Sunday, 1 December 2019

Stamp collage Toucan .. but which one?

Keel-billed Toucan - the National bird of Belize
You may have seen my previous post and will have read that there are 43 species of Toucan, but I have chosen the Keel-billed Toucan to collage using stamps from countries including Great Britain, France, India, and Germany as well as postcards for the tree branch. 

Friday, 29 November 2019

Toucans - on stamps, but sadly not so easy to see in the wild

Toucans can be seen in parts of Guatemala, Mexico  and Belize, where we were this time last year, but sadly the only ones we found  were a rather elderly looking stuffed Keel Billed Toucan  in the Cultural centre in San Ignacio, Belize, (NICH)  and others featured in murals, and one made out of tyres!   The Keel Billed Toucan is  Belize's  national bird, and I was surprised at its size.  There are 42 different species  of Toucan, but some are now endangered due to widespread deforestation, which has destroyed their habitat. The Toco toucan, the largest of all the toucans, is so far not endangered as it is more adaptable.


Keel Billed toucan at NICH - Cultural centre, San Ignacio







Keen to make a Toucan stamp collage I've gathered  photos and some stamps
 together to  provide me with inspiration!   Collage to follow soon!
Mural - San Ignacio, Belize 
Mural -Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Toucan made from tyres 

Just four of more than 40 different varieties of Toucans are featured on this sheet of Guyanan stamps : The Yellow Throated, Toco (the largest of the Toucans), Keel-Billed and White Throated toucans. 


Sunday, 10 November 2019

My Stamp collage prints are in this beautiful holiday cottage in Wiltshire


The owner of this beautiful  4 bedroomed holiday cottage in  Garsdon near Malmesbury, Wiltshire chose several of my stamp collage pictures to decorate the dining room and bedrooms and  it's always great to see how pictures look on someone else's walls!
A large canvas print of The Carp stamp collage looks great against the sage green wall of the dining room, and two framed giclee  prints of garden scenes  all made from stamps decorate the twin bedroom, with the grey frames chosen here toning well with the overall colour scheme, and very much in a cottage style.

Carp - stamp collage 

Secret Garden  Giclee print stamp collage


The property is a spacious 4 bedroom cottage on two floors, with a large garden in a quiet lane surrounded by fields and open countryside, with lovely views. It  is ideal for families of up to 8, with dogs  also welcome.  To see  more photos of the entire property, see www.sykescottages.co.uk  property reference 12186.

And for more information and pictures of my stamp collages including those shown here, www.rachelmarkwick.co.uk .
Pictures are available in various formats including canvas prints and giclee prints, framed and unframed.  Some original work is also available to purchase.

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Postcrossing.com - a great way to make international friends






















If, like me you enjoy communicating with people, travelling - virtually via postcards in this case - and maybe collecting stamps and postcards, postcrossing.com is a great thing to join!  You can send as many or as few cards as suits you. I have had to cut down recently due to the increased postage costs, but  you are guaranteed to receive as many as you send.  You may establish friendships through mutual interests or indeed diverse lifestyles across the world, and who knows if one day you may meet your new friends. Children and adults alike are involved, and some school groups also participate.
  The above is a selection of cards I have received over the years, from places including Macedonia, Poland, Russia, Hungary, Japan, Latvia  and Germany.  I've learned about traditions, crafts, artists and beautiful places I'll probably never visit, but can through Postcrossing.com .  Many people are keen to swap stamps, small collectable items or just stories! 



Sunday, 3 November 2019

Vintage Portuguese embroidery patterns inspire new collage work ...



In  Lisbon recently, we visited  the flea market  in the Alfama district, a colourful and bustling location, and I found these attractive 1960s embroidery and tapestry patterns, which open up to large poster size and could possibly be framed as such.   
I covered some notebooks with one of them, and am now taking inspiration from an image of a pretty flower basket from the cover of another to make a series of collages using stamps from many countries.  The stamps I'm using for the borders are from Ukraine and all depict leaves and fruits. To create the basket work for two of my collages,  I've used George VI definitives which have a great pattern,  almost like wickerwork . 
Flowers and foliage are cut from stamps with floral images, or made in the shapes of leaves and flowers.  It's a work in progress,  but at least I've made a start after a period of artist's

Tuesday, 29 October 2019

Heartfelt thanks for stamps!



A surprise parcel arrived containing many thousands of stamps sent by a friend who was having a clear-out! The majority were red 1st and blue 2nd class stamps,  1st class gold stamps, and  hundreds of Christmas issues from recent years.  All of these will come in useful in stamp collage pictures including some I am currently working on.  But there are also several little treasures  amongst the hoard, and here are just a few rather special stamps which may be part of something in future.
I have mentioned the Resplendent Quetzal in a blog of 27th July 2019,    and so I was thrilled to uncover an old Guatemalan stamp issued  in aid of the Red Cross, featuring a nurse flanked by two of these wonderful long tailed birds. There is no value on this stamp and I haven't yet been able to find out exactly when it was issued or if indeed it has any current value, but will keep if in  my/my father's collection of very old Guatemalan stamps!


I always love to find a heart!  And there were a few among this enormous pile of stamps, so that made me very happy!  I have a growing collection of pretty heart stamps from several countries, and any duplicates can of course go into a Love themed collage at some point!

Sunday, 27 October 2019

The Shard - 3 years to build - 18 months for me to make a collage!

Sometimes things don't come together as quickly as I'd like, and I knew making this stamp collage picture of The Shard was going to be quite a challenge.
Stamp collage of the Shard
 I didn't think it would take more than a year to complete though! I was making good progress initially, having accurately traced and enlarged one of my photos, and enjoyed the absorbing placement of the stamps as they climbed steadily up the steep sides of the tower, but then enthusiasm waned, and other interests took over, so this ambitious project was abandoned in favour of ships, cats and numerous other projects, and other trips which provided further inspiration!!

In March 2018  we enjoyed our  "View from the Shard" experience, on a clear day, with  great panoramic views  London and beyond from the 72nd   floor. I took many photos from this vantage point and one of my favourites was  the shadow of the Shard cast on the land below, with its  top just reaching the Thames!



My interpretation of  the Shard is a stamp collage using British definitives to make the numerous panes of glass in this iconic modern London building, designed  by Italian architect Renzo Piano  and completed in 2012.
London landmarks, ancient and modern appear on many British commemorative stamps and we could see the Tower of London, St Paul's cathedral, the Gerkin, the GPO Tower ,once the tallest London buildinh, but now dwarfed by later additions to the skyline, and many of the bridges over the River Thames.
Detail showing some of the landmarks on stamps

I've allowed myself a bit of artist's licence in their placement  around the Shard, including a few which can not easily be seen from here.