Amazing Grace...These Mail Art Pieces were Once Lost, But Now They're Found

The thing about Mail Art is... that they often work REALLY well as bookmarks. Especially really magnificent and beautiful pieces of Mail Art that I wanna keep near me so that I remember to blog about them.

But the OTHER thing about using Mail Art as bookmarks...is that if you read as much as I do and have a gazillion books around that you're using for research writing... your Mail Art is bound to get lost amongst the book pages in various tomes and folios and bound material.

...Such was the case with two really wonderful pieces that I re-discovered recently... one from Nancy Bell Scott, and the other from Dean, Artist InSeine. So here, with apologies, are the documented lost-but found, more literate for their absence, Mail Art pieces by these two artists...

Shortly after Nancy Bell Scott's big move (she's no longer from OOBOOBOOBOOBOOB; now she's from SoPoSoPoSoPoSoPo), I received a terrific original piece from her in one of her heavily stamp-worked brown paper envelopes...

Which contained an amazing piece—that in my defense was not un-bookmark-like. I'm not certain if it's handmade paper, but it's a lovely tactile experience nonetheless. and the variety of paints that Nancy used created a visual smorgashborg.  (sp?) Some was watercolor-ish; some was matte; some was glossy, in an appealing abstract...

Now that I regard this piece anew, I realize that there is something striking about the piece turned on its side. Oh my. I believe I must suffer from the condition known as pareidolia...Or Nancy is playing tricks on me with a new kind of rectangular emoji...

The other lost-but-redeemed Mail Art piece—also, I might note, very much bookmark-shaped—was a hiking-journal-history map from Dean, who by the looks of the log notation at the top of the piece actually performed this hike along the Robert Louis Stevenson Trail in parts of France, through several towns from Sainte Germaine de Calberte to Le Monastier sur Gazeille.

Way to go, Dean! I have to say that I am jealous, not only are you in better shape than me, but I have always had dreams about doing some of the famous trails in Europe and France. Just recently read in our small town newspaper about someone local walking the Chemins de Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle. Sounded wonderful. My parent's home—where I grew up—is directly along the Appalachian Trail (also known as the Long Trail) just were it turns east to go through New Hampshire and up to Maine. We've always hiked it regionally and locally, but I've never done the whole shebang (which would take over a month or several months. Ah well, dreams are good to have...(and inspiration to get in shape!)

Apparently, when done with the Robert Louis Stevenson Trail in France, one celebrates by resurfacing the masonry of the historic church at the end of the route...no wonder those old edifices last so long in Europe!

Sorry for the late documentation of these wayward pieces... But you both sure do know how to adorn my book collection with wonderful artwork!

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Comment by Dean aka Artist in Seine on November 21, 2016 at 6:20pm

Happy this one arrived.  It was a very long walk, but now that it is over, yes, the Chemins de Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle is on the list.  But I want to start it from my door step, and that will take about four months.  So I decided to do parts of it over the next five years and do the last part in one go. 

Don't let being out of shape stop you, it has nothing to do with it.  Will Power is more important.  Besides, I'm sure you are younger and fitter than I am. 

Thank you for the blog & maybe all three of us will meet on a trail.

Comment by William M on November 21, 2016 at 9:06am

i think it's great when you find a surprise in a book you buy like that. recently, i picked up a used copy of an agatha christie novel. sandwiched between a few of the pages was a photograph of a naked woman. my theory is that the book belonged to a soldier and he brought or was sent a naked picture of his girlfriend back home and this is how he kept it.

Comment by Thom Courcelle on November 20, 2016 at 8:02pm

Thanks, William!  Nadine Wendell-Mojica once sent me a bunch of mini-leaflets from her street artist son (street-wise known as Morley) to go to book stores and stuff inside random books throughout the store...which I gladly did. Who knows what people thought when they brought their newly puchased books home and found a surprise within its leaves?!

Comment by William M on November 20, 2016 at 7:36pm

such cool pieces! it's great when you randomly rediscover work like that. makes me think of that project tofu was doing where you place art in your books to be rediscovered at a later date.

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