Thursday, September 29, 2011

Postcards from hell, 2011

Typically you get postcards from warm sunny places with palm trees, coconut drinks and umbrellas. The cards are signs of affection and an easy way for your faraway friends to show off. Very rarely do you get a postcard from the armpits of this world. Too much is brewing there; who has the time or inclination to write? And if they did, how would they fit all they had witnessed and felt on the back of a 3x5 card?

A recent Foreign Policy photo series by Elizabeth Dickerson Postcards from Hell, 2011 takes a stab at this. The combination of striking pictures with short narratives make the series seem postcard-like in an ironic way. Worth a glance, since it is unlikely you are going to find these in a mailbox near you.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Stockpiles and Seasons

While I stock pile sketches for inspiration, Jessica sometimes stock piles her cards and sends 6-10 at a time.  I get bunches at a time and then catch up with what she wrote on each one.  Unlike me, she doesn't write them all at once!

This card has a summery image of a starfish but really Jessica drew it in the fall.  She wrote about missing seasons in Ghana, and how the Indian summer and leaves changing color were some of her thoughts of autumn. Oddly enough with all her talk of the fall, Jessica spent hers in South Africa where it was actually spring.  She wrote about feeling like a new beginning was happening with the blooms and the energy. It is fall now, again, and for me back to school always makes me feel a renewal.  What about you, do you think of fall as starting again (new things like supplies and new faces, kind of like when you were a kid with back to school) or is it just spring that makes you feel energized and like starting fresh (maybe cleaning and waking up after a long winter)?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Doodles lost

Lynn's discovery of an old sketchbook has been referenced a few times in the last few postings. It seems that the rediscovery of old doodles provided a real source of inspiration. This doodle is a piece cut out from that very same sketch book. I feel lucky to have gotten a corner, even if it means that next time the sketchbook is re-found it will be missing a piece. I like to think that perhaps its finder will come looking for the rest of the puzzle.

On the back, Lynn wrote, "And here is the only fun doodle I found in my sketch book. I like to think of phones like these. We had a rotary phone when I was in elementary school - and now kids have crickets/cellphones! Remember how cell phones exploded after Junior year? Sometimes it even amazes me that you can call me from Ghana. I guess I sound like an eighty year old with all this babble about 'the old days'."

Oh pal, you are my favorite Luddite. And, yes, I owe you a call.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Water color pencils. I had almost forgotten that they existed, and I never understood what to do with them until I received Lynn's card last summer. Lynn clearly knew that these nifty pencils can make clean lines easier. A great attribute, since successful clean lines are a headache for any new water-color student using a brush, or at least this has always been my experience (I know this may mean I need to learn to live in a world without lines; I am working on this. But as my post cards demonstrate, I have a hard time letting go of borders).

Lynn wrote on the card's belly that she had been thinking of picnics. Picnics she had decided were better thought of than to be had. Bugs, ants and heat, resident picnickers, make her prefer to enjoy her sandwich somewhere other than reclining on the lawn. Although I have had my share of lovely park picnics, living in the tropics, where we take all of aforementioned components up a notch, I must say that she may be on to something.

Cheers to the waning days of heat and bugs my pal.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Running is a "Jessica" theme just like Africa.  On this running postcard she announced she was running again!  This was good news for me because I knew that meant she was attempting some work/life balance.  She wrote about the gym where she runs, it was interesting for me because when living abroad I too was a hotel gym member!

Jessica was a big runner in college when we were roommates.  (I may have written here about how I often was dragged on runs/went along willingly only to end up breathlessly in pain after a few minutes).  Jessica had this wonderful running log.  She would write about runs she took and after each date just jot something memorable about that day.  I imagine she started writing in that again, and while running inside meant she wouldn't have to make notes about running past African scenery, she would have ways to remember non-work events.
Enjoy this colorful card!