31 December 2013
9:58 a.m. Done, more or less. A working proof is posted here for review. Upon approval of all contributors, this book will be sent to press. A full prospectus will be posted in the coming days.
19 April 2013
5:55 a.m. Most of the book is laid out. This morning I added the weather forecasts captured in the past. They were mostly very accurate. It has been quite the sustained thawing process this past sixty days and it feels good to be completing this project just two months after its conception and inception, one sixth of a year ago, on a 0° day in February.
It began in a moment after taking a few photographs on a morning walk, when I asked myself, in light of a few months spent cleansing my studio of unnecessary things:
“What am I going to do with these?”
I resolved within a minute that I would use the photographs to invite other collage artists to collaborate with me on a new book project, which would be focussed on the idea of thawing—moving from winter into spring, darkness to light, frozen to fluid.
Invitations to participate were sent to potential contributors by postal mail. Most were well received, with an appreciation for the touch of humanity in a world where we have grown used to living without things as simple and beautiful as personally addressed envelopes and letters. Through the experience, I have gained a few new international friends and exposed myself to new thoughts and ideas, and ultimately will have created a new book documenting the experience.
It was fun to navigate the metaphorical snowball as it rolled down the hill. As of right now, about 75% of the 200+ page book is comprised of the text from correspondence and journal entries documenting this project during the long thaw of 2013. Today I am thinking of adding a table of contents and/or index. Then write the colophon. Next I will print it and review, and send to the contributors for their approval. Edit. Write and design a prospectus, and send the book off to the printer/bindery. Maybe a design a jacket, too. How about a goal to publish the book on the summer solstice, in late June?
Icy precipitation last night. Maybe this will be the last day we dip into the 30s. Looks like we’ll be hovering around 50 over here for another ten days or so. But I believe there will be light at the end of this tunnel.
26 March 2013
Received a contribution from Flore Kunst yesterday. Weather forecast is for above-freezing temps by next week.
20 March 2013, First day of Spring
9° at 9:15 a.m. with a stiff wind out of the northwest. Contributions received from Susan Legind (Rome, Italy), Gary Ortman (Morton, IL, USA), Lisa Chun (Los Angeles, CA, USA), and Brandon Graham (Downers Grove, IL, USA). More expected, some remain uncertain. It has been a long and sustained thaw or lack of it with steady wet snow and temps in the 20s. This final blow of winter is a doozy with a good dropping of snow a few days ago and now single-digit temps. Today is the deadline for postmark of contributions, given in a letter to all invitees with another photo from the neighborhood park a few weeks ago. When the thaw finally comes it will have been one long-earned.
20 February 2013
This morning I took a walk in Liberty, on a south-facing hill along Old 56 Road, around the perimeter of our four acre plat. It was 0°. I took some photographs.
When I got home I had another one of those moments when I think about how I could try to start a new project with no defined goal, like rolling a snowball down a hill. It gets bigger, but then what? That’s creation for you.
Two days ago I was at the post office to mail a letter to an artist friend in New Zealand. When asked, by the post office clerk holding up a sheet of 8 international stamps, if I send international mail often, I responded, “Not really. But I could.” Now I have seven stamps to use.
A few months ago I deactivated my Facebook account. Before leaving, I asked all my Facebook friends, new and old, to send me their address if they would like to keep in touch. I have addresses for a few new artist friends.
I decided I will send seven of my artist friends each one of the photos I took this morning, asking them to add to it or alter it in some way, and return it. Maybe it could turn into a book. Maybe Brandon could write something for it…he asked me to contact him if I ever need text for something. I think I will call it Thawing.