Traveling Moleskine Number 3

Scanner image with sketch
Scanner Sketch for Traveling Moleskine Project, 2009, ink and archival inkjet with gold leaf, 7″x5.5″

This was a fun project: my friend Vanessa Mikk (a.k.a. CheapGirlDraws) has been sending specially prepared Moleskine notebooks out in all directions in a sort-of expanded-sketchblog-slash-exquisite-corpse mail-art-experiment. The idea is that each artist does a sketch and then passes the notbook along to someone else, either by hand or by mail. I was honored to bring Traveling Moleskine Number 3 back to NYC from Vanessa’s home base of San Francisco.

The traveling Moleskine in the studio
The traveling Moleskine in the studio

Vanessa wrote some clear instructions in the front of the notebook, but it impressed me that the project is an act of faith. I’m rooting for all of the sketchbooks to make it back to her filled up with marvelous stuff. But it does seem a bit like launching a paper boat into a stream and hoping to pick it up later on. There’s a lot that can happen out there. So maybe posting this per Vanessa’s instructions will help track sketchbook number three and begin to create a record that will be there no matter what happens to the actual book. Here’s a page from Vanessa’s website that shows the progress so far with scans from a couple of the notebooks.

The cool thing about the Moleskine is that the paper is thin enough that the verso of the sketch on the preceding page shows through. So in the scan above you can see Vanessa’s sketch in reverse next to mine, which happens to be a sketch of me sitting in her living room.  So the result really is almost a form of exquisite corpse, with each artist’s work relating a bit to whatever came before and after.