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About The Cards
 
ABOUT THESE CARDS OR "MY THING" and the mackmahoney.com website.  It all began in 1989—when I started buying love cards for my darling—that is romantic greeting cards or cards with some sort of inspirational message, all to impress my 'Peetie'  who had just become my significant other. It wasn't my first dance—but I quickly discerned that it would be my best.

At first it was easy. Every morning, along with coffee, I'd present her with another card. Each of them brought a smile to her face, and I'm an absolute sucker for smiles. I'd walk a mile to get a smile any day—especially from her. I loved pleasing her. But alas, after a couple of months there were no more cards available in the card shops. I'd used them all up. A panic started to develop. What could I do to replace that moment of pleasure I'd been giving her daily? The light bulb of inspiration flicked on. I'd create a few cards myself—just to keep the good vibes going. I mean, how hard could it be? I'd always been sort of a handy dude with words, and, although I'd never seriously undertaken any great art projects, I did like doodling and had generally stayed within the lines when coloring. I had always been a sort of night owl, doing my best work late at night. Initially, I took it easy.

You know—some hearts and a few flowers—with a sentimental thought and some hastily sketched art, created in my office on a piece of blank paper after she had retired for the night. It worked. The morning smiles kept coming.

Bit by bit, my little sketches began to resemble actual cards like one might see in a store. The hobby began to take shape as I slowly began to accumulate some actual card stock, along with plenty of water colors, a wide variety of colored pencils, artists brushes, acrylic paints, felt tip pins in all colors and sizes, and all the various tools of the trade needed to create handmade greeting cards.


 
The story gets a little unbelievable about here. It didn't take me long to become a fanatic. Within a few months I was obsessively working the wee hours, often for several hours on each card. I utilized every possible media except oil paints, which took far too long to dry to be practicable for such purposes. I began experimenting with color washes to create instant backgrounds. I learned how to mix colors, and paint pine trees in one stroke with a certain brush. I mastered countless artistic tricks to speed up my work while constantly striving to make it look better. I developed many different speed-painting techniques, which allowed me to swiftly create a small 8 X 10 or 8 X 13 original illustration or painting on card stock every night. For the last 15 years I have settled on using an 8 1/2 by 11 inch standard size card stock and all cards displayed on this site are in that size format. 

For printing your cards you can use regular copy paper or card stock if your printer can handle it. 


By the time I had done about a hundred paintings, I began writing a poem to go with each one in a theme to the subject of the art. The artwork served as my muse. I'd never written poetry before, but it seemed to come together. The poems flowed into my head like God had created me just for that purpose.

I did paintings using every kind of artistic technique I discovered. I tried it all. There were paintings of nature scenes, of flowers, animals, monuments and people. I think I took a stab at my version of just about every painting the famous masters ever made regardless of whether it was impressionistic, modern, cubist, or a cartoon. Each card was a small painting that some folks thought to be worthy of framing, but I faithfully folded it and added the rhyme and usually another smaller illustration of a similar vein on the opposite side. I used watercolors, pen and ink, charcoals, magic markers, felt tipped pens, acrylic, crayon, colored pencils and whatever other medias I could devise to create the cards.

Rain or shine, in sickness and in good health (thank goodness I was seldom ever ill), at home or on vacation, without fail, for many years—I painted and created a nightly "morning card" with an accompanying poem for my Peetie.


Then, unfortunately thanks to father time, about a decade ago, old uncle arthritis began to kick in and my right (painting) wrist began to ache from all those hours of brush strokes. I realized the end of my obsessive artistic creations was approaching. Then, just as I was beginning to think fate was going to end my card creating compulsion, I got my first digital camera. Problem solved. I thus began taking pictures and writing my usual 16-line poem. By the way, all of my poems rhyme and have some metaphorical or cogent message, as you will see if you read a few of the poems.


 
Of course, the rhythm and spirit varies with each card. To my way of thinking any poem that don't rhyme is prose. I know technically I'm wrong on that point, but I'm stubborn. That's well over 100,000 lines or I'd immodestly estimate about a million words of poetry and still ticking. You might be thinking "how difficult could it be to create a small painting (actually it is two small paintings, since there is one on both the front and the back side of each card) and write a meaningful (generally romantic or life-enhancing) sixteen-line rhyming poem every day. I suggest you try it for a few months. You might discover that without proper enthusiasm the paintings won't cut the mustard and that a good poem must flow from inspiration or it don't flow at all. If I appear to be too self-promoting and grandiose here, please forgive me and remember that it is my thing!

Nowadays I continue creating Peetie's daily card, mostly with pictures I have taken, and processed through my computer. Every once in a while I do the artwork, just to keep my heart in it. As I write this, she has over 8,000 and is still counting—a new one every day.

Each card has been presented to my darling, folded with a crease in it, regardless of the quality of the painting. They express the joy of our relationship and tell the story of our togetherness.

They are singularly interesting and in total, a remarkable accomplishment, even if I do say so myself. 

An interesting side-aspect of these cards is that when I show more than a few of them to people they tend to become overwhelmed by the sheer volume. Most people simple do not have the ability to concentrate on many of them at a time. I have discovered that this is a reasonable reaction and that if I show someone only a small sampling they can comprehend and appreciate them much more than marveling at the insurmountable collection as a whole. For that reason, I am currently showing only 100 cards on this website and I've kept the cards simple, or one sided, so you can add your own thoughts or comments to the other side. I will regularly add more cards to the site as time goes by in order to keep it interesting. Just imagine if I had put a couple of thousand cards on the internet, how compicated it would be for the visitors-much less all of them.

The original cards have been unfolded and are currently maintained with protective covers in binders that are kept in a display case in my home. Many of them have been scanned into computers, organized and catalogued and I am making a few of them available on the Internet for your use. That is the only place they can be seen. Please notice that they are all copyrighted by me, and that I am only allowing them to be used personally by visitors of this website. No commercial use of any kind is authorized.

I have been told that it is the "world's largest collection of original hand made greeting cards".  To give you an idea of their number, the below photographs show only about ten percent of the cards. I would need the Super Dome or the inside of a large convention center to display them all.
 
 
 

 

 
 
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Copyright Mack Mahoney 2012, Urban Geko