Often Nancy sends me things in pairs. Maybe she thinks of additional treats she meant to send in the first envelope, so she sends a second. Or maybe she sends things separately so the weight doesn't coast her an arm and a leg to mail the stuff. I don't complain; it means more presents in my mailbox to open!
Mailing number one came in this envelope:
and on the back of the envelope:
a closer inspection... where does she get these fabulous stickers and stamps?? I'm beginning to think that our NBS is a covert computer graphic designer designing her own collateral mail art materials:
Inside the envelope are all sorts of treasures... torn pages from vintage arbor-identification field references:
some COBTASTICICITY just for me (notice there is a drawn yellow corncob in the upper right)...
and a lovely handmade card--though I'm reticent calling it a simple "card," because when one opens it up it is rather a fabulous original work of art. It's definitively Nancy's style, but if you have sampled Nancy's art you know how diverse it is. This piece mixes elements of collage--featuring vintage advertisements for Piano Exercises and Preludes in All the Major and Minor Keys: Studies in Style, Phrasing: Etudes, Melodiques. Juxtapositioned against such studies in style and phrasing is original work on paper: Asemic writing, splotches of ink, and "rivers" of brown ink-medium trickling across the paper. Another element: weaving. There are several pieces of actual string attached to one side of the piece (the "front" side of the card); the strings are attached by labeler-produced tape deliriously rambling "COBCOBCOBCOBCOBCOBCOBCOB" (our secret code word). The effect of the delicate string trickling down has the effect of criss-crossing the trickling brown ink and other ink lines working their way across: thus, "weaving."
Here's the same in the other direction:
The whole thing has the effect of aged and brittle paper archives. And physically, too, the edges are rough, and the crease makes pleas of not wishing to be cracked too many times. Yet it glitters with shimmering promise... though my sorry photos don't divulge such glimmers, some of the string is gold, and there are gold and silver ink-drawn lines, that look like a pixie fairy ice-skated over the piece and left a magic trail. Or like a wise magician left secret spells written among the asemic writing, that glow golden and reveal themselves only to her apprentice's eyes. Magic...
Mailing number two was not so secret or covert; it arrived showing right through its polypropelene-clear envelope. "Yes, open it" it read on the back. So just like Alice in Wonderland, I did just what the label said!
What a beaut!!
Nancy titled this piece "My brain on: Walnuts Series 1/ #7." Well, walnuts is a superfood; good fer the brain they says. They definitely give Nancy's brain some superpower art-making creativity. This piece, too, mixes collage elements with painting and ink. It's quite a melangé of mediums that all work together to create this living organism Nancy's depicted... what has the look of a cell (in the biology-sense). A cell, too, is made up of all sorts of components and chemicals at the molecular and subatomic level that all work together to function as a very small part of a much larger organism. Nancy's cell has fillia (hairs/strings). The fairies have been making skating marks again.
Some of the paint is matte and some is glossy. Some is translucent; some obscures the print beneath by its darkness and thicker application. It creates mystery--you can't see through the entire cell; there are wondrous happening going on within its walls: osmosis, chemical changes, energy transfer. Though at the heart of the cell, the medium is not quite so thick that one cannot read the only two words that exist in the center: "This follows." Which is really all a cell needs to know... It exists as part of a larger network, and has a duty so that life can grace the whole. A cell does what it does so that something can be. And it follows that the next cell will do the same so that the necessity of being will continue. As will the next cell, and the next cell. Like we creat art... we create one work of art so that we can express our being, and we continue to create the next work of art to continue the expression of our being. I like this piece because it makes me think of the smallness and intricateness of the living world, and the mystery that allows us as human organisms to create beautiful things. Here's a little bit closer view...
Thank you, Nancy!