Friday, February 25, 2011

Garden of Love U.S. Postage Stamp to be Issued May 19

(USPS Press Release) The Garden of Love — ten different First-Class stamps depicting a colorful mosaic of flora and fauna in a garden setting — will be issued May 19. These stamps are a continuation of the Love series, begun in 1973, and are intended for use on Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day cards, as well as on other occasions when love and affection are expressed.

Award-winning illustrator José Ortega of New York City and Toronto depicts an abstract garden of bright flowers, a butterfly, a strawberry, and doves, interlaced with vines that run from one stamp to another. Each prominent element of the design is in the shape of a heart. The deep blue background is reminiscent of a brilliant summer sky. The word “Love” sits atop each stamp.

Ortega says, “Garden of Love depicts the abundance of life, its generosity, whose spirit is to be shared by all its creatures. Love’s definition is broader than romantic love. Love is that colorful, full feeling you get when you enjoy being a part of and sharing in the generosity of life.”

To create his design, Ortega made a digital file of his original pencil and marker drawings. Then he added color, improvising until the garden took shape. Ortega, a collector of decorative arts, says tapestries, textiles, and mosaics influenced his choice of colors and patterns.

Ortega’s previous projects for the U.S. Postal Service include the 2007 With Love and Kisses stamp and the Salsa stamp, one of four stamp designs that appeared as part of the 2005 Let’s Dance/Bailemos issuance.

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