Between Andy Warhol and Ansel Adams

I opted to get off a stop earlier on my way to the hotel for the ride home and check out the MoMA gift shop since I knew they’d be open late because it was a Friday. (Uniqlo Fridays are from 4-8pm when the public is allowed to enter the museum free.). They always have new postcard offerings and their sale rack always has a robust selection. The only thing is that while the rack is labeled “SALE”, they have no price tags. Regular postcards sell for $1.25 to $2.00, and the postcards that were on sale went for .25 and .50 cents. You can’t go wrong with that!!

I took my pick of 8-10 postcards, trying not to splurge, and milled around. I spied an Andy Warhol postcard book which I almost grabbed, but I thought I’d get some lenticular (3d) postcards instead. Walking to the check out line, though, I saw a special rack dedicated to items focusing on Ansel Adams. And there it was, a postcard set (not a book) of Ansel Adams photography. Ansel Adams won out and I happily grabbed it..Vintage Postcards: To keep or to give away?

Not to say that I think Ansel Adams is a better or bigger artist than Andy Warhol — I have great respect for these two names who are superstars in their respective genre (photography and pop art respectively) — but I figured I could always go back for the Warhol. While I try not to fall prey to procrastination when it comes to postcard buys (“I’ll grab it next time.”), I try not to go overboard with the postcard shopping. I could’ve grabbed both but I thought that was a bit much.

The art postcards which were on sale will be a good addition to my collection and for trading with others with a preference for non-touristy postcards.

I’ve been going through my vintage postcard collection and sorting out what I can get rid of, either by way of trading them off, selling them on eBay or just giving them to someone who would be able to use them for their collection. I’ve pretty much confined my antique/vintage preferences to Philippines, New York, and other places we’ve visited like Paris and Brugge. I acquired these other antique postcards through other postcard lots I had bought or received in previous years. I figure someone would find value in them as part of their collection or as plain ephemera for other use.

Any takers? Email me at postcardmailbox@gmail.com with “vintage postcards” in the subject line.

Meanwhile, here’s to Ansel Adams and the MoMA..=).

International Union of Mail-Artists

My curiosity about Mail-Art or Correspondence art was so piqued that I searched for groups or websites dedicated to them and I landed here, the home of the International Union of Mail-Artists or IUOMA.  I’m still trying to navigate my way around there, and have been in awe of the serious art exchanged in the mail.  I love the whimsical, too, and enjoy reading the stories behind the postcards or other forms of mail art exchanged and posted.

I was actually surprised they accepted me, and I found that this is a very big group with a very broad membership.  I can fit into so many tiny gaps here and there among the giants.

POSTCARDS: Mail Art - FACESOne particular group that attracted me was a group called “EXCHANGE FACES” for which I painted my first “face”.  I’m not particularly good at it but you’ll never know unless you try, so try, I did.  Again, I surprised myself.  It wasn’t half as bad as I thought it would turn out to be, even if I only used highlighters in different colors and a silver oil paint based marker.  I also drew on top of a newspaper background that I had already glued onto a freecard.  I really meant to just draw what would be the “avatar” of this series in my Flickr collection of postcards.

The Newspaper collage postcards  have been coming along pretty well, too, and I’ve been good with the “creating” except that I’m missing August 2.  I remind myself to limit the time spent on creating the collage so that I don’t end up doing too much.  Two postcards tops for August 6 and 7 for a total of 4 today.  I’m going to try and make one a day at least and hope to do this as a habit.

Time for me to hit the sack now… Meanwhile, let me share with you one of the four newspaper collage postcards I made today.  Please click on the image to be taken to the set on Flickr.

[17] Mail Art: Newspaper Collage Postcard - The Wall Street Journal 06Aug2012 #1

Postcards and Mail Art: Newspaper Collage

I’m not feeling too well today.  I don’t know if it’s the heat or just my present medical condition, but I am really feeling weak.  I did manage to do errands with the boys and get home in one piece — and even pull together a decent dinner for all of us, but I’ve mostly done everything tonight while in bed.  (Like right now.)

So yes, I’ve started putting up some of my postcards in my Flickr account which you can view by going to this collection which, as of tonight, contains 5 sets: Lighthouses, Maps, Modern New York, Americana and Mail Art.   I have a subpage on Mail Art Backgrounds which I just uploaded but I am not including that in the collection for now.   I haven’t quite figured out how I will identify the postcards that I have duplicates to trade with — but that can wait for next time.  I have a long, long way to go, but at least I got it started.  (FINALLY!)

I’ve also put up a Postcard Exchange page (see link on the sections corner up on the left or on top of the page) which is still a work in progress.

Three days ago, during the course of my bloghopping, I chanced upon some art blogs which mentioned art postcard swaps which totally piqued my curiosity.  (One particular postcard swap I would’ve loved to participate in would have been Liberate Your Art 2012 from Kat Eye Studio but sign ups are already closed. )   End result was I found myself toying with the idea of creating newspaper collages on old postcards or just about any other paper I can cut into a 4.25″ x 6″ piece.

I was so inspired I created four pieces right away during my lunch hour but which I totally ruined by applying mod podge to later at night, then trying to flatten them by pressing them between the pages of a book I weighted down with something heavy.  End result was that the mod podge caused some of the “white” of the book page to adhere to the postcard, ruining it.

Newspaper Collage on Postcard gone wrong
Newspaper Collage on Postcard Gone Wrong

Well, it’s a learning experience for me.  As you can see, I’m Michael Phelps crazy (again).. just as I was 4 years ago.

As a postcard collector, I think it’s a novel idea to pull together part of the newspaper edition of the day in one postcard or several, then keeping them for posterity or to trade.  I make sure, though, to include the newspaper banner or part of it (which, in the case of my first batch, came from the August 1, 2012 edition of the Wall Street Journal.)  You will see a full “THE WALL STREET JOURNAL” and the full day and date in the piece.  These are all headlines and graphics and part caption.

My next set of collages done yesterday were more photo-centered, and this time, I made sure the photo credits were likewise included.  Or at least those that I can pull.  (I seem to have forgotten to clip the credits for the photo background but I will try to remedy that if I can still find a spare copy of this issue.  I managed to make a set of four from the August 1, 2012 edition of the New York Times this time around.)    Still Michael Phelps crazy but he’s the big news in the papers these days.

[4]  Mail Art: Newspaper Collage Postcard - NYTimes 01Aug2012 #4

Right now I’m still trying to decide if I will still try and do modpodge on this one, add other embellishments or elements to it, or maybe paint in some color?  If I do add some form of sealant or glaze on top, I will make sure to flatten it between sheets of parchment paper to avoid any part of the book page from adhering to the piece.  (Lesson learned!)

When the collages are ready, I intend to offer them for trade or just to send out to anyone interested.  Or I might just keep them and instead offer up photo print postcards instead to trade.

How-tos to follow via GothamChick.com.  I brought home three copies of Friday’s Wall Street Journal but had gotten busy with the watercolor backgrounds I did instead.  (More on that in another post.)

Art Postcards: Watercolor Backgrounds