I have been fairly discouraged about the exchange for a while now and I'd like to apologize for that. I had my first experience with a participant's decision to fully drop out. Some folks simply just stopped communicating with me and I saw no choice left, but to remove them from the exchange. I have felt a bit like a babysitter for about a round and a half now, and quite frankly, I don't like to babysit.
However, I had the privilege of meeting Aya and her husband Ned last week while I was on vacation in New York City! It was the first member of the exchange that I have actually met in person. This meeting was rejuvenating and wonderful. We met at the Brooklyn Art Library and then walked to get some coffee. We spent most of an afternoon together talking about art and many other things.
The main feeling I took away from that afternoon was how I would have never had such a wonderful afternoon talking art with Aya and Ned if it weren't for this exchange. It was delightful to learn more about Aya, and I would love to meet with each and every one of you when the opportunities arise. Alas, I am not made of money and sadly cannot endlessly travel, but hope I get the chance to meet a few more of you in the years to come.
The main thing Aya and I were discussed regarding the exchange was what a wonderful experience it has been and how we love to see people's processes and get to know other artists. That really is the most important aspect of the exchange, not rigid adherence to shipping dates and the logistics of making sure certain books are returned to their owners. Obviously, we all want to get our books back in the end but the most important part is how the exchange processes functions to foster the community, to facilitate the sharing of art and process, and to encourage feedback via verbal and non-verbal discussion and collaboration.
So, even though not all of the books are home I am going to start round 4. This is both posted here on the blog as well as being emailed to everyone who has participated in our previous exchanges. In addition I included the six people who have contacted me over the past year who want to be part of the next exchange in the recipient list.
Here is how round 4 will look and a few things I want you to consider if you think you may wish to participate:
1 - We will work in either the A4 or the Large size Moleskine (sketchbook or watercolor book- your choice) but no bigger or smaller, please.
2 - We will have at least 6 and no more than 8 participants, and the books will circulate twice.
3 - We have one month to work in the books, I will send reminders every month, and I know and accept that some delays due to unforeseeable circumstances will occur. Life is busy and can feel chaotic, people get ill, family members pass away, things happen - patience is necessary. However, please honor the social contract into which we will enter with one another and respect yourself and the rest of the participants. We each make a commitment to do the work so keep up your end of the bargain. Communicate with us if something happens in your world.
4 - It is your responsibility to keep up with the work. Should you find yourself with two books you need to get to work on the first one quickly and get it shipped to the next person - backlogs are not fun for any of us. If you absolutely cannot do the work in the book mark your pages and ship it anyway. It will come back to you.
5 - This is a collaborative project that includes posting your work to this blog - at least one post a month is required. As the process continues we actively create our on-line community, and we are only as strong as our weakest link. Don't deny us your insights and self-expression by dropping the ball on this vital piece of the project. If you want some thing to be a surprise you don't have to post everything, but please post something. Tell us about an idea, an experiment, a failure, an evolution in your work - whatever - just post. Also please comment on your fellow artists work. It doesn't take that much time and it goes a very long way.
6 - I will keep a spreadsheet available to indicate where the books are so you know who to contact with questions about your own book. I am here as a resource if anyone runs into a huge problem, but please work together to keep each other motivated, encouraged and engaged. It becomes too arduous and upsets me when I am in the bad-guy role and that seriously diminishes my enjoyment of what ultimately is a delightful, meaningful, and fulfilling project. Please update the spreadsheet as you ship and receive books so we all know where they are.
Primarily I just want to collaborate with all of you again (and again and again!) so lets make this next round the best one yet!
If you agree to the 6 stipulations above and want to go 'round this ride with me once more... get your Moleskine do your first drawing or painting or collage in it and post it to the blog.
The first 6 to 8 people who post new work (in these new sketchbooks) are in ROUND 4!
You know what is expected of you and you know you want to do it!
Thanks y'all. I have my book and plan to get to work in it soon.
Once we have at least 6 participants we'll exchange addresses, figure out page counts and the shipping order. If you are not one of the first 6 to 8 artists to post, you'll have to wait until round 5.