Saturday, April 25, 2015

illustrated letters and postcards

spring heart mail art postcard
spring heart mail art postcard

Recently I joined a mail art exchange through IUOMA,   and it is inspiring me to make more art. And in return I receive some inspiration from other mail art enthusiasts from all over the world.

The daisy pen drawing is based on a photo I took last year. And the yearbook photos are from an old yearbook which I photocopied and then transferred using the photo transfer with matte medium method. The above postcard went out today. The Rilke quote seemed perfect for my current mood.

Alfred Joseph Frueh illustrated letter

This week my request for the More Than Words: Illustrated Letters from the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art arrived at my local library. What a joy it is to read and see letters illustrated through the years. I caught myself salivating a couple of time ... dear me! I've only begun the love letters chapter and so far my favorite is by Alfred Joseph Frueh who wrote to his fiance while he was travelling. His letter illustrates how he spends every living and sleeping moment thinking about and reading her letters.

wishing everyone a good weekend!

joining sunday sketches

Saturday, April 18, 2015

whale of a time

late night sketch, pen 

I saw my first grey whale of the migration season. It came right up to the shore line. I saw the tail fluke and realized the whale was moving on. I ran all the way down to the marina hoping to get a photograph of this beautiful creature. Luckily, this whale found another spot for foraging the ghost shrimp just beyond the marina. This was the closest I've ever been to one. Granted, I still needed a zoom lens, but I could hear every time the whale blew a spray of water. So amazing. The grey whales are monitored by The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and I later learned that this was Grey Whale #22.

linocut whale print on envelope

The experience inspired me to make a whale linocut and a fluke linocut for my love of mail art.

Here's to another great week!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

liberate your art 2015 finale

gallery juana mail art
mail art envelope and postcard contents to Kat

Preparing for the Liberate Your Art started back in January when I sent my mail art envelope, postcards and stamps to Kat for this year's liberate your art postcard swap.

This is my third year to participate and I decided to make my own postcards using my photography. I also included my website address more visibly this year. 4 out of 5 receivers contacted me to let me know my postcard arrived at their doorstep. Thank you:)

postcards for liberate your art 2015

In mid-march, the postcard swap is organized into 4 mailings by Kat and some volunteers. Kat sends each mailing out once a week until the second week in April. It's mail art happiness for four weeks!

I received the following 5 cards in Kat's Liberate Your Art postcard swap:

Lynne Foerster

Susan Stewart

Louise Marnet-Berthereau at

Amy Duncan and Wiggins

This year was the first time I joined the side swapping. I had five extra postcards to swap and the mail art fun was extended. Next year, I'll be prepared with even more postcards to swap on the side.

The extra swap cards that have landed thus far:

Deanie Houghtaling

Janice Darcy at

Sheila Delgado at and Janice Darcy

Michelle Matucheski at

Kat Sloma's postcard is the Sixth one to arrive and signals the end of this years postcard swap. Thank you Kat for putting on another good year of liberating art!

Kat Sloma at
closing thoughts

I have always been apprehensive about sharing my name and mailing address with complete strangers. However, with kat's group, all the postcards for the official swap are sent to her address, so I only had to share my address with her. The first year I joined, I only did the official swap and blog hop. The second year, I did the same and also the joined the facebook group. This year all of the above and also the side swaps. For the side swaps, people exchange addresses on their own. It's nice to be able to get your feet wet slowly and not have to jump in all at once. And I love how Kat has made that possible.

What I also love about Kat's LYA group is the honest love of swapping art for the sake of human connection and inspiration.

The Liberate Your Art postcard swap happens every year. If you'd like to join, visit Kat Sloma's website and join her email list to get word of the next swap. You can also see videos of all the postcards that have been swapped. Amazing!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

drawing and stamping

cormorant late night sketch, lamy safari
cormorant late night sketch, lamy safari

My lamy safari fountain pen with an "F" nib arrived this week from goulet pens along with several ink samples. The "f" nib writes smoothly and feels like it's gliding on the paper. The ergonomic hold (where my fingers rest) and it's light weight are also great.

Given the reviews, I guessed that the lamy nib would not write as thin a line as my Japanese made "F" nib pens. I'm enjoying the variety that I can get from my preppy, metropolitan and now Lamy pens. With scented inks to boot, I've been drawing a lot more since my fountain pen enthusiasm began!

In addition to drawing, I've been making some diy stationary. Last week, I snagged a box of formal stationery from the second-hand shop for $2.00. The paper is a beautiful cream color with a nice tooth for stamping and fountain pen writing.

In the eyes of the cat, is the color of the sea, on a sunny day... Yorie

The keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams. ― Henry David Thoreau

Every time I see an adult on a bicycle,
I no longer despair for the future of the human race.
H. G. Wells

Above are the envelopes I stamped this week. The stationery will have complimentary stamps: the bee will have the honeycomb and the cat will have paw prints.

I am not sure what stamp to make to compliment the bicycle. Any ideas?

wishing everyone a bright weekend!

joining Sunday Sketches

Saturday, April 4, 2015

late night doodling

March 2015, j. herbin ink - Lie de The

We don't make mistakes, just happy little accidents. ― Bob Ross

I remember coming home from elementary school and watching all the how to draw and paint shows on the PBS channel. Art has always had a place in my life. And the above quote by Bob Ross always makes me smile.

sketch, april 2

I'm trying out a new habit of sketching nonsense late at night. Part of the motivation comes from my love of my new fountain pens and inks. I want to write and draw with them more. So what better way then to sit down just before bed and sketch whatever is sitting in front of me or comes to mind!

sketch, april 3, j. herbin ink - myosotis

Speaking of creativity: This music video was featured on a t.v. program called "amazing marvels" and features a Rube Goldberg machine. I think it took several months to perfect the synchronization and over 65 takes to make the video.

joining sunday sketches
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