Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Love More Every Day - Love Every Day More

My tradition of making and sending Valentine's Day greetings continues this year. 

Love More Every Day - Love Every Day More
Linoleum block printed with acrylic paint on paper
4" x 6"
Edition of 102

Friday, January 26, 2024

Circles of Healing

When you are not feeling well, would your body and your spirit enjoy receiving art in the mail?   This small series of postcards was made with the specific intention of sending good wishes to my friends who are ill or recovering.  Healing is a complex endeavor with many elements and factors playing a part.  Layers and combinations of color and shape call the complexity to mind but in a way that is hopeful and bright.  

I hope that receiving a surprise of art in the mail helps to make the day a little brighter and the burden a little lighter.

Circles of Healing
Mixed media on paper
4" x 6"
Edition of 6

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Enough Love for Everyone

Making Valentine’s Day art cards has brought me joy for many years, and for just as many years, I found joy in sharing these art cards with people I know and total strangers.  This year is no different.  

The design idea for this card started with a poem I ran across just before Christmas last year.  The poem tells a story of s person who is kissed under a bough of mistletoe.  The thing the poem does not reveal is whether the kiss is real, or imagined, or a dream.  It is a wonderfully ambiguous telling and I share it with you here:


Sitting under the mistletoe
(Pale-green, fairy mistletoe),
One last candle burning low,
All the sleepy dancers gone,
Just one candle burning on,
Shadows lurking everywhere:
Some one came, and kissed me there.

Tired I was; my head would go
Nodding under the mistletoe
(Pale-green, fairy mistletoe),
No footsteps came, no voice, but only,
Just as I sat there, sleepy, lonely,
Stooped in the still and shadowy air
Lips unseen—and kissed me there.

Walter de La Mare

Walter de la Mare, born on April 25, 1873 in London, is considered one of modern literature’s chief exemplars of the romantic imagination. His complete works form a sustained treatment of romantic themes: dreams, death, rare states of mind and emotion, fantasy worlds of childhood, and the pursuit of the transcendent.

For Valentine’s Day this year, I want there to be no doubt of love and affection I hold for all my friends, and for all of humankind.  Love is difficult sometimes, particularly in these days when it feels like there is so much division and animosity in the world.  I believe there is enough love for everyone; there should be no hesitation in sharing that with people we know and people we don’t know.  

Enough Love for Everyone.
Size:  4” x 6”
Edition size:  158
Medium:  Acrylic, rubber stamps, mixed media
Ground:  Watercolor paper

Saturday, February 12, 2022

If My Heart Had Wings

The inspiration for my Valentine’s Day postcard this year led me to this poem by Gene Olson, a poet who lives “somewhere in western Canada.”  

If My Heart Had Wings

by Gene Olson


If my heart had wings

It could not fly any higher 

Than it does when you and I are together 


The sweet sound of your breathing 

Your unrelenting breathing 

Oh my…what it does to me 


In your laughter I can feel your smile 

I can just tell that it starts in your eyes 

But, you must know, it ends deep in the pit of my soul 


Your voice, so sweet and soulful 

It raises my spirits whenever I hear it 

It has embedded itself deep in my dreams 


Oh…your sighs when we share an intimate moment 

They take my breath away 

As if you are breathing my soul deep into your being 


Your whit, it snaps like a whip 

And takes me by surprise every time 

So quick and intelligent, it always brings a smile to my face 


And your jealousy, what a sight to behold 

It strikes like a snake, overpowering your prey 

Leaving them whimpering in a corner like spineless jellyfish


Your beautiful mind though, that’s what I love 

Sharing our thoughts, our dreams and our fantasies 

It’s what drives you deep into my heart 


Your girlish flirtations, hehe 

How I do love them 

That’s what drew me to you like a moth to the flame 


But your heart, your ever-loving heart 

It has devoured me and engulfed me in its warmth 

It is the glue that binds my soul to yours 


If my heart had wings 

It could not fly any higher 

For it already soars on the currents of our love 


I first read Olson's poetry on, where he writes the following about himself:


"I live in a small town somewhere in western Canada. I am a fire officer in our local fire department and I am grateful to have the chance to help those who can not help themselves. I recently began writing poetry out of a need to express my feelings and as you will see, I try to put as much feeling into my poems as possible. I live life to the fullest of my abilities and enjoy the benefits of family and good friends. I write for myself, but I hope you can find some enjoyment in my rudimentary poems. Thank you for reading them."  


This Mail Art Project consists of two parts, each featuring a linoleum cut print of a heart with wings.  The first 65 cards in the edition has the print over a watercolor background intended to evoke the vastness of space and the limitlessness of the universe.  The second 40 cards in the edition was made by printing over fragments of acrylic paintings of the sky and abstract landscapes.


