explode with paint. Many of them had never painted or hadn’t picked up a paintbrush in years. It was magical to see what emerged as they freely expressed themselves with the paint while enjoying a perfectly chilled pomegranate martini. I had to pinch myself at how lucky I am to teach what I love! Thank you to everyone who participated and made the evening so special.
The next Artini takes place on Thursday, April 15th titled, “Better than a tax return.” We will learn aboutmail art, not to be confused with “male” art which seems to be the big joke~too funny! The martinis will be straight up and dirty and there will be wine available for those non-martini drinkers. Sign up early as the last class filled up quickly. I will look forward to seeing you!