mail art

I've been invited by Tammie of Beauty Flows to participate in the Around the World blog Hop and answer four questions.

What am I working on?

I've been making Mail Art these days. A couple of years ago, I joined liberate your art postcard swap which led me to mail art. Next I started decorating the envelopes of letters I sent to my relatives. Then this year I joined the letter writers alliance which promotes letter writing and a whole new world opened up.

Somewhere along the way, I learned about artistamps. These are faux stamps that you design. What fun! I got the perforated stamp paper from 100proofpress and went at it last week.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Although I am mostly self-taught, I studied sumi ink painting while living in Japan and that traditional art has been the biggest influence on my style. When learning sumi painting, I spent the first few months painting lines with the ink and brush. It was as tedious as you might imagine, but it was the backbone to learning how my body, the brush, paint and water work together.

After about a year and a half of studying, my teacher said I was ready to focus on painting what I wanted to paint. From that point on, I started painting portraits and figures.

Why do I create what I do?

I think Rainer Maria Rilke said it best in his letter to a young poet, Franz Kappus (translated by Mark Harman):

Go inside yourself. Explore the reason that compels you to write; test whether it stretches its roots into the deepest part of your heart, admit to yourself whether you would have to die if the opportunity to write were withheld from you. Above all else, ask yourself at your most silent hour of night: must I write? Dig inside yourself for a deep answer. And if the answer is yes, if it is possible for you to respond to this serious question with a strong and simple I must, then build your life on the basis of this necessity; your life, even at its most indifferent and attenuated, must become a sign and a witness for this compulsion.

How does my creating process work?

Ebb and Flow: There are times when I am quiet and ruminating on an idea and other times when my thoughts and actions are flowing simultaneously and laying those ideas down on paper.

Thank you for coming along with me on this journey!

If you haven't yet visited Tammy at Beauty Flows, have a visit. She has a magical world filled with her art and photography.

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