Please leave a comment about how this project resonates with you, then check out my other posts and share this blog with your friends.


Sunday, June 13, 2021

Vaccine Odyssey: Where will the journey lead?

My personal journey through the COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging in many ways. Since word of this novel virus began circulating, I was asked by my employer to be part of a small team that would monitor the science, consider impacts to the workforce, recommend actions, and communicate important information to employees.  After more than a year, these activities have taken a personal toll on my physical and mental health, and have proven to be an obstacle to my own understanding of the effects the pandemic is having on me in ways that are distinct from the organization that employed me.

Part of my pandemic journey was a decision to retire from my 30 year career in public service.  But leaving has taken a long time because I was asked to continue working part-time for six months past my official retirement date.   It pleases me to have finished my last assignments and to be finally, fully and completely finished with that chapter of my life; I finally have time to think about the personal impacts of the pandemic, of  being vaccinated, and of establishing new routines that do not revolve around the demands of employment.  I have begun a new journey in my life.

What I am finding in these few short weeks of being retired during a pandemic (because the pandemic may be slowing but it is not yet over) is that life seems more complicated instead of being more simple.  What are my priority projects?  Should I go out more? Is it safe to gather with friends?  What about activities outside the safety of our home, and mixing with strangers?  What size crowd is too big or too dangerous?    When do I need to wear a cloth covering over my nose and mouth?  What will fill my days if I no longer have the pandemic and other professional obligations to occupy my time and my thoughts?  What time should I get up in the morning?

My journey is something of a messy endeavor and I find it is rarely easy.  The journey of finding a “new normal” for me means accepting that things will never be the way they were before in so many ways.  It means giving up the sense of community I felt with my work group, and giving up the physical separations that have become familiar and somewhat comfortable in these past 15 months.  It means finding a new focus and meaningful activities to fill my days.

The introduction of vaccines to combat COVID-19 sends us on a journey out of the restrictions that preserved my health during the pandemic, and into a place and routines that are new and unfamiliar.  My personal journey into retirement is similar and simultaneous, yet distinctly different even though is part of the same whole.

Vaccine Odyssey: Where will the journey lead?

Each postcard in this edition of 108 was individually painted using acrylic colors on watercolor paper, printed with an original linoleum block cut, and varnished to protect the surface.  

Please leave a comment about how this resonates with you, then check out my other posts and share this blog with your friends.

Vaccine Odyssey (front, view 1)

Vaccine Odyssey (front, view 2)

Vaccine Odyssey (front, view 3)

Vaccine Odyssey (reverse)

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

Valentine's Day is tricky.  We all want to know someone is remembering us fondly on that day above most others.  Evidence of the remembering lifts one's soul; complex feelings follow if we feel un-remembered.  Memories of feeling un-remembered many long years ago still haunt me, and at the same time inspire me. 

I have for many years made cards and given them to friends and strangers I encounter in person on Valentine's Day.  In recent years, it has become a significant undertaking since people in my work and personal circles have come to know of my practice and have found themselves in my path on February 14.

Making art brings me joy.  Sharing art brings me joy.  At the height of a global pandemic that requires continued social distancing, obstacles to making art are not necessarily significant at the same time the obstacle of sharing art in person is relatively immense.  My answer to the obstacle is mail art.

This year's Valentine's Day art offering is inspired by a poem written by e. e. cummings.  In its verses, the ideas of holding within, going together, admiration, and deep affection are expressed by the author.  The art illustrates a heart held and leaves one to consider what it is to hold, and what it means to be held.  This year in particular, these themes resonate for me as I share Valentine greetings.  I am delighted to include the poem in this post as I mail postcards to some who I will not see on Valentine's Day this year but carry in my heart.

[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in]

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
                                                      i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

Each postcard in this edition of 144 was individually painted using acrylic colors on watercolor paper and varnished to protect the surface.  

Please check out my other posts on this blog and share this blog with your friends.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

I am wondering how you are

It is now fall and the pandemic wears on.  I continue to stay home to stay safe, I wear a mask whenever I am out in public (I do not go very much at all), and I miss being with my friends.  While I may be weary from staying home and wearing a mask when I do go out, the thing that wears on me heavily these days is not being with my friends.  I am wondering how you are.

When I do talk with friends these days, asking "How are you?" or "What's up?" feels a little superficial.  Those questions are too easy to answer quickly, and offer a way to skirt or avoid addressing what I imagine are bigger concerns and longings.  I want to convey my sincere interest and care in a way that will  invite a more authentic response and start a conversation.  I am wondering how you are.  

