The envelope(s), please

Background texture for my artist statement made of discarded envelopes. Handwriting contributed by my Dad... nice counterpoint to the commercial mail!As part of the "Overlooked Archives" exhibition, I incorporated a wall of envelopes as a background for my artist statement (a short explanation of the work). I wanted something textural as a counterpoint to the collages, all under glass this time.The envelopes also served as a visual reference for where some of the collage elements originated. I love the patterns in security envelopes and wanted viewers to stop and consider them. I even included an envelope addressed to me by my Dad, in his amazing backhanded script, as an unspoken nod to him. One realization I had while working with all this mail is that very little of it is personal, most of it is commercial — so I loved it when something with actual handwriting arrived! Thanks, Dad :)Here is the actual text from my statement about the show...Overlooked ArtifactsAn exhibition of collages made from each day’s mail during a three month period.We are subject to such an assault of visual input that it’s no wonder the printed materials in our lives, many of them unrequested, become a blur.Delivered... I’ve attempted to transform the remnants of discarded and unanticipated  mailed imagery into elegant little jewels. This series of 75 collages is intended to capture the incremental passage of time and encourage a fresh look at the incoming paper stream.Dissected… Exploring the inherent beauty of salvaged color and form that’s been liberated, literally ripped, from its original context has been both a joy and a challenge. Some days the postal pickings were slim, other days potential ingredients were abundant, and on a few sad days (and Sundays), there was nothing in the mailbox. No mail, no collage.Reimagining form… On March 1st the only item in the mailbox addressed to me was a postcard from Bed Bath & Beyond—perhaps you’ll recognize it!Enjoy,Janice McDonaldThe wall of envelopes in context at Spark Gallery.

On a quieter note...

Reflecting on a small group of the Daily Mail collages. Views of the "Overlooked Artifacts" exhibition at Spark Gallery on a quiet afternoon... There were 75 original collages, framed with UV glass and archival matting, each 12 x 9" in size and hung chronologically in a grid. This represented each day's mail from March, April, and May of 2013.It's always great to have company in the gallery, but sometimes I look forward to a lull when I can take it all in, size it up, and think about where my work may be taking me next.View upon entering, to left of door at Spark Gallery. The long wall of collages...The final few collages and the end wall with my artist statement and guestbook.   

Selections from the Daily Mail collages on view

Eventually perhaps I'll post all 75 collages somewhere here but for now they're most easily viewed on my Flickr page here. Click on the small box with the arrow above the images to view as a slide show.For now, here are a few of the most discussed collages -- and yes, they are all made from whatever came in the mail on a given day, as indicated by the titles. Many visitors said my mail must be better than their mail... but I like to think it's all a matter of how you look at it!“APR 30 2013,” 9 x 6″ collage on paper by Janice McDonald. © 2013.“MAR 28 2013,” 9 x 6″ collage on paper by Janice McDonald. © 2013. “APR 02 2013,” 9 x 6″ collage on paper by Janice McDonald. © 2013.

Stages along the way: collage commission 3, details

collagecommissiondetail2 Here's the collage in progress as I begin to lay in the root structure and detail the meadow and tree bases with layers of paper.I'm using rice paper for the root structures for its transparency so the colors from below show through somewhat. I'm working with magazine color areas for the plant details... and the patterns from inside of security envelopes for the aspen bark striations!Ran across a wonderful quote while I was in the midst of this work... funny how that happens..."Our lives are like islands in the sea, or like trees in the forest. The maple and the pine may whisper to each other with their leaves... But the trees also commingle their roots in the darkness underground, and the islands also hang together through the ocean's bottom."—William James, psychologist and philosopher (1842-1910)Lovely thoughts. collagecommissiondetail1