Especially for someone who painted canvasses six feet tall on a regular basis. But those paintings take a lot of energy. A lot. There is stretching and stapling and prepping and big boards for backing and big, big arm swings with brushes heavy with paint. Sometimes I would stand for hours with my right arm outstretched and constantly moving. For a small girl, I had biceps.
Well, that is not happening right now. I’ve had to scale it back – way back. Back to miniscule. I didn’t really know anything about miniscule, but somewhere in my internet wanderings I came upon Mail Art Across the World – and it was beautiful. Those tiny squares of colour placed with thought and creativity on bits of mail were exquisite. Throw in calligraphy and I was hooked.
I began to play my own mail games. I would send my self-addressed inkjet/sprayed/photo cards to cities which had a nice cancel and just trust the postal clerk to make their marks and add their random touch to my postcard. I would sometimes make fake stamps out of my past paintings or drawings and afix them near the real stamp. Kind of Nick Bantock, a little Anna Banana, and something completely different to my old way of making art. I found it a charming and stimulating way to stay engaged and involved with colour and composition, without the extreme physical effort.
The best part is, I can imagine some of these mail collages as beautiful at any scale so if I get back to those huge boards I’m going to have scads of material for inspiration.
Oh and I also get really fun mail all the time – even if it is from myself.
Just a little bit odd.