Friday, July 31, 2015


South central Texas is rife with bugs of all kinds. I hate bugs, but I do like to draw them. You really see the interesting ways they are put together when you study one up close to draw it. I've only illustrated a few envelopes with bugs, mostly the various kinds of stinging bugs we are so richly supplied with:

 I said I hate bugs above, but actually, I love dragonflies. They're harmless, and fun to watch.
Mailed July 24, 2012

Tuesday, July 28, 2015


Like portraits, animals can be a challenge to my drawing abilities, but also are interesting subjects for envelope and postcard illustrations.

Portrait of Muriel, from my favorite O. Henry story, "Jimmy Hayes and Muriel". Mailed Oct. 12, 2011

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


Sometimes events in one's life can feel overwhelming, and one just needs to vent to relieve the stress. A pen pal of mine has written more than once that a postage stamp is the cheapest form of therapy, and I agree wholeheartedly. I try to give a bit of a heads up to the recipients of my venting letters through the illustration on the envelope.

The front of the envelope signals that I was feeling burned out, while the back
shows off some new drawing nibs. Mailed Dec. 5, 2011

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Last Week's Mail

I picked up the pace a bit last week, and did a large envelope and three postcards.

Mailed July 13, 2015

Friday, July 17, 2015

Recycled Ideas

Every illustrated envelope and postcard I mail off is an original drawing; I don't make prints. But I do recycle ideas. I just do a new drawing using an idea I've done before. My most recycled idea is an array of drawing tools. Here are several versions:

Postcrossing postcard mailed to Germany on June 30, 2014

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

I Don't Know What to Draw

I try to relate my envelope illustrations to something in the enclosed letter, or to something in the letter I am responding to, or to the postage stamp I've chosen for the envelope. But sometimes, I simply can't think of an apropos subject. In those cases, I usually just pick a subject at random:

Mailed Oct. 31, 2011

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Last Weeks's Mail

Last week, most of my time was taken up by yard work, so I'm woefully behind on my correspondence. I only managed one envelope:

Mailed July 10, 2015

Friday, July 10, 2015

Envelopes Illustrated

Occasionally, I like to draw the mail I've received in my illustrated journal. So in a departure from illustrated envelopes, here are some pages from my illustrated journal depicting mail I've received:

The first mail art I received, from Australia in Aug., 2010

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Letters From Kelly

Kelly is by far my most prolific pen pal. She's a wonderful mail artist and a fearless mailer-- she'll mail anything she can stick a stamp and an address label on. I've received some very unusual mail from her. Kelly works in various media and techniques including hand-illustration, sometimes in combination with other techniques. Here are some of the hand-illustrated postcards and envelopes I've received from her:

Watercolor with a sticker. Received Jan., 2012

Wednesday, July 1, 2015


Sometimes a letter I'm responding to will spark my imagination, resulting in a whimsical illustration on the return correspondence. Here are some of my early whimsical illustrations:

Mailed Oct. 3, 2011