1994 Work

As of 2010, all the pieces below are letters I created for a woman I had a huge crush on in 1993-1994. We’ve become friends, and she saved these letters and scanned them for me in September 2010. I think I’ve done a lot of excellent letter artwork in my day. (I’ve tried to order these roughly based on postmarks, but I am not 100% clear of the date of all of these.)

Cocteau postcard, approximately 4"x6" ink on paper

17 January 1994 – Cocteau postcard. I was looking for a quote I’d heard that was attributed to artist Jean Cocteau. I couldn’t find the quote I was looking for (this was pre-internet), so I wrote out a bunch of other Cocteau quotes. I like my somewhat tongue-in-cheek French address “Plage du Long” for Long Beach, etc.

Hey Maria postcard, approximately 4"x6" ink and watercolor on paper

18 January 1994 Hey Maria! postcard. I think this one may be inspired by a song titled “Hey Maria” on Les Negresses Vertes first album. The postcard I used was actually a piece from the board game Masterpiece.

Sign Language envelope, approximately 4"x9", watercolor and ink on paper

27 (???) January 1994 Sign Language envelope to Maria Hall. This one is Maria’s favorite. It’s very much a riff off the American Sign Language stamp.

Maria Hall color-rule letter, approximately 4"x6", watercolor and ink on paper

31 January 1994 Envelope to Maria Hall. This one looks a bit random, but it’s actually a somewhat rigorous method. Even though the lettering styles, colors, and case vary, for a given specific letter, it remains the same. For example, all uses of the letter “A” are lower case, yellow. I’ve done this sort of random-looking rule-based stuff quite a few times on envelopes.  

Yellow Orange Red and Green Envelope, approximately 5"x8", ink and watercolor on paper

2 February 1994 Envelope to Maria Hall. It features a fairly successful simple color scheme.

Profile on envelope, approximately 4"x8.5", ink and watercolor on paper

3 February (?) 1994 Envelope to Maria Hall. I often riff off of the colors of the stamp used – in this case, the green and purple of the Dorothy Parker stamp is reiterated in the drawing.

Red Lettering Envelope to Maria Hall, approximately 5"x8", ink and watercolor on paper

4 March 1994 Envelope to Maria Hall. Another riff on the color of the stamp. I think that this one is pretty successful, with its odd vertical lettering blocks.

Red and blue lettering envelope, approximately 6"x6", watercolor on paper

23 December 1994 (?) envelope to Maria Hall. I think that this is very successful. It shifts around every which way, but is still pretty readable. I still do this sort of leading capital letter followed by lower-case letters, with all the same height (great for everything other than the lower case L resembling the upper-case I.) That alternating color every other letter tended to take a lot of time, so I didn’t do it all that often. 

Man, JRL 1994 dimensions unknown, ink and watercolor on paper

I am not sure when this was done… or even if it was sent through the mail. It was scanned by Maria Hall September 2010. It might be on a postcard, or on a blank card… not sure.

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