Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Mail Art and Letters to Ell

What do you do when the passage of time abruptly interferes with your routine and your child, once the toddler, now takes off for university? You write letters.

But, as an artist mom, it's a lot more fun to make sermonettes more palatable by making art out of them.


This week, last week of summer vacation, is about preparing for an empty nest again. I don't like it.

I wouldn't have it any other way:

In the company of angels
In a complex world
I think of what it is--
To be a simple kind of man
To be a simple kind of woman
Arcing a lifespan
Resorting to good--
Making courage jump from a pool of fear
Making gratitude sing from a selfish mouth
Graphing a perimeter > (greater than) a stony heart

Staying on target

IHOP toward my landscape

oK Ma rt!

A new GAP

Sears my gray and we UTurn

That will be our Gold Bond
(Then we get a bickie)
M. S. E. (Jan. 2008)

13 comments:

daviddrawsandpaints said...

Lucky boy (?) Good words.
When my son left home I cheered! (But in my heart I was sad) They've got to make their own mark on the world and a safe place to return to.

Karen said...

What a wonderful thing to receive a handwritten/handmade letter these days! These are like little jewels.

Melinda said...

David,
Oh my, yes, he is a very lucky boy. In fact, he's got "man of good fortune" translated into Icelandic as his motto, but I still have trouble pronouncing it. I think I gave him all of my luck...If you're curious about Icelandic spoken by an Arizonan, you can see him attempting to on the link I've got on the column to the right of my posts.
They are SO young when they start out. And, it's very difficult to send a young man two thousand miles away from family. Yikes.
You know how hard it can be--joy and sadness in equal parts.

Melinda said...

Thank you, Karen, for visiting and understanding. After I started these, Ell began making snail/mailart for some of his friends around the country. It's so novel that they are now exchanging mailart letters. Of course, that means that mom gets very few...

David Lobenberg said...

Very Cool! We kicked,booted, and threw our daughter out of the nest at 18 yrs. of age. Not easy and very worrisome, but she needed a dose of real life. She is now a mature 23 year old with a wonderful boy friend we just met last night. Your son's gonna make it!! I like the moth sketch too.

Frank Gardner said...

Very cool mail art. I'd be thrilled to get these while away from home.
Thanks for coming by my blog and leaving a comment.
You have a lot to look at here.
Have you ever seen the nick bantock mail art of Griffin and Sabine?

Melinda said...

Frank,
Oh, yes, years ago my husband bought the book for me and I marveled at the work. I would never dream that I could be so accomplished in this genre, but I have tried to do my best, with sincerity, in presenting my own version.
Have you heard of Ray Johnson? He was a quirky, mailart master of the New York School, that inspired me to attempt the series.

Edgar said...

Yow! These are the coolest, most precious objects!

I see that you've combined monotype and collage. And I'll freely confess, I'm a sucker for text in artworks, especially if it feels like a glimpse into a personal vision, as these letters do.

High art, Melinda!

Anonymous said...

Oooh! Amazing! I've never seen this before. It's personal, quirky, delightful, beautiful, curious, humorous and heartening.

I want to do this when my kids leave.

Melinda said...

David,
Thank you. I look forward to a happy outcome similar to yours and years of enjoying his adulthood. So great to hear that your family is doing well. Do artistic parents have happier children? I hope so.

Edgar,
Now I'm nervous. High praise, indeed. I, too, am a sucker for text in art as well as mixed media. I really have to control my use of duct tape on canvas. Thank you.

Silvina,
Thank you! I've found that these mailart gifts trigger my subconscience and communicate my musings about life and my hopes for my son's future. For some reason, this is easier than trying to speak about important stuff. I think it enables him to see me as a person--with more dimension than 'mom' only.
I would love to see what you do with this genre.

Unknown said...

What a great idea, to actually send letters that can be held, smelled, folded, hung on a bulletin board, and reread again and again. Your son is a lucky guy.
You are so versatile! So many different styles.

Melinda said...

Deborah,
There is something really intriguing about the mailart process. They have a bit of performance/poetry and deep subconscious communication that takes place in the making of them.

Ah, yes, my son is well loved indeed and he has called himself...a "gæfumaður" which in Icelandic means, man of good fortune.

I would recommend this process to anyone. It's surprisingly intuitive and takes on a life of its own, leading one into surprising elements of creativity.
Thank you for visiting!

Unknown said...

I am lucky. And I can't wait to get some more when I'm away!