Tuesday, March 20, 2012

My handiwork is en route to Sweden, USA & Australia!

Here's 2 of the 12 postcards that I completed for the annual DIY Postcard swap!

This morning, while I was working in my studio, I noticed that a considerable number of blue swallows were darting around in the air above our house and I was wondering if they weren’t getting ready for their annual migration.

Only later in the day did I realize that today, 19 March, is officially the last day of summer here in the southern hemisphere, and the last day of winter in the northern hemisphere. 

9 of the 10 addresses that I received in the postcard swap were in the northern hemisphere.  I thought how fitting it is that my postcards are on their way up north on a day like today.  

So, to the people receiving postcards from me – your cards are currently migrating up north with the blue swallows of the south and I hope that they bring you lots of warm sunshine and joy – from my sunny summer garden to yours! May your summer be as bright and beautiful as mine was!

Here’s a little bit of info on the making of my mixed media postcards:


We were visiting Cape Town a couple of weeks ago and we stayed in an apartment overlooking Muizenberg beach.  Early one morning our baby daughter peeped out from between the shutters in our bedroom just as the sun was rising over the Atlantic.  The light shone so vibrantly through the window that her little figure became a silhouette, together with the horizontal lines of the shutters and I grabbed my camera to capture the moment.  Since she became part of our lives I had wanted to create artwork in her honour, so I decided to use these photographs as a basis for the postcard swap. 


We have many birds and two rabbits that decided to make our garden their home, and she loves to go for long walks in our garden in the late afternoons to see what all the little creatures are up to.  So I decided to use antique garden illustrations as backdrop and continue the play of light behind her silhouette by printing the photographs on transparent paper so that the background can still shine through.  It brings a sense of mystery to the image – not unlike her future, which is still a beautiful, miraculous mystery to us at present.


I decided to add to the mystery by writing a short little story about Angeli and her garden across 3 photographic prints at a time.  So every recipient will receive a little piece of the “puzzle” – one third of the story.  And so here’s the full story:

I decided to add birds and rabbits to the postcard to illustrate the little story.  So I drew inspiration from Arthur Rackham, one of the world’s great children’s book illustrators, and created stencils in the form of silhouettes.  Arthur Rackham became well-known for his trademark silhouettes around 1905.  You can have a look at some of his beautiful work here.


To add a bit of interest to the image, I used Japanese washi tape that I received as a gift from my cousin in Tokyo.  Exactly one year since the tsunami hit Japan, this is a small token in honour of all those who suffered unspeakable loss.  It is my humble salute to an extremely gracious and resilient nation. 

Finally, I added stickers of vintage sweet brands, because as they say: "little girls are made of sugar and spice and all things nice!"


In the end, I created 4 series of postcards, each series consisting of 3 postcards that together carry the story of Angeli’s Garden.  If you’d like to see each of the 12 postcards in detail, you can view them on my flickr page here

In one of my earlier blog posts, I mentioned that nothing brings out the muse as quickly as a deadline.  So very true, I realized again this week.  I wasn’t sure if I would have time available to make the required 10 mixed media postcards, but I decided to register anyway, to make the time and in the end it was such an enjoyable experience!  Handling work on a project-to-project basis with a deadline – whether it is preparing for a music show or making art – it just works for me and keeps me productive and inspired.

Goodnight sweethearts!


Sherry said...

These are so beautiful and evocative. I love that you have a story that is divided amongst the sets. How will they find each other? Will they? Hugs from Alaska.

iHanna said...

Anel, what a sweet idea that you're sending your summer weather on to us who are just leaving summer. That is so sweet! Thanks for joining the swap and sharing the story of your cards and the idea behind photo, story and garden. It's just lovely, all of it! Thanks!

Anel Stricker said...

Thank you for your encouraging comments Sherry and Hanna! Hanna, thank you for making this adventure possible. Sherry - you gave me an idea to help the postcards find each other, so let me see how I can make it happen... - thank you!

Murphy's Mom said...

Hello from northern New York, USA. I see my card and I love your clever idea to link them with the story. You also sent me one of my favorite colors - Orange! I am just crazy about these cards and am thrilled to have received one! - gertrude