London-based artist Mark Powell reuses old envelopes as canvases to produce incredible life-like drawings. His sketches are made using only a Biro pen, and they often incorporate original stamps and postage marks. By recycling the envelopes, he is in some way preserving a bit of history and the tales behind the sender. He says this is why his work, which is primarily portraiture, focuses on older characters that appear to tell their own stories from the very creases and wrinkles of their faces.

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The project first started when Powell found an envelope in an antique shop that had been sent from the front line in WWI. Other pieces have been drawn on envelopes that go back as far as 1852, historic dates that give character to each unique drawing. As well as exhibiting his work, he continues to develop his ideas and has plans to work on a larger scale. He has already begun collecting antique black and white maps to reuse for future drawings, an evolution of his work which promises to be as interesting as his current portfolio.

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Images courtesy of Mark Powell