Today’s envelope is from Angelique Reischman a techie with a creative soul way down in San Antonio, Texas. (Angelique has actually been a friend of mine since middle school, so I was dying to see what she’d do.)
Well, she busted out the spray paint! (My favorite…)
How beautiful is that? Did you even know they make spray paint in such vivid colors? My photo doesn’t do this thing justice – it’s actually metallic-looking.
Here’s what she had to say about her inspiration:
Each day on my way to and from work I drive down a country road that follows the railroad tracks for 4 or 5 miles. Most folks drive along and probably don’t really notice when trains are stopped, but my husband works for the railroad so I pay a little more attention than the average passerby. I often notice graffiti on the boxcars and it usually grates on my nerves and I think a myriad of reprimanding thoughts to myself…how would they like it if someone spray painted their car, etc, etc, etc… Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for graffiti walls, graffiti murals and any other place where graffiti is invited as a form of art, but property defacing graffiti is a whole other story. Anyhow, every now and then I would see some ‘nice’ looking graffiti — you know what I mean, not just a mess of spray paint used to tag someone else’s property, but something that had some skill and artistic talent behind it. And I’d think to myself, too bad that talent is wasted on tagging a train, too bad it isn’t used for good.
Indeed – it is VERY GOOD, Angelique! And thank you so much for including the extra envelope for me to send to someone else. That was a great idea.
If you think you might want to try this, Angelique detailed her process for us below. 8 days to deadline! More tomorrow…
How to spray paint awesome envelopes:
- Choose envelopes that are heavy enough to support multiple coats of high quality spray paint. [Angelique [Angelique used 9x12" clasp envelopes from an office supply store, and Montana GOLD Artist spray paint from Jerry's Artarama - it comes in over 200 colors!]
- Cover your work surface, wear latex gloves, shake your spray paint well and make sure each can works by spraying on a test surface. Use a spray paint cap that’s intended for surface coating. Gather a variety of leaves and grasses and grab several of each. If the grass is bushy, flatten it in a book for a few minutes. [Of course, it doesn't have to be grass... it could be anything, couldn't it?]
- The actual technique is fairly simplistic, but does require patience and can get a little messy. Give a few envelopes a base coat of paint then lay a few leaves down on the envelopes. It doesn’t matter which side of the leaf goes down, and you don’t really need to allow any time for the paint to dry. Flatten the leaves/grass as best you can and then spray a different color coat over the envelope, intentionally spraying the leaves as well. Depending on the weight of the leaves/grass, you may need to hold them down to keep the force of the spray paint from blowing them off the paper. Add a few more leaves, press them down, spray yet another color coat. Gently peel up the layers of leaves, laying them down wet side up (you’ll be reusing them). First set done!
- Move the envelopes to a safe place for drying. You’re now starting a second set of envelopes — lay out a few more envelopes, giving each a base coat of paint — use a different color than what was last used on the leaves. Take the wet leaves from the first set and press them painted side down onto the second set of envelopes. Again, you don’t really need to wait for the paint to dry. The paint/pressing will transfer the detail of the leaf veins onto the envelope. Depending on how much paint the leaves are holding and how much the color contrasts, you may want to give the leaves a quick spray before pressing them down. (You can also do this if you want a different color, etc.)
- From here on out, it’s basically the same concept — layer leaves, add a coat of paint, repeat, reusing the leaves as you go. After multiple coats of paint build up on the leaves the paint may start to peel off of the leaves onto the envelope in sections adding a whole new level of depth. At some point you’ll probably feel like you can’t move fast enough and you’ll have leaves with all different colors of spray paint everywhere and every envelope you finish you will love more than the last. Some of the leaves won’t make it. Some will eventually peel off in pieces, no matter how careful you are. And some of those pieces will want to stay on your envelope — let them! Either toss the broken pieces or reuse them over the edge of the envelope. As you get the hang of it and as the leaves broken in, you’ll be amazed at the level of contrast, detail and depth you can create.