I have another new friend that wanted to share Mail Art. It’s all kind of just unfolding in a beautiful way. Organically and gently and from such a kind hearted place.
I am currently in love with vintage red and the idea of the circus. Not the animals – I hate the idea of a circus that has animals like elephants and lions. But I love the images of girls in hats and stripey legs and hoola hoops and feathered top hats. Kind of a vintage burlesque-y look. Think I’m gonna play with that a lot more.
For this envelope I liked the idea of having her dress be a circus tent. I am still in love with a girl I drew in my journal so tried to do the same idea with this envelope.
I started with another one of those ugly 80’s mustard yellow envelopes from the never ending stash. To start, I brayered white gesso on to the envelope. The brayer left little ‘pulled up’ sections of gesso like there was a little too much on it. As the envelope continued, it gave a crackled like texture that I really liked.
I drew the girl then started painting. I did the skirt first because I couldn’t think what to do with the top. Then I did the top and had to try to replicate what I had done on the skirt. Hmmm… might just be easier to figure out what I’m doing for the whole dress before I start next time. I used acrylic paint, watercolour crayon and prismacolor pencils for the dress, arms and face. For the hair, I used acrylic paint, watercolour crayons, dynaflow inks and pismacolor pencil. I just kept layering to get some tonality to it. I umm-ed and aah-ed about drawing a face on her. I drew a basic outline but hated it, so I just did some pink cheeks with watercolor crayon.
The wording was the next challenge. I played with writing on scrap paper and hated it, so I stamped a saying on one side of her then wrote circus on the other side – kind of winged it which is kinda scary but I really liked it. So I washed off the stamped words as best I could, covered up the parts that didn’t come off with gesso and re-did the blue over the top. Yup, a do over. I was so excited to do the writing across the whole page. And then I actually did the writing. Nothing would write over it. I think I had lots more watercolour crayon on that side and the waxiness was a little too thick which meant no pen would go through it. Or it would work for part of a letter then hit a really waxy bit and stop working. No pen would go through it. Not the cheap permanent pens I had, not the laundry marker that supposedly writes on ‘everything’ and the ‘go to’ Pilot Permaball everyone calls a 4wd pen. In the end, I wrote with white paint pen then coloured over it with the black pens. That did the trick. I’ve since bought a black paint pen which is much better on these kinds of surfaces.
I was really happy with this envelope. Not sure about my girls though – I feel like they are a little too cutesy, so I might try to add a little more angle to their cheeks and chin. It’s all learning and experimenting and playing. Finding my style, what I like, what I would change next time.
I hope she likes it.