Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Dilemma and A Story: The Right To Ice

My dilemma is that I have several paintings I'd like to begin, and also some new postcards, and a very limited amount of energy. What to do, what to do? Well, since the postcards are for other sufferers of M.E. I thought I would go ahead and start them.

If you have never seen me go through this process, I am sure you will find it interesting as you watch the process of turning something that begins one way into something totally different. Here are the first few steps:

Step one was to paint the top of a piece of Foam Core board with black gesso. I did this to make the overlaying colors appear richer. I usually use a piece which has been cut to 12 x 18, but this piece, 14 x 12, was lying around and I did not want to waste it, so instead of 9 postcards at the finish, I will have 6. The paper piled on top is torn scraps of patterned tissue paper. Choosing and tearing them into pieces was step two.

Step three was to collage the pieces randomly across the Foam Core. No particular pattern, just covering the area.

Because I find these particular tissues too bright for my liking, in step four I covered the board with water thinned acrylic paint to age the appearance. Then I drew cutting lines for later use.

Looks like a cake top doesn't it? Step five includes laying the base down for future texture points. The white on the sides is soft gel, it will be clear when it dries; I added some scalloped crepe paper strips on the top and bottom, and some polka dot crepe paper strips in a vertical line. In the center are two paper doilies collaged over the intersection lines. In making these, it pays to remember that you are not looking for perfection - any distortion causes happy accidents and adds to the individual postcard. I guarantee you that when these are finished, you will be surprised at the difference from beginning to end! You can look for photos of other postcards I made on Foam Core board by using the search button at the top right.

Click on any picture you wish to see closer.


The Right To Ice 
59th in the Tuesday Story Series

In 2003, my husband and I took a 10 day vacation to the island of Guernsey, which is part of the Channel Islands off of the coast of France. They are now part of the United Kingdom, so we had to fly into London, then take a smaller plane into Guernsey. It was one of the loveliest places I have ever visited. A year later, I traveled to England with a friend for an antiques shopping trip. The reason I mention both is that besides being part of the UK, they have something else in common - warm drinks. 

In the US, we like our ice; even before the Civil War, there were boats which would travel down the Mississippi in the summer with blocks of ice cut from frozen rivers,  wrapped and buried in straw to stay frozen during the journey. In the South, the wealthier people would use ice to help them make it through the long hot summers when their clothing was enough just to make them prostrate with the heat. Ice was something we all grew up with - ads would feature "Ice Cold Beverages" whether soda, lemonade, tea or beer. 

In the UK, and Europe, that is not the case. At that time, I was still drinking Diet Cokes, so when I ordered one the first time, I was surprised to see it in a glass by itself. I took a sip and almost gagged, it was as warm as the day outside. I called the server and handed him the glass, asking for some ice for my soda. He gave me that look, the one I'm sure he gives to All Americans Who Ask For Ice, turned and went to the counter. When he returned and set the glass down with a slight curl to his lip, I looked and there was indeed ice, four whole cubes. And John who wanted to try out their beer, got it warm.

As I reflected on this, the only reason I can figure for the difference (and this is not a scientific study) is that the southern part of the US is much closer to the equator. We must have gotten into the habit early and it took firm root - after all, any Southerner relishes a cold glass of iced tea. In the North, it used to be difficult to find iced tea during the winter, but now it can be found almost anywhere. But jolly olde England is not jolly about serving cold drinks, thank you very much.

Finally I worked out a system where I could have the well iced cold drink I wanted - I began to ask for a soda and an extra full glass of ice. I still got the look, but I didn't care, I was happy. It was a pity poor John could not do the same for the beer!

Come see my latest postcards I've received on Postcards Buffet!


  1. Hi Rebecca - We have the same trouble in England. Husband always asks for a cold glass (they don't know abour keeping glasses cold). They think that their cellars (where the beer is in kegs & drawn up to the taps in the bar) are cold enough. As you say, they'll never get it! Come to Oz & we love COLD beer.

  2. Hahaha, love the story! And it's fun to watch your art come to life, I really love it! Love you!


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