As time passes I see and hear from friends and acquaintances less often.  I fear my memory may become colored or clouded.  Will I remember your voice when I hear it again?  Will my pandemic-long isolation cause me to forget your smile?  Will we all age in ways that make us unrecognizable?

While organizing my bookshelf recently, I discovered my college yearbook.  Not feeling an attachment to the object, I was ready to sent it to its next life.  That next life is this mail art project, where the faces of my peers from those years at the university become a vehicle for me to explore what it means to remember, what it means to forget, what it means to long for connection, and what it feels like to wonder how my friends are doing.

I am wondering how you are.

I would love to hear from you.

This mail art project is the eighth in my COVID-19 series.  The project includes 180 original postcards made with mixed media collage, acrylic paint, and rubber stamps on water color paper.  

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Summer of COVID-19: Long and Hot

As the summer begins, Dallas is experiencing an alarming rise in the number of COVID19 infections. There is unprecedented strain on our healthcare system and confusing messages from the many voices that speak about the pandemic. Public health is mixed with politics as election season approaches. It will no doubt be a long and hot summer.

I continue to shelter in place, going out only to shop for necessities. Occasionally I go for a drive just to get out of the house for a change of scenery. I miss going to art museums, dining in restaurants, being with my friends, and events that allow me the opportunity to get dressed up or a reason to buy new shoes. I do enjoy planning meals at home, cooking, and using this opportunity to eat a little less and loose a few pounds so I can be more healthy. I have re-discovered the joys and benefits of stretching and yoga. I center my thoughts and focus on my breath during the time I spend watering the young plants in our yard. This summer I am experiencing a new combination of familiar activities and experiences. It seems the same is true for most people I know.

The "Summer of Covid-19" mail art project is born from my anticipation of the sunny and hot days this season will bring and the still-present and ever-growing threat of the coronavirus. The project also marks the beginning of a new acceptance of the fact that the current pandemic will not end soon or without more changes to the way I live my life.

I want you all to be safe and to stay well. Please wear a mask when you are out in public, maintain social distancing, wash your hands frequently, and encourage those around you to do the same.

Summer is only beginning and it is sure to be long and hot during this COVID-19 pandemic.

The 4" x 6" postcards in this project are painted with acrylic paint on watercolor paper, and given a gloss varnish. The reverse is printed with custom rubber stamps. There are 215 pieces in this edition.

Everyone deserves to get art in the mail during a pandemic. #MailArtSalon

Summer of COVID-19 - 101 of 215

Summer of COVID-19 - 103 of 215

Summer of COVID-19 - 104 of 215

Summer of COVID-19 - 107 of 215

Summer of COVID-19 - Reverse

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Stay Home - Be Safe - Send Mail

In March, my employer told me to take my computer and go work from home.  It’s been an interesting experience staying sheltered and distant these past months.  Some days are pleasant while others are filled with anxiety and frustration over a circumstance that is beyond my control.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, and I spend all my time at home, I notice things about my environment that I never noticed before.  Other familiar parts of my surroundings take on new meaning when seen from my new stay-at-home vantage.  The way the shadow of our house crawls across the patio; the clouds that fill this pollution-free urban sky; and the unusual beauty of food packaging.  

This mail art project uses recycled art papers and cardboard waste in the shape of our house to reflect on the beauty that surrounds me and the warning from healthcare professionals that the pandemic is not over.  I choose to limit my contact with others and practice social distancing, wash my hands, and wear a face covering when I do go out in public.  

I encourage you to stay home, be safe, and send mail.

Stay Home - 101 of 149

Stay Home - 19 of 149

Stay Home - 49 of 149

Stay Home - 50 of 149

Stay Home - Reverse

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

COVID Amulet - Protect me from coronavirus

We know all too well that a virus can have enormous impacts in our lives.  For a tiny, not-quite-alive thing, it has shown its enormous power to disrupt routines and upend institutions.  In contrast, I also find images of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus to be beautiful.  This mail art project is about finding a way to express the tension between the beauty of the thing and its power to force changes that are often unwelcome.

Some time ago I did a project in response to another difficult circumstance in my life.  "Nazar Amulet" was an expression of my need for solace and protection in a time when I felt threatened.  It feels like I need another amulet right now.

An amulet is an ornament or small piece of jewelry thought to give protection against evil, danger, or disease. What would happen if the beauty of the virus were turned to protect from the disruption I feel?  Could others find a sense of security and hope that alCaleb1Skyla2
al will be well in such an amulet?

COVID AMULET - Protect me from coronavirus.*

* Fine Print: COVID AMULET has not been proven effective in preventing the spread of the coronavirus.  It may, however, bring the recipient comfort. 

Nazar Amulet - July 4, 2017

Nazar Amulet (reverse) - July 4, 2017