This will be the second time I have participated in Kat Sloma's swap and I would thoroughly recommend it. It's very simple; you send 5 cards to Kat who redistributes them to swappers around the world and you get five back, plus a bonus card from Kat herself. (I rather suspect that most of us include a bonus card for Kat too).
I chose to send 6 different cards and sent them off in rather a rush just before going on holiday - this means that I now don't know which ones I sent except for the two I have had news of (this is much better than last year when I didn't find out if anyone had received my cards - and it is such fun when someone posts them on the Facebook page or emails to tell you of their safe receipt!)
The first of my cards appeared on Facebook right at the beginning of the swap - I was so excited. the picture is of a window of the George Hotel Yarmouth dressed for the Queen's Jubilee last summer. The George is a wonderful old building formerly the residence of the governor of the Isle of Wight. King Charles 1 spent the night there on his way to imprisonment in Carisbrook Castle and ultimately his death at the hands of Oliver Cromwell.
This is the second card I had news of and I was moved to receive this message from Will who lives near Boston
'I received your post card yesterday...Rodin's "The Thinker" with the Einstein quote. Very nice. Doubly so since it arrived the day after the Boston Marathon bombings'
Now to the cards I received. First to arrive was a fun Yoga card from Sassy, very apt as I have just started yoga classes. it was closely followed by a fun monocrome design from p'shaw designs which had this hand written quote on the back
Next up was a violin and bow on exhibition in the musical instrument museum in Arizona from Deanie Houghtaling, This card had a quote too, printed on the back this time.
this was followed by this Colourful mixed media piece from Tina Wittmer, this time with a quote on the front
Then we get to the 5th card, the one thats really got me thinking about why we participate in the swap. Obviously I can only speak for my own motivation. I do it because it's fun, it's a way of exchanging real as opposed to virtual art across continents, and it fosters connectivity and community. Other benefits might include additional traffic to my web site but they are extras. Overall I see the swap as an exchange of gifts between artists. When I received my 5th card I was surprised to see that the artist's website and email address was printed prominently over the photograph on the front of the card, thereby diminishing my pleasure in the art. On the back of the card was a promotional statement, so I guess the artist uses these as business cards. Nothing wrong with that of course, but for me it didn't capture the spirit and generosity of the swap. Plus it really spoiled much of my enjoyment of the picture, taking away from the concept of sharing gifts. For that reason I am not posting a picture of the card on my blog.
Finally I received Kats's lovely card - thank you so much for organising the swap agin Kat, I know you have also inspired a number of smaller swaps in some of the other artistic communities I am involved with.