One of the best aspects of Get Messy is all the creative people I’ve met in that community. One of these creatives, Mary from Uncustomary Art, invited us to participate in a Mail Art exhibit she is planning in Baltimore this February. It’s called What’s Your View? and you still have time to participate since all artwork must be received before January 24th. Get all the details here.
I thought this was a great idea. I’ve never done mail art before. But the theme was certainly calling to me. For those of you following me for a while, you know that I had an amazing view from the balcony of my 26th floor appartment in Hong Kong. the view was a huge part of my daily life there.
So I decided to make my first postcard about that view (you can send in a maximum of 2 pieces):
Ah, how I miss HK! The urban beauty of it, the unobstructed view of it, the never ending bustle of the city. I made a collage of various types of paper (scrapbooking paper, vellum, tissue paper, paint chip, photos, my own stamp), cut in rectangles to evoke high rises. I glued everything down on a 5 x 7 piece of white cardstock. I wrote the quote on vellum which I then taped down using packing tape.

For my second contribution, I wanted to include my view of the city I am living in now, Gatineau. Now, Gatineau is the city just across the river from Canada’s capital, Ottawa. It is a fairly ‘new’ city and as such sometimes feels like a never ending suburb. There is no real sense of a central city with interesting places to explore, a lot of that is in Ottawa. The other day while going to the grocery store I noticed all the electric lights shining on the road, on either which are a series of strip malls and car dealerships. And Arcade Fire’s song ‘Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)’ came into my head.


” ‘Cause on the surface the city lights shine
They’re calling at me, come and find your kind
Sometimes I wonder if the World’s so small
That we can never get away from the sprawl
Living in the sprawl
Dead shopping malls rise like mountains beyond mountains
And there’s no end in sight
I need the darkness, someone please cut the lights ”
For this postcard, I sketched the street elements with a Sharpie pen, then I added watercolor to the sky and street, used a silver metallic pen, some iridescent acrylic for the snow and mica flakes for the street lights.

I loved doing this project. I love the fact that I could share these two different views of two different cities I lived in in 2014. I think this brings a nice sense of closure to my year. I sent these off on their way last Monday. It was exciting to slide them in the mailbox, not knowing if they will get there in one piece and not get stained or ripped during their travels….all part of the story right?

Have you ever participated in such a project? Are there other interesting mail art calls that you would like to tell me about? I’d love to do more.