Molly Rausch Solo Show: Postage Stamp Paintings

Filed in Past Exhibitions, Past Solo Exhibitions, Solo Exhibitions by on December 5, 2015

Molly Rausch, Hudson River Church School 4, 3 x 3”, watercolor, gouache, postage stamp, 2015

December 5, 2015 – January 3, 2016
Opening Reception: December 5, 4-6 PM

This series began about 18 years ago. My dad had given me an envelope full of old letters and some loose postage stamps when I was in college. Flipping through those envelopes was like leafing through a book. I loved the paper, the handwriting, and all the marks of their passage. After college, I interned for a bookbinding class and sewed my first book, a tiny little thing which sat empty for a year. When I finally drew something on the first page, it was awful, and I needed something to cover it up. A postage stamp was just the right size. I picked one of my favorites – a Canadian stamp featuring a map of the world – and stuck it smack in the center of the page. It suited the little book, and I chose a tiny brown castle for page two. This one, I felt, needed a little more space on the right so I extended the horizon with a bit of brown watercolor. An airmail on page three needed sky. By page five, I thought I might be onto something and pushed to see how detailed I could get. There was a story unfolding here, about a traveler, and I waited to choose each stamp until I had completed the previous scene… where to next? One cannot simply tape some money to an envelope and hope for the best. But why do stamps have pictures? Each chosen image is a starting point. Each stamp I choose is another. I work slowly. In layers. With tiny brushes. I follow the cues left for me by the original artist. Like a jigsaw puzzle, I start with the edges and work to fill in the middle. Each finished painting for me is like a single frame from some unknown film.

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