Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Cabinet of Curiosities.  Or, is it Pandora's Box?
Hello again.  It is Frances Holliday Alford, writing from BRIGHT RED Southern Vermont.

I had the great priveledge to be part of a weekend workshop with our friend Jane Davies.  We worked on Encaustic Collage at the Guilford Art Center, in Guilford, Connecticut.  I had a wonderful time and learned a lot.  I have wanted to learn about encaustic for a very long time, and Jane broke it down into easy steps and we all left feeling accomplished.  Especially me.  I really felt I had accomplished a lot.  One of our projects was to paint on a paper surface attached to a wood block.  Jane likes to teach self portrait so I took huge liberties with myself and did a portrait loosley based on me. 
 After the painting, I added two layers of clear encaustinc
 wax medium and then added a few more details with a Pitt Pen.
Jane had us paint and mark a lot of paper which we could use for collage. We used wax resists
and all kinds of paints, pens, pencils. I couldn't stop. It was so much fun.


Draw and paint like nobody is watching.

My notion of a Cabinet of Curiosities is using the treasures of our lives. The odd objects, not always categorized in a logical fashion. Some of my recent Daily Collage pieces reflects this.
Rabbit and Butterflies.

Jelly Fish.

One of my constant meditation/brain food/habits, is making postcards which I mail to myself multiple times.  Each time the card comes back, I add a few more images, address and stamp it again and send it back out on its way. 
  I started this card in Barcelona in June using an image from the tapas bar, "4 CATS".  After it got back to me, I mailed it once from home with a Christmas stamp.  Then, in September, when we were in Iceland, I mailed it again from Rekjavick.  It may have another trip in its future, but looks pretty close to complete. 
  One of my favorites started in Laos when my friend Meredith agreed to send cards while she travelled in Southeast Asia.  I loved the mask image so I sketched a larger version on the left side.  I later added the Love stamp and some polar bears and tole ware stamps from the USA.  The last voyage was also Iceland. 
This one is now in retirement as it looks complete to me. 
Rabbits started their voyage from South Korea.  Standing below some orange cellophane leaves from Japan, they have taken a few more trips before the final trip from Iceland.  There is a key from my hotel in Seoul, the Frasier. 
 A small image of flowers are from Japan as is the Washi Tape. 

I sometimes use the postcard images in a second or third way.  This is a part of a postcard, scanned and printed.  I drew the doors and windows on the surface and will use it in a collage later.
 Pokey Bolton has challenged us to make fiber postcards to support a no kill animal shelter in Houston. These cards will be sold during the International Quilt Festival. Here are some of mine.

I have been spending time with a young woman from Honduras.  Nimia is sewing with me and learning English.  Or, maybe I am learning Spanish.


Buenos Dias.


  1. i absolutely love the postcards! i've done mail art on envelopes, but never hit on the idea of mailing post cards to myself from multiple locations over a period of time. i'll have to try that...im in Cape May now for a couple of days & will look for a post card from which to start. great work...thank you for the inspiration!

  2. I agree - I really like the postcards and would never have thought of doing that!

  3. This is three posts in one! You did fabulous work in my encaustic collage workshop, and I am so glad to have seen some of your traveling postcards in the flesh. This is a great inspiration of an idea, and I hope our sketchbook challengers will think about sending art all over the world. Also it was a pleasure to see, albeit on the iPad, the animal related post cards. My chickens are jealous! I wonder if some future theme of Sketchbook Challenge would be "Postcards"... just a hint, for those of you who are posting themes


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