The Art of the Letter

When is  the last time you got a real letter in the mail from someone? Was it just recently or was so long ago that you can't remember? Writing letters seems to be a dying art. Children are not even being taught cursive writing in school anymore. (Really!)

Last year a friend sent me an actual birthday card in the mail and I was thrilled. I do appreciate e-cards because, hey, it's just nice that someone remembers you! But getting a card or letter in the mail these days is like a gift.
Send a nice letter with my packaged Notecard Assortments

My daughter is a writer, artist and musician. A couple of Christmas's ago she bought herself a typewriter at an antique store and then she came home and promptly started to type away a story that she was working on. I thought she was kind of crazy but really enjoyed the sound of the clack clacking of her furious typing.

And then last summer I was at an antique store with a friend of mine and I saw a beautiful 1940 Remington Deluxe 5 in excellent shape with the case and it was only $40, so I bought it. I used it to type a couple of friends letters on it last summer at meaningful points in their life. Remembering how happy I was toget a real birthday card in the mail, I thought my friends would be equally thrilled to get a typewritten letter.

It was a wonderful experience.  There is no delete button that makes it easy to rephrase so I had to really slow down and think about what I was saying.  I had to be careful with my typing I'm not very good at it. There is something very beautiful and tactile about having to put so much pressure on the keys to make a letter happen and I really enjoyed how messy the letters looked as they struck the paper in varying degrees of ink.

 I have saved quite a few letters  and notecards over the years. Though the majority were hand written not typed. (Even better!) Some of the ones that I saved were from a lovely man who had an online art gallery called Hustontown and is someone whom who I still call friend. We met in Baltimore at an Outsider Art Festival and he agreed to represent my work.

He not only represented me, but encouraged me and submitted published my work in Outsider Art magazines and even got me included in a book about Self-Taught, Outsider and Folk  artists by Betty Carol Selin.

Reading over his chatty letters about his family and plans for my work still brings me a smile. I was in a completely different place in the work I was producing at that time, and re-reading his letters caused me to reflect on that and think about the direction that I'm going in now.
Assorted Notecards now available here
If you've become like most of America now and rely on texting and emails to communicate with people, why not think about writing again? Especially to people that matter to you. I am writing to my daughter more because I want her to have a tangible remembrance of me and the things I have said to her over the years to hold in her hands and reflect on when I'm gone, like the ones I have from my Mom. I sure don't think she is going to hold on to my emails :0)

12 pack Assorted Notecards now available here

Karen O'Lone-HahnComment