9.27.2007

the lost art of letter writing

Ever since I found those antique journals this past summer, I've been obsessed with acquiring more old handwriting. Last week I discovered a collection of over 250 pieces of personal mail from 1889-1952 on eBay. There are love letters both sweet and illicit, news of births and of deaths, of the garden and new radios and regular day-to-day life.
Here are the first two paintings in what will hopefully be a series. The one on the left is an ode to Mary Cassatt's The Letter (Cassatt has long been an influence in my work) and the one on the right was inspired my Vermeer, who did many paintings of women writing or reading letters.

7 comments:

ainesse said...

Hi Amy found you through Flickr, I am on there as well. I was looking at this image in fact.

Letter writing ...I used to write a lot of letters myself...but not so many nowadays. I never really got back what I put out....... no one really made the big efforts I did.

For example to friends in Iceland Australia and Brazil - I wrote them all an A2 size tissue paper letter with line drawings inserted as I went along, explaining what I meant and talking about my artwork ( they are all artists too ).

They were great I wish I had kept a copy of them !!!

These friends seemed to appreciated them though.

I remember being amazed by Mary Cassat when I came across her long after I had finished my first degree in Fine art.

And Vermeer --- what a fantastic and atmospheric artist I just love his paintings. They truly are beautiful

zenzhey said...

These are wonderful! I bet the small format also makes them feel very personal. Have you ever read the books of Nick Bantock? It's beautiful illustrations with invented correspondence. Have a look it's worth it! Are you gpomg to gocco some of these? Or hand paint each one?

Amy C Evans said...

what a find, amy. and beautiful new work from someone's old life. they're in good hands.

zenzhey said...

Just saw the Goccoed ones on Flickr. They are wonderful !

ginnycartersmallenburg said...

These letter paintings are treasures. Do you sell them?

Amy Rice said...

Thanks everyone!

They will be for sale, Ginny. I have some shows this spring (Paper Boat Gallery in Milwaukee and Quirk Gallery in Richmond,VA) and I am working on framing them in antique frames.

Elaine Kerr said...

Your artwork is so sensitive and beautiful. Most exciting prints I've seen in some time.