Envelope art the talk of the New Yorker’s town, but Tink was there first

August 14, 2002
Santa Paula News
By Peggy Kelly Santa Paula TimesA recent feature in the tony New Yorker magazine focuses on the unusual envelope art created by the late Edward Gorey of Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts. Gorey, a noted artist whose works were well known through the PBS series, “Mystery,” created the 50 illustrated envelopes for a friend in New York during the 1970s.But Tink Strother of Santa Paula, an award winning artist and prominent portraitist, writer and teacher, was decades ahead of Gorey: she created envelope art for her husband during World War II, missives that were passed around and praised by all who saw them.“I got the idea from an art teacher at Compton High School,” said Tink, but she didn’t attempt envelope art until her husband was overseas during World War II.“How many envelopes did I decorate? I would put something on every one of them. I have a whole a whole box full others than the one I had in the library.”Such envelope art was a part of Tink’s recent solo exhibit at Blanchard Community Library, the first time she thought to display them.“Why did I do it? Just to entertain the guys over seas fighting in the war; I put pretty girls on most of them, some movie stars. We were young and had just gotten married,” and although the match ended in divorce, Tink still had a sentimental spot for the envelope art her ex-husband carefully saved to bring home from the war.
Tink’s envelope art was first sketched in pencil carefully covered with ink or watercolor.Tink was delighted that the New Yorker turned a monocled eye on envelope art concurrent with her BCL exhibit. “That was really something,” she said with a laugh.She no longer does envelope art: “I stopped doing them after the war, there was no reason to go on with it. It was more to entertain the guys than anything else.”

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