24gjp3derm This is page 5 from my sketchbook. I am participating in The Sketchbook Project through art-house co-op.

Here’s how it works, I receive a blank sketchbook with a random theme. Mine is Friends of friends of friends. I interpret and fill the book and then mail it back to art-house co-op. Sketchbooks then travel the country where they become part of an exhibition and library.

“Sketchbooks offers a glimpse into an artist’s life, which is why we want to make a publicly accessible library of sketchbooks that people can browse, peruse, and check out. We think that this sketchbook collection has the potential to open a new line of communication between the artist and the viewer, since the experience of making and viewing are both so personal.” -from the site

Once I received my theme, I was overwhelmed with how to start. That is, until I realized that Friends of friends of friends means the same thing as Everything is connected.

Almost everyday I collect things. Feathers, rocks, tin, notes. I always have. I tend to look down when I walk. I am drawn to others who collect, and artists who transform their collections, as that too is my aesthetic.

I do  not have to teach  this trait to my students, as they are young and find treasures in everything. What I do, however, is value their findings and encourage them to observe, ponder, associate and often create with them.

My sketchbook page has a feather from my morning walk, a Latter Day Saints card that my daughter received on the metro from a very sincere woman (with kind words for her), and sparrows and candles (from a collection of images I reuse in my work).

What is sacred or spiritual through Friends of friends of friends? is my sketchbook question, answered through collections and connections known and unknown.

Sometimes I am challenged because I have trouble following my young students threads or connections to a provocation or idea (I am certain my own art does the same to many.) I have learned to not shut out what seems to make no sense, and follow the path they are sharing with me. I have learned it often leads to discovery.

I serendipitously received an email today from a former student who is vacationing in Maine.

Imagine my happiness when I opened the email, to find only this jpeg.ketan

Everything is connected.

24gjp3derm