Friday, January 7, 2011

Good Mail Day Thank You's PFF #35







Somewhere in the recent past in Seth Apter's Studioscapes Project, I found a reference on one of the featured artist's blogs to a Mail Art Tribute contest for Nick Bantock. I jumped at the chance and I'm glad I did when I did, because there were only two days left for submitting mail art when I discovered the contest and read the rules.

Several months ago (see my post of September 2nd, PFF #27), Seth had also presented a Freebie contest for those folks who commented on one of his posts. The post was called the Book Guild and was a listing of favorite books of over 150 artists, myself included. The prize was a signed copy of a book called Good Mail Day, by Jennie Hinchcliff and Carolee Gilligan-Wheeler, plus a piece of Mail Art by Jennie herself. A most excellent book judging by the title, and I would have dearly loved to have acquired an autographed copy for my slim library, which includes every book that Nick has authored except for one - the Capolan Artbox. I was a bit down in the dumps when I discovered I hadn't won the book (Have YOU ever won anything?), and I put the book purchase on the back burner.

While Christmas can always be considered a Good Mail Day, in my case, my oldest sister (Penny) and youngest (Judy) collaborated (and probably conspired as well) to purchase a copy for me as a Christmas gift.  I devoured it. Plenty of really neat ideas, some labels and cards to be used, and at least one really helpful hint for me which I had not considered using - a sewing machine with no thread in it to be used to create perforations for your own stamps. Up to this point, I'd been making due with an Xacto blade, which doesn't result in the same type of perforation, and I'd never really been happy with this method.

To see the results of my Tribute Entry, visit A Tribute to Nick Bantock Mail Art. My piece garnered third place, page three in the book to be published, and a copy of the book to put in my library. The piece displayed on the web site doesn't include the removable label which was hiding the number that needed to be included as one of the criteria for valid entries to the contest. The piece is not entirely my own art work, but I did do Nick's initials in Gold Leaf, I used several pieces of ephemera I'd obtained from Mary Green, a chop I'd made myself from an eraser, and a couple of stamps. I also used a reprint of a piece of old paper that I'd put a parrot on (The Parrot Confectionery), and a not-so-old playing card which I'd found on the street - all perfect elements for a piece of Nick Bantock Mail Art.

I don't know where the mail art avenue is going to lead me. Mail art is primarily exchanged artist to artist, although I've been selling some of mine along the way. My envelope art was selling off the wall in a local gallery over twenty years ago, and although I'm no longer associated with a gallery, I continue to mat and frame some of it because people want it and enjoy it. I am going to do another piece of mail art for the Quick Finish event at the Western Heritage Artists show in Great Falls in March, but that's the subject of future posts as we get closer to showtime.

If you like the view here, take the time to visit Beth Niquette at The Best Hearts Are Crunchy for more inspiring, colorful, witty, wacky mail art and postcard images for Postcard Friendly Friday!

20 comments:

  1. Congratulations on your past and present success as an artist. It isn't easy to get noticed. I love your mail art. Found you through PFF. I'm off to check around your site a bit more, Blessings, Lisa

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  2. Congratulations with the prize, Dave! You did a wonderful job, and I wish you many more Good Mail Days.

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  3. How exciting that your piece will be honored by inclusion in the forthcoming book. . . and thank you for the threadless sewing machine tip!

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  4. Congratulations. Your art work is great. Wish you many future successes.

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  5. Hey, Dave, congratulations! It's a wonderful piece of mail art. The quilters do similar items and also ATC's (Artist Trading Cards) which are the size of baseball trading cards. Someday check out the ATC label on my Funoldhag. They're lots of fun, but yours are more than "fun"!! Carol

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  6. Dave it's stunning and I'm thrilled for you. May this open even more doors.

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  7. Howdy Dave
    Ahhhhhhhhh A Good Mail Day indeed !
    Happy PFF to you and congratulations for a super start to the New Year .
    May the rest of the year bring many more wonderful opportunities your way so you may contiue to grow and develope your creative talents. Thank you so much for sharing with us .
    Looking forward to exploring all the great links you posted :)
    Until next time
    Happy Trails

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  8. Congratulations, you did so well in a short space of time. Love the concept of A Good Mail Day, and how true.

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  9. How wonderful Dave. Well done. I just love mail call .. especially when my friends send a little mail art. Happy PFF!

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  10. I love your mail art and all the others in the tribute too.

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  11. Not just a Good mail day but a Great mail day!

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  12. A big congratulations Dave. Your art and mail art are both so exceptional and unique. Happy I played a small role in connecting you with the project.

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  13. Damn. These are super nice. Lots of inspiration there. I found some of my old ones done with raised gold initials and medieval designs. But they are small -- about postage stamp size. I have no idea where the original photos got to.

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  14. Dave, you are getting close to my ideal concept of creator/collector/scrapbooker/artist of personalized stamps, postcards, postmarks, covers and maximum cards.
    There are many ways to create an opus mixtum with the above elements, and many raw materials.
    You could just throw elements in, carelessly, random as a vomit (OMG, Dorin!). :)
    You could throw elements as your momentary mood tells you, as a visual journal of non-verbalized sentiments.
    You could aim for a clear message with your elements. Even a GEICO caveman can figure out such a message.
    You could use some subtlety, for a layered audience. Their IQs may vary.
    You could encrypt (the hell out of) your message, cleverly using the elements.
    Well, you could do all of the above, one at a time, as you see fit.
    :)

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  15. Congratulations Dave! How exciting for you and how nice to see your parrot again!

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  16. Congrats Dave! Yet another insight into your great skill and mastery of your subject. Keep up the fantastic work.

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  17. We loved the dog in the middle artwork! Great stuff. Thanks

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  18. Congratulations, Dave. That is quite an honor! I love your envelope. How awesome, published in the book on page 3, a prize, a copy of the book - wow! And all from a little love of mail art ; ^ )

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