I don’t know what I can say. I did my work. I put it in an envelope with a stamp. I posted it. Then went to a contemporary music concert. The artwork is something I have been wanting to do more of.
As it turned out I didn’t begin to make my piece today until I got on the train at Waterloo and although I was settled in well before the train set off, it was inevitable I couldn’t complete the task before we got going. So its creation spanned distance as well as time. That was actually important to the idea which related both to childhood train travel (most memorably in Scotland) and to the history of abstract art.
However I had forgotten to buy any stamps this morning so ended up delivering it by hand when i popped into Bridport to get a takeaway. This proved more complicated than I thought. First because the Thai restaurant I had chosen was closed for a couple of weeks! Then when I got to the Arts Centre there was a film in progress so I couldn’t get in and had to put it through the letterbox, quietly untaping it first where it had been secured to stop it flapping in the strong winds.
It is questionable that any politician should appear on a commemorative stamp, but the choice of bloody Maggie Milksnatcher was inevitable if Prime Ministers are the subject. There is no way however that the evil bitch gets space on my art. I toyed with the idea of defacing it but she is not worth the price of a first class stamp.
The thought of the witch and the ire that rises in me has worn me out so I can’t be doing with writing any more now
It’s all a bit exciting today. This was not only the first #Letter365 that I created at my new studio, but also the first artwork of any kind created there by me.
It was also the first day of issue of the new WW1 commemorative stamps so I wanted to get it hand-stamped if I was in time, which I was: not at my usual Post Office 3 doors away from home in Bradpole, but at the main Post Office in Bridport. So while local postmaster Peter is good in front of the camera I think you will agree that Abby here does a great job! It’s just a pity that her nail varnish clashes so much with the green on the envelope! Unlike Ann who used to work in the Bradpole Post Office shop who (as you may remember from an earlier post) had a flair for clothing that matched the shelving, Abby has not chosen to blend in with her environment. I think she is a bit of a rebel who thinks it would not be cool to have nail varnish that matched, say, her name badge or the posters. Quite right too Abby! Abby clearly thought I was raving mad but said she couldn’t wait for the next time. Clearly Abby is a master of ironic wit too. Thanks for playing, Abby.
Now of course Abby is right to question my sanity. Had she looked at the address she would have advised me, I am sure, that it would be more economical and better for my health to just walk round the corner to Bridport Arts Centre and pop the letter straight in their letterbox. I will have to think how I will manage the delivery of #Letter365 now that the Arts Centre is actually nearer to my studio than the Post Office and its post box.
Another exciting thing is that I seem to have captured, accidentally, a personal reflection in the photograph. Anyone who knows me or follows me will be aware of my Personal Reflections series of self portraits.
I was quite anxious about making this first piece in the new studio but it worked out just fine even though I had to improvise a bit as not all my stuff has made it to the new venue yet. Of course reaching No144 is only gross in number: there is no unpleasantness involved at all.
No music today but you of course want to see the back of the envelope:
It’s great to have a man who can smile for the camera! Peter, who runs our local Post Office, is a sport for pandering to my idiosyncrasies. As you can see he is my new artistic collaborator:
The new commemorative stamp – there is only one image for the 1st Class denomination – is to mark the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, but I get the sense that nobody wanted to go to town on it. None of the designs are special, though the one depicting running has something about it that reminds me of the old South Africa stamps I used to have in my album as a child. Some more new stamps are to be issued in just 10 days time in remembrance of the First World War
The back of the envelope is as boring as the stamp:
I am so tired that it has been really difficult to do the simple tasks of creating the envelope, photographing the work and getting it in the post. Fortunately when I returned to the work (which I had done much earlier) I was very happy with it. As I walked through the door of the studio I had a little anxious moment thinking “what if I don’t think it is good enough?” It was already late and my energy was really low. I am barely going to make this before midnight: goodness knows how I would have managed to create another from scratch!
As to the work, it is another new direction to explore, coming from some possibly sculptural ideas I want to develop.
And Violet Lines has returned in almost spectral form
As you can see, there is a nice fishy picture on today’s stamp. Only thing is they were released yesterday and I missed the first day of issue. Peter apologised as soon as I got to the Post Office window where I had gone to buy stamps! Never mind it only would have increased the value of yesterday’s by minus a little less than nothing and that only if a stamp collector had an interest in odd conceptual art pieces. Come to think of it, stamp collecting is a bit like an odd art form in itself.
Now that #Letter365 has gone on sale in a low key way I am convinced that most pieces will get sold, but when I do one like today’s I start to wonder about how random I can be about distributing pieces to buyers who have not specified a date. As a parent you are not supposed to have favourites among your children: as an artist it is a bit different I hope and although all must pass my quality control checks I inevitably will have favourites. So today I started thinking that maybe I will make the next 280 pieces as versions of this one in an attempt to make it easy to have random selection.
When doubt creeps in I resort to begging people to buy. Tomorrow’s envelope might bear another begging message: “buy this or I’ll have to have the cats put down”, “buy this before the bailiff comes” or “if you don’t buy this UKIP will be our next government”.
This one has my last Lawrence of Arabia stamp. I wish I had put a comma after DESTROYED.
It has been a very challenging and tiring couple of days with no end of things mostly out of my control coming to eat my time and bother my brow, but I willed myself the energy and concentration to do a good #Letter365 piece, only to blow it by not putting on a stamp!
Glad to see the back of (rather than lick the back of) the Buckingham Palace stamps. I didn’t mind the period illustrations but the gaudy photos celebrating disgusting ostentation were a bit much for me.