2011-05-06 / Columnists

From The Artist Studio

Last Weekend For ‘Glass And Water’ And ‘Windows’
Commentary by Susan Hartenstein

“Wood Duck Taking Flight,” watercolor by Stephen Yaeger, part of “Glass and Water II.” “Wood Duck Taking Flight,” watercolor by Stephen Yaeger, part of “Glass and Water II.” The guest speaker at this coming Monday’s RAA general meeting will be former teacher and lifelong artist Stephen Yaeger, who will discuss producing cachets for First Day Covers. What is that? You will learn the complete answer on Monday evening when Yaeger brings you into this fascinating realm of art, of which most people are not aware, but which has a worldwide following of collectors. Here’s just a preview of his presentation.

For several years Yaeger has created cachets (‘cachet’ is a French word meaning ‘seal’), which in this case are images created by an artist to mark the First Day Issue of a new stamp published by the United States Postal Service. The image is related to the subject of the stamp. When a new stamp is issued it is canceled in the city or location relative to the stamp’s subject. The cachet maker, such as Yaeger, will get the stamp(s), put it (them) on whatever number of envelopes he or she wishes to mark with the image, one stamp per envelope. He/she then mails those envelopes to a designated location where the First Day of Issue cancellation postmark is placed on the envelope(s), which is (are) then mailed back to the artist. Some artists put the cachet on the envelope before it receives the FDI stamp. Others, like Yaeger, prefer to put it on after getting the envelopes back. The cachet can be rendered in whatever medium the artist chooses – watercolor, oil, pen and ink, etc.

It can be an original image created directly on the envelope (termed ‘handdrawn,’ ‘hand-colored’), or it can be a print of an original image. For two Civil War stamps being published this year, one commemorating Fort Sumter, the other the First Battle of Bull Run, Yaeger has already created his cachets and is waiting for the return of his envelopes with the FDI cancellation.

He will then put original paintings on each envelope. In the past, he has used other techniques. For example, he has done prints; he has also done a pen and ink drawing, printed it and then painted into the print with watercolor.

In the case of the Civil War stamps, Yaeger made five envelopes for each stamp design. However, an artist may make hundreds of envelopes. The finished envelopes with cachet can then be sold.

Yaeger speaks with great enthusiasm and even wonder about what he calls “a whole world [of international collectors and artists] you don’t know about.” Some cachet makers are quite famous in that world. Designs may cover the entire face of the envelope, others just a portion.

Well-known cachet makers can sell their ‘cacheted’ envelopes for $125 to $200.

Working in a number of mediums, Yaeger finds great pleasure in continually exploring new ways to create art. As a member of the Brooklyn Watercolor Society, he is displaying four paintings in that medium in “Glass and Water II.” When asked which medium he prefers, the retired schoolteacher says, “Whatever I’m doing at the time. I love it. I get so involved, I’m not even aware of the time passing.”

Do not fail to see “Lend Me a Tenor,” the latest Rockaway Theatre Company production at the Post Theater in Fort Tilden. Directed by Peggy Page with the touch of a maestro, this is a riotous, door-slamming comedy that derives its brilliance from perfect timing, which Page and her expert cast accomplish like a team of facile surgeons working their way through the most delicate of operations …if they were the Marx Brothers. company for pulling off a triumphant night of theater, of love and of friendship. They all did Peggy V. proud. Remaining performances: May 6,7,13, 14 at 8 p.m.; May 8, 15 at 2 p.m. Tickets: 718-374-6400. RAA CONTACT INFO:

Phone: 718-474-0861; Fax: 718-474- 4373; e-mail: info@raa116.org; website: www.rockawayartistsalliance.org

kidsmART corner

camp kidsmART: July 11-August 18, 2011; Monday-Thursday; new hours are 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Limited number of applications still available. For children who have completed kindergarten through grade 7. For more info including tuition rate contact RAA office. Once your child is registered for camp, camp packets will be available May 16 at the RAA office.

Fort Tilden Highlights

LAST WEEKEND OF RAA EXHIBITS: Through May 8: “Windows,” in sTudio 6, Fort
Tilden, RoCA (Rockaway Center for the Arts); “Glass & Water II,” a collaboration of
Brooklyn Watercolor Society and Rockaway Glass Artists, in sTudio 7. Blending the luminosity and energy of glass with the transparency and vibrancy of watercolor. Gallery
hours: Sat. and Sun. 12-4 p.m. and by appointment. Free admission to exhibit, reception
and special events.
Art and Music Affair 7-11p.m.
NEXT RAA GENERAL MEETING: Mon., May 9, 7:30 p.m., sTudio 6. Guest presenter:
Stephen Yaeger – Producing cachets for newly issued stamps (First Day Covers).
PAINTING CLASSES FOR ADULTS: ‘Painting With Geoff Rawling’: Tues. 7-9 p.m.,
Thurs. 10 a.m.-12 noon. sTudio 6. $20 per class, supplies included.
THURS. NIGHT OPEN MIC: Performing artists of all disciplines invited. sTudio 7 stage.
Sign-up: 7:45 p.m. Start time: 8 p.m. Join us. Free.

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