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Museum of Motherhood

Friends With Glory: the “Fe-Mail” art of Suzi Banks Baum

You know I am a Mom, right? I have 2 teenagers and live in Western Massachusetts with my husband. I started my professional career as an actor, but since becoming a Mother, my compass has swung to true north. While mothering, I make art. The boundaries are blurry, which is art and which is mothering. I am writing a book about seeing and celebrating the sacred in daily life.  I blog about mothering and art on www.laundrylinedivine.com. This kind of living totally turns my light on. I make mixed media collages, artist books and other creations. My “Fe-Mail” postcards track my journey, internal and external. They are just like the cards you buy at a tourist trap; only my postcards are intensely personal.

be art© all rights reserved by Suzi Banks Baum

I grew up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I love to swim. I love the seasons. I love to be outside. Many of my cards have images emblazoned in to my soul from nature. “Be Art” has a little photo of me in the center, having just emerged from the Caribbean, in Costa Rica. I am very, very happy when I am swimming.

Unparalleled Feminine© all rights reserved by Suzi Banks Bau

I don’t surf, but I use images of surfers all the time. I love the idea of being on top of the water like surfers are, in the water but also able to observe what is happening all around. My Dad was a fisherman and I spent many hours in a boat with him on Lake Michigan. I love water. Playing with water images in these cards and in my photography gives me enormous pleasure. The play of light on water can keep my attention for days.

“Look fish, you are already in the ocean. Just swimming there makes you friends with glory.”  Rumi

Art & Soul© all rights reserved by Suzi Banks Baum

If I looked at all my “Fe-Mail” postal art cards, laid them out on the floor end to end, I could lead you on the journey of my life these last 4 years. I started with Karen while I was in her collage class at IS-183. I just ran with the momentum of our sharing, it fit well in to my daily practice of art and brought me in to a closer relationship with my prolific partner. I love to make mail art. My cards reflect the poetry I am reading. They reflect where I travel. They reflect the seasons and what I am up to in the kitchen.

All Pumpkins Are Great© all rights reserved by Suzi Banks Baum

My cards capture my appetite visually. I love pumpkins. I do a lot of canning and preserving of the harvest here in my kitchen. I guess I am attracted to activities that require patience, involve color and taste really good. Oh, no, don’t eat the “Fe-Mail”, but some of our cards may make you hungry!

Barred Owl Spotted© all rights reserved by Suzi Banks Baum

Besides the orange of pumpkins, the blue green of water, there is Pink. Being a graduate of the School of the Womanly Arts, I have a restored relationship with the color I used to think as too girly for me. So many of my body parts are pink! Why not celebrate that? Plus, the combination of pink and gold appears over and over in my cards.

Here, with “Barred Owl Spotted” I recall a moment riding in Karen’s car, where I said something profound while turning my head to be face to face with a huge barred owl in a tree we were driving past. That week, I walked in the woods near my home and I saw another barred owl, sitting calmly, high in a tree right over my head. I am in awe of this Planet we call home and what I see just leaps from my Soul and in to my “Fe-Mail” postcards. “Every work of art is an incarnation: an investment of matter with spirit.” Wm. Chapin Seitz

The Fullness Of Being© all rights reserved by Suzi Banks Baum

This card holds some secrets. I tore up a piece of worksheet that I lifted from my kindergarten scrapbook, made for me by my Mom about 46 years ago. I was learning to write my name. I love type, I love handwriting. I love what it says about a person. The D.H. Lawrence poem I quote captures my life mission: to come in of my own fullness of being.

“Fe-Mail”, the practice of making and mailing art postcards to Karen over all this time expands my footprint, my fullness. As I work on to these small canvases, rather quickly, sometimes on the road without all my tools, I express new territory within my Soul. I know when Karen holds my card after its sojourn through the postal system that she holds it tenderly, takes it in as another piece in the mosaic of my becoming.

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About M. Joy Rose

Woman, Mother, Human, Rocker, Educator, Activist Director; Museum of Motherhood President and Founder; MaMaPaLooZa Inc. a company by Women, Promoting (M)others for social, cultural and economic benefit. Dedicated to a more educated, more peaceful, more musical planet.

Discussion

2 thoughts on “Friends With Glory: the “Fe-Mail” art of Suzi Banks Baum

  1. Love your art postcards. My walls are filled with postcards, but mostly from my travels. Yours are highly personalized travels to unique inner places in and of themselves.

    I was just wondering what the heck Twitter was delivering to my door tonight, with 8 new followers of varied/dubious/interesting/objectionable type, and then I got your follow and checked your link to your art.

    I like it a lot. Your follow is like an ice cream on a hot day.

    🙂 elinor

    Posted by Elinor | March 16, 2011, 00:47
  2. Dear Elinor! Ice cream? I will take some for sure. Thank you for stopping in to comment. I love what you said about “unique inner places”. Our “Fe-Mail” cards certainly express our adventures. Much love and gratitude for your words! Love, Suzi

    Posted by suzi banks baum | March 17, 2011, 22:22

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