Some artists have studios.

They are lucky.

Some artists can make BIG works of art in their studios.

I don’t have a studio. I can’t make big works of art.

At the top of our house I have a Study that I sometimes refer to as my ‘Permanent Installation’. (Other people are less, much less, flattering about it, referring to is as, for example, ‘Val’s junk room’.)

The Mission Control Centre of my Study is my Desk. I have had it for almost 45 years, and it is where all of my literary and artistic works are created.

It is not very big, and indeed the writing surface is only – and I now stop to measure it – 116 by 38 cms, or 44 by 15 inches. Anything and everything I do must be done within and on that very limited space.

But I don’t always have 116 by 38 cms or 44 by 15 inches of space on the Mission Control Centre’s working surface because I have to share it with Bianca – my large black cat – who, when she stretches out and goes to sleep, takes up at least half of the available space. I don’t know exactly how much working room I have when Bianca is asleep on my Desk but as she takes up between a third and a half of it it’s not very much.

And so I have a very limited working surface, and that is why all of my works of art  -- envelopes, postcards, even collages and assemblages – are on a small scale.

I have recently downsized my art accordingly, and am now working on what I call ‘Arty Slides’. These are miniature works of art that fit into a 35mm photographic slide. (Remember film? Remember slides?)The available working space is 35 by 23 mm. That’s all. The art has to fit into that space, and a bit more can be fitted onto the frame itself.

Each Arty Slide is made up of a visual image taken from, inter alia, old cigarette cards, postage stamps, Victorian studio portrait cards, my drawings and aquarelle paintings, clippings from books and magazines, adverts and packaging material, etc.

So far I have developed Arty Slides in two formats:


  • the standard 35 by 23 size
  • a double size (2 x 35 by 23)      obtained by opening out a photographic slide.


I typically display the Arty Slides in groups of 3 double size ones, and sometimes add a standard Slide to a threesome. The possibilities of combining Arty Slides in different groups of 3 are almost endless, and it’s interesting to explore different combinations, whether linked by a common theme or not.

Two last points.

First, it’s very hard to get hold of photographic slides as they haven’t been produced for many years. Every weekend I search flea markets for them, but am seldom lucky enough to find any.

And second it’s possible to make even smaller Arty Slides using the half(frame format. This results in a working area of just 24 by 18 cms (but with a bigger outer frame). I haven’t downsized that much – yet.



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Replies to This Discussion

Not only do I have an abundance of slides...which are not used any more (everyone works PowerPoint!)

but 99% of my personal collection are with PAPER/cardboard slide frames. and a few, a rare few are old

Kodak "square" film format in center. 'Must work on turning these old slides into ART ( this is just the beginning)!

When do we have a scheduled Executive Board meeting? We have to vote / demand that the CEO change his portrait pic and resume the "Beret" pose. PLEAZZZZEEEE!

Do we have an Executive Board? It's news to me. Have you seen my Mail Art Bill's Constitutional Rights discussion? Board meetings are not mentioned there either.

What do you think this is -- the Mail Art equivalent of Athenian Democracy?

I only started this thing a few hours ago, and already I sense that a coup d'etat is imminent.

It's too cold, far too cold, to wear a beret anyway.

If I accede to this beret demand, it will set an unfortunate fashion precedent, which could be very dangerous when folks like Vizma & Dean start demanding that your President wears this and not that, dresses this way but not that way, changes the colour of his eye shadow, etc.

No dear CEO, there is no discussion called"Mail Art Bill's Constitutional Rights" here...maybe you have it posted elsewhere in this labyrinth called .ning?

But as we are appointed "Presidents" of various world-wide chapters of ASI, we must, oh, so Greek Democratically speaking, call Board meet! (And forcefully place a beret back on your head as Head of ASI) It is all about the organizations "image" you know. xxx

Is my octopus headgear appropriate for the ASI? Or will I also be tackled to the ground and have my tentacles forcefully removed from my head?

 At the board meeting we'll have to decide what "look" or "image" will be appropriate for us ASIs. I'll be sending Val a new head-thing to wear next week, so don't fret yet, GASIP!! (Greek ASIP)



 and hello to USAASIP and SwissASIP and GermAS.. aah, forget it.


Janine is the teacher's pet!!! I like the 4th ones, interesting.

Good girl, Janine!  Does this little grouping have backs on them or are you showing front and back or 4 slides?  Very creative!

I am holding on to my collection of slides. They contain historic material that I otherwise wouldn't have access to. Also digitizing slides isn't a sollution. Keeping digital archives alive for decades proves more difficukt then just archive boxes with slides....

OK, Ruud. Don't EVER give your archive material away until you know it will be well looked after for ever and ever.

If you have any unused and empty slide frames/cases that you won't need in this Brave New Digital Everything World then we could put them to good use in this Group.

Regards, Val




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