Almost without exception, I am repeatedly asked the same three questions at every exhibition opening I have my stamp based artworks included in. How long does it take you to complete a piece? Where do you get all the stamps? Do you have any favorite stamps?
This is the first of a three-part blog series to answer the last question on favorites. Although subject matter and/or messaging often have a role to play in my selections, my favorites usually have to do more with color, design and imagery, regardless of subject.
Here are some of my favorite U.S. postal issues. This is just the first in a series (3 or 4) of planned posts on this same topic.
As far as using it in my own artwork, the sun and radiant bands create and almost hypnotic op-art look when composed as I did below in a piece entitled, "Glow" (Vortex 22) used U.S. postage stamps and resin on canvas 16" x 16" 2018
Featuring the abstract geometric painting "Glow" by Josef Albers, this 15¢ cent issue from 1980 (Scott # 1833) is a great example of minimalism in design. The beautiful colors of Albers’ piece, radiating from the center square and positioned on the upper half of the rectangular format of the stamp, led me to experiment with this abstract relationship further. Although, I had been doing square formatted pieces based on Albers’ “Homage” series for years, it wasn’t until a University of Kansas Hospital commission in 2016 that I broke out the square. Still based on Albers’ relationships and relative dimensions, I switched to a rectangular format at the request if the client.
A recent beautiful install for the University of Kansas Hospital Collection compliments of the amazing Blue Gallery, Kansas City, MO. Installation images: "Meaningful Adjacencies" 60" x 60" 2017, "Inward Journey" 48" x 36" 2017
"The Ancients" used U.S. postage stamps and resin on canvas 48" x 48" 2016
"The Ancients" detail showing the Apollo 8 issue used in an inverted fashion.
"Apollo" used U.S. postage stamps and resin on wood 6" x 6" 2013
And finally the 1945 "Iwo Jima" 3¢ issue (Scott #929) featuring the iconic raising of the U.S. flag on that island during WW2 is based on a photo by Joe Rosenthal. The picture, which earned Rosenthal a Pulitzer Prize, was then made into this postage stamp and also cast as a 100-ton bronze memorial. Powerful imagery, simple design and the use of the monochromatic green, all add to this issues beauty.