Monday, June 21, 2010

Mail Art: Melinda Hands Over A Power Deck

Speaking of family, my son, Ell, reached a landmark age this year which, of course, got me thinking and planning another mail art piece.

And, as Count Rugen said (
Princess Bride): "Get some rest. If you haven't got your health, then you haven't got anything."

The idea came to me as I considered that we are dealt life cards that we don't have much say in.

Yet, when we go out into the world, we take them with us and can shuffle them to our choosing.
If we're lucky, we have time to choose from several career options.

We all have to watch out for the joker.

And, our spiritual beliefs are our ace up the sleeve during tough times.

If we've had good guidance and if the deck has been stacked in our favor, life could go easily. Or, if not, there can be confusing misfortune. We can also choose to throw the best cards out, not realizing how important it is to shuffle wisely.

This mail art piece is about the size of an Uno card deck: card stock, pencil and ink, solarplate images, glue, clippings from the NYTimes and one deck of cards.


Edgar said...

Funny, now that you mention it, Ell is a lot like Princess Bride's Westley: worldly wise, well-traveled, multi-lingual, mind like a steel trap, handsome and an unexpectedly good fencer. He's got a great hand. You're a fine dealer!

BTW, I LOVE the prints in this work, accented by the simple counterpoint of the collage.

Melinda said...

Ha! You've put all the pieces together on this, Mr Artyfice. I hadn't exactly itemized these attributes, but you're right. Let's see if he stops by and looses any of his endearing humility after all this attention...

Oh, I think you helped.

WV: freness, hunh.

Janelle Goodwin said...

It's easy to see where Eli gets his wonderful qualities from. The acorn doesn't fall far from the tree! Lucky, lucky boy!

SamArtDog said...

Lucky I already think you know how lucky you are, or I'd have to give you a lecture on the wonderfulness of good parents.

No lecture--that's my gift to you.

Anonymous said...

Oh Melinda, you have such a brilliantly creative mind! So much love in this power card deck. Creativity fueled by love is the best kind. Ell is super blessed!

Melinda said...

Aw, shucks, Janelle, that's really nice. I hope he's better than me, actually! Well, he's certainly a lot luckier, that is for sure.

Melinda said...

That's really nice, too, SamArtDog. He'll be by sometime...hmmm. Was hoping he'd be around today. Must be busy counting his cards.

You have no idea how annoying good parents can be, or do you? Maybe he'll explain.

Thanks for stopping by.

Melinda said...

I know you understand just how I feel, Silvina. Thank you for your kind comment.

Wish I could make more of these cards. They are a lot of fun and work...

cohen labelle said...

Hi Melinda
Your mail art assemblages are always so fascinating! I love the double entendre in Hands Over a Power Deck – that is so visual and jam packed with meaning – and I love how you improvise and explore each image and meaning
Very beautiful, the immense love you have for Ell that you translate so nimbly into this delightful deck of cards!

Melinda said...

Hi Marcia,
I thought that the mail art piece with all the hotel windows was the hardest and most time consuming. But, no, this one took months to gel.

Thank you very much for your comment. Ell is easy to love. He is an inspiration for mail art, too.

P. S. Did you notice the hick family gathered around the corn plants? Yup, that be our little family posing with the crops, wearing our Saturday-go-to-town clothes....

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Melinda,

This is just an amazing art piece and an incredible work of love. What a lucky young man Ell is. Your devotion and the clear, thoughtful love he gets from you and Edgar is so far beyond what most young people on the planet experience.

I wish Ell every happiness in this wonderful life, and with a mother like you and a father like Edgar, the deck is stacked to guarantee him that outcome.


Jeane Myers said...

these mail art pieces fascinate me on so many levels, I just love them xxo

Melinda said...

Thank you very much, Barbara. It's true. We stacked the deck for him and he really thinks that's just the way it's supposed to be--and it is.

Oh, yeah! It was tons of work. There were many hours of planning and contemplation and I had to make that card box twice. I'm not really a 3D person, but for some odd reason, I'm making these things every once in awhile. It surprises me.

Melinda said...

Hi Jeane,
I think I know why: They are full of process, they are often of mixed media, they develop over time, often get "edited" as you have written, and become more than the beginning idea.

I was inspired by Ray Johnson, a tragic figure, but the brilliant originator of Mail Art. There is a sad, but intriguing film about him and his life. I recommend it.

Thank you for commenting!

Anonymous said...

What a gift! Understanding the respective roles of chance and what a person does with the cards they are dealt is a key to compassion and a fulfilling life. Worth every minute you spent in the creation.

Melinda said...

Thank you, Donald! It's true. We don't have any say over the cards we're dealt, but young people can be encouraged to shuffle them around, and I believe, to add new cards to the deck. Sometimes the new cards can replace the originals especially if they weren't so great, don't you think?

I like that you linked compassion and fulfillment to the deck. Excellent point.

Becky Joy said...

Very interesting work. Unique, I like it.

Melinda said...

Hi Becky Joy,
Thank you so much! Thanks, too, for stopping by. Hope you'll come back again.

Karen said...

What a beautiful piece!! I absolutely love what you said about not having a day in the cards we're dealt, but having the power to shuffle them at will...what a fantastic way to think of it all. It gives me perspective.

Anonymous said...

A unique and creative idea with so much thought put into it.

Anonymous said...

In addition to spectacularly creative DNA, your son now inherits this marvelous reminder of how loved he is, and what a lifeprint reads like.
A gift for all of us to consider but Eli gets the hard copy.
The hard to copy, copy.
You are a true original.

Elliot said...

I am indeed a lucky person, more than anything by the amazing upbringing I have been blessed with. I believe that the good cards I have been dealt are largely a result of my parents being the dealers, and very cognizant of it. They may not be the casino itself, but for most of my life, they were in charge of the table I played at. It is by their prudence and foresight that I am who and where I am today. I couldn't be luckier!

Melinda said...

Hi Karen,
Thank you for your thoughtful comment. So many are born with odd cards, mean cards, or, no cards at all. It's certainly not their fault.

Indeed, it's what we do when we are able to shuffle them that can change the trajectory of our lives.

Certainly, if we don't try to shuffle them we are stuck. Holds true in painting, too, doesn't it?!

Melinda said...

Thank you, Jean. This is one of my favorite mail art pieces. A lot of love went into this one.

Melinda said...

Hi Bonnie! Thank you so much. This is my way of imprinting deep concepts in a fun way.

Elliot is so much smarter than I and I think his heart is going to be greater than my own.

Art is the medium just as DNA, right?

You're very kind! I like to think that my art will make up for some of my not so great qualities. :)

Melinda said...

Dearest Ell,
You are, indeed, a gæfumaður!(man of good fortune in Icelandic)
And, it has been a joy creating family with you and your dad.

I, too, was always conscious that the "cards" that I handed you would influence how you perceive the world and yourself.

As you know, I believe that what we tell the world about children as they grow, is how the world will see them. I've always maintained that you are good hearted, intelligent, strong and creative. I'm right.

Now, the world will be your casino. Moreover, you will provide good cards to the next generation!

Thank you for commenting. You know it means a lot to me.

Linny D. Vine said...

Oh, that lucky, lucky Ell to have such a creative mum!!! And, lucky you, Melinda and Edgar to have such a wonderful son! Wishing you all the best of the deck.

Melinda said...

Thank you, Linny!!

I really appreciate your comment. Right now, I'm missing that young man. He's been away for too long.

Thanks so much for stopping by. May you have the happiest and luckiest cards too.