New Paltz-based artist Molly Rausch uses postage stamps as jumping-off points for her whimsical miniature paintings.
"I'm not a stamp collector," says the New Paltz-based artist, "but the aesthetic of postage—the whole envelope—appeals to me." Stamps also serve as talismans to Rausch. She once sent a proposal for an artist's residency through the mail with stamps from the states the package was to travel through. "I thought it would bring my parcel good luck," she says.
Rausch began working with stamps in 1998, after making a small artist's book by hand. After sketching a drawing on the first page she didn't like, she looked for something to cover the offending image. Rausch had a stamp laying around. "The stamp was just the right size to cover my awful drawing," she says, "and then I just kept going." It was the mistake that launched, according to Rausch, a few hundred paintings (thus far). Rausch works both for her own satisfaction and on commission, with prices for her paintings in the $300 to $450 range.