The Arthouse Co-op has been running Sketchbook Projects for several years. To participate you sign up at their website, http://www.arthousecoop.com.
For a fee they send you a small ( 5x 7) sketchbook, you fill it up and mail it back by January 15, 2013. The sketchbooks will then tour seven U.S. cities starting in the spring.
Things to understand about the Sketchbook Project
1. It's an art movement. There are no winners or judging.
2. Due to the large number of sketchbooks on tour, yours will be viewed only a few times. So why do it? Participating is a bit like voting or attending a church service. You become part of something bigger than yourself.
3. The sketchbooks are small with a cardboard cover. The cover can be decorated but you have to leave the bar code on the backside alone. The paper inside the sketchbook is thin. Depending on the medium you choose to work in, you might want to take the pages out and put in your own. It's a common practice.
4. Setting up an account on the co-op web site lets you post your artwork on their site. Once there, you can communicate with thousands of artist from around the world.
5. They ask you to pick a theme for your sketchbook. This is the co-op's way of managing the sketchbooks on tour. The theme is just a jumping off point. I personally love the challenge of a theme, but some people don't. You can go where you want with the sketchbook, don't let having a theme hang you up, it's not that big of a deal.
Through the projects, I have met several local artists I may not have come in contact with otherwise.
Several of these artist have taken the "Mega Bus" to NYC and DC to see the sketchbooks on tour. There are not details on the dates yet, but a Mobile Library with 1,000 sketchbooks is supposed to visit Pittsburgh in November. I will post details when I get them.
If you don't think you want to join The Sketchbook Project, check back with the Arthouse Co-op this winter for their Free Projects and participate in one of those. Be sure to check out the Arthouse Co-op Digital Library, tons of good art.
Visit my page at the co-op http://www.arthousecoop.com/users/Jill-44E/artwork
This is a "for fun" thing to me. The 2011 sketchbook Waterlogged, theme-- A Record Year for Rainfall, cracks me up. I had a lot of fun making that book. London Calling Jill Eudaly, 2012, was a good idea but didn't turn out so well.
The Limited Edition I did last spring will be part of a five volume set of books the co-op is releasing in December. The Limited Edition Project was used to document a Sketchbook Project. I slapped my entry together at the last minute.
If you looked at my work, you know you can do better, so join in the fun!