Mail Art – She longed to run away and join the circus

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.

Circus topI 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.

Circus printThe background started with a mono print of blue from a gelli print.  Then I brayered Dyna flow inks and coloured in sections with Neocolor II water colour crayons.

circus dressI 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.

Circus writingThe 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.

circus envelope

Grrr…. this photo went blurry. Sorry. Think I left the macro setting on then stood really far away *slaps forehead*

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.

Coral.  xo

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