Well that headline is a lie. It’s just trying to add a bit of drama. I spent a decent amount of time at the studio today. I had hoped to do a bit more sorting but really needed to try out working on something much bigger than usual so I can assess the best way to set up the studio. So after sweeping out and cleaning some fo the drawers of my recently acquired plan chest I created a paper work area about 2.8m by 1.2m. I was going to leave it at that point so I could get the #Letter365 piece underway but well…I had to try out something!
There was never any intention that I was going to force such a large (in any case as yet unfinished) piece into the envelope. My #Letter365 artwork today is more modest in scope and somewhat more refined I would say.
For a change I am showing a larger view of the double-mouthed post box I have been using of late. There is also a return to a picture of the back of the envelope:
I have an excuse – I’m not feeling well! I have a sore throat and chesty cough which has gone on longer than it should and today has drained me. Well that’s my excuse for not recording today’s piece properly and I didn’t even put a sealing wax seal on the back. Oh well! I did remember to do the artwork and out it in the envelope and put a stamp on and that’s not bad going!
It’s not a big philosophical question that I allude to but today’s piece is a bit of an enigma for me. So I don’t mean what is the meaning of this artwork you can’t yet, or perhaps ever, see but what does it mean that I have created something that links work I was doing a year or more ago with work I am doing now! Does it mean that the ideas and issues that motivated me a year or so ago were unresolved; that there is more mileage in them? Are they bubbling under the surface wanting to get out again? As I wrote this I realise that is the case. The other option was that I was just a bit stuck and opted for a familiar path, but I see that was not the case. I see also that there is a continuum rather than separated ideas. I hope the reunion will be fecund.
As to the seal, well I used up the last little bit of that stick stuck on the end of a scalpel and heating it with a lighter. Of course it all melted and fell flaming onto the envelope. I was all for letting it burn a little but it went out of its own accord!
I say interesting because I thought twice about sticking with today’s piece. I found the results and process very interesting and want to play around with other things in this vein but obviously don’t want to start tweeting images that might give people clues to what I am doing. So yet another thing goes into abeyance – or not!
Today was the first time for ages that I have used sealing wax and I stuck the stamp on sideways which I have not done before.
I am quite tempted to let the printer problem develop further. I like the way this little wave of chaos is reasserting itself, just like a shipwreck or a cliff fall will alter the formation of a beach until the sea slowly sorts it out and gets it back neat like it wants. I also wished i had done some more experiments with printing things with the blocked nozzle last time. So we will see how it is tomorrow.
Then there is the back of the envelope and that is going in dangerously silly ways. I have always loved names (it is probably something to do with the rather pedestrian name I was graced with) and have” collected” place names at various times for their history, their humour, their story and so on. I have also made up place names, especially descriptive names for places along the route of my local walks. So many place names have been lost because of the breakdown of communities and the increase in roads as the main byways and highways. I like to redress the balance a little. I also like to make up people’s names. Had i chosen to be a writer I would never have been short of good names. So who knows where the back of today’s envelope will lead? Perhaps I will have to get a person’s name on the back? I am reminded of Joseph Heller’s “Is there anybody in the john, Milton?” (There is something willing me to go and fins the quote to see if I have the punctuation – well any of it – correct!!!)
Yesterday I pondered about how 100 and other round numbers have an unwarranted fascination for us but it could be said that 101 has more call to be celebrated. Room 101 was the torture chamber in Orwell’s 1984 and it has subsequently been turned into a kind of joke with the BBC shows of the same name. In the US 101 is used to denote the introductory or beginners’ level of anything – I hope I am past that now with #Letter365! 101 is the phone number to contact the Police with non-urgent matters and there is of course 101 Dalmatians, the Disney movie based on Dodie Smith’s book. I probably should say “movies” but the 1961 classic is so far ahead of the others it is in a different league – and there you have caught me out because to be honest I have not seen 102 Dalmatians but, however good Glenn Close might have been in it, it is rare that a sequel offers more than the original, except maybe more of the same. Talking of “more of the same” I hope you are enjoying today’s image of a letter being posted.
As if it wasn’t enough to create an artwork every day for this project AND put it in an envelope AND print messages on the front of that envelope AND seal the flap with sealing wax AND annotate the back: as if all that wasn’t enough now I have started annotating the front too! What am I doing?
Is it perhaps because it is Friday 13th and full moon? Is it perhaps that it is a hot day and I did some strimming in the garden today and a whiff of petrol and nettle juice mixed with grass pollen has tipped me over the edge? Or is it perhaps that my obsessive nature has got its claws into this project?
Anyway, the offending dot of watercolour could be a clue to what is inside or to the work I did immediately after that kept me from posting it straightaway or I could have just put a spot of paint there as an excuse to annotate the front and write about it on this blog. If nobody buys it you will probably never know.
The other day someone said they enjoyed my Twitter feed as it had a Mornington Crescent feel to it. I sense this blog is going that way!
An unfolding artwork created a piece each day for a year