I’ve been productive this summer. Normally I wake up around eight o’clock and put on the coffee. I watch twenty minutes of online videos, have a couple cups of coffee, and go upstairs to work. This year getting things done is made easier by the inclusion of an air-conditioner. I don’t have to work upstairs until it gets too hot then move downstairs. Around lunchtime I eat, and then head back to whatever I was doing. Sometimes I set up the tables in the backyard to paint books. This means that I have production going in all floors of the homestead. I make collages upstairs and then go to the main floor where I make transfers and let things dry out, then I’m in the backyard to put on another layer of paint. I try and do this until about three o’clock in the afternoon when Misty gets home. In a good day I end having a solid six hours of creative activity.
|I've made 77 collages so far this summer, this is three of those.|
My goal this summer has been to use as few of pieces of material as possible. I’ve been avoiding doing the assault on the eyes type of collages where every inch of the card is filled with color. Mainly I’ve been making collages out of transfers I do in the kitchen sink. Like usual these transfers are made from old magazines that I’ve collected over the years. The older the better since the paper and the image separates unlike with new magazines that don’t work out all that well. The less obtrusive collages are done in three different sizes, small bingo cards, slightly bigger than 5x7 ones, and collages on large watercolor paper. The latter of which I add spray-paint to give the composition a little more movement. As I move through the process, I use all of the random pieces of tape leftover from the transfers. When I start this process, the images are clear and big and clean, by the end of it I have lots of little scraps that clutter things up more. In the morning I can get through a nice pile of these and then in the evenings I tape them up and then scan them. I scan all the collages! The next day I might put them in envelopes with some other items and in a week they’re gone.
Because I’m working on things more than I ever have, I have a lot of items laying around upstairs. Not wanting to hold onto these things forever I’ve noticed that the packages I’ve made are getting fatter. I’m putting a lot more into a single mailing than I ever have, this goes for what I send out of the country as well. Most weekly trips to the post office are floating around 50 dollars.
One of the things that I pad out my packages with are the add and passes and broadsides. Before I left work for the summer, I made sure to make a nice pile of these, quickly. I generally put a few in each package depending on the size of the collage. To me the “main event” is always the collage with the other things tossed into justify the exorbitant cost of shipping. Might as well throw in a couple of add and passes if I’m making a package. The problem is that the general tenor in mail-art is to get annoyed with add and passes. Somehow, I’m seen as only making add and passes, which is far from the truth. I don’t even like them all that much. The other day someone wrote on the front of an envelope in a condescending tone, “Thanks for not sending add and passes, as usual.” I send as many collages as I do add and passes but no one seems to remember, or comment on those. Use the paper to make something else, why be so annoyed? I never comment on what anyone sends. Either way, that initial printed pile is starting to dwindle as I mix old add and passes and broadsides with new collages. I won’t be back at the nice printers until August. The digital to be printed” pile is growing, which means I’m not going to use any of the old images started in a little over a month.
|A broadside made from pieces left on the work table. This one is waiting to be printed.|
The images from the photo shoot that Daniel and I did a couple months back have started to take on their own life. First, I made things from those images, but now those images are coming back to me in new contexts. They’re getting further divorced from their initial creation, which to me, is the best part of it. Someone used one of those images on the front of an envelope recently. I then scanned that image and I’m starting to use it as a jumping off point for new collages. Hopefully that image will appear elsewhere, and it’ll get altered again and again.
The photo shoot images moving further away from their initial creation.
|Scans of some of the board books.|