I was tempted by the thought of Arthouse Coop's 4x6 exchange project but dissuaded by the necessity to have a US stamp on the envelope. While I was asking Twitter what they thought, Marcus at Lucky Jack Press offered a personal trade. I took Marcus up on his offer and quickly got to work.
After some hemming and hawing, starts and stops, I decided to create a self-portrait. I used some of the handmade watercolour paper I received from Jill and started with a wash of green, grey and black in the background. I penciled in my head using my sketchbook page as a reference. I cut the face out and created three, two-sided inserts. I used magazine clippings, illustrations, origami paper and stickers. Each side represents a memory or event.
I put tabs on each insert after realizing it wasn't very easy to get each one in and out.
Marcus replied with fold-out 4x6 card representing elements of his surroundings in the Yukon. A mixed media polar bear with a stoic gaze appears on one side while the inside's colours are reminiscent of a Yellowknife sunset.
The other side held a photo of the northern lights. It took me a little time to recall where I was when I saw them in person. With a little help from my mother, I was able to recall that it was likely on a camping trip in northern or central Saskatchewan. Away from the city lights where the stars are piercingly bright and the gentle waves of aurora borealis can be seen dancing across the sky. It's really magical.
A Baker Lake art postcard was also included with a message that conveyed a longing for spring. I think all Canadians are feeling the same way, no matter how mild or harsh the winter.
Marcus had been teasing me with hints of the story of Sedna. While this initial trade didn't have any Sedna illustrations, I'm pleased to read that our trade will continue and perhaps Sedna will appear one of these days.