Monday, March 23, 2015

A Collaborative Painting

On Friday, I spent the day with my friend Francine. We've known each other for twenty-two years and - finally - did something we've talked about for ages: a collaborative painting. Francine is a professional painter and I, as you know, am a total amateur.





Neither of us had ever done a collaborative piece and we worked really well together. I was surprised by how often our thoughts about what should be next were the same or when I'd be watching her turn and think I hope she puts some of that there... and then she would. Francine said that's because I'm an artist and it didn't matter that I wasn't familiar with painting with acrylics because I was familiar with the art process. Hmm...





We started with this piece of mine. Back in November when I was painting my kitchen, I had jokingly covered a canvas with black paint and added three big X's. Because the paint was enamel, I primed over it  to make sure our adventure would stick. Rolling the primer left some shading as a starting point including that one bit that looked somewhat like the Eiffel Tower.





Francine started and then we kept trading turns. Above is after our first turn and below...





... is is after our second turn. At first, we didn't discuss with each other what we wanted to do and simply responded to the other's work. By the end, we were doing a lot more discussion and - again - it was fun to see how often our thoughts were along the same line.





Knowing that a well designed piece can be viewed from every position and still show solid design, we made sure to turn the canvas frequently.





Not having used paints before, I had no idea how much to pour out and I learned that the used paint cannot go back in the container in-case it is contaminated in some way. When I poured too much, we used the excess to paint the edges.





Above is the end of our third turn and below is the end of our fourth turn. I think. I started...





... to lose track because once you become engrossed in the work, it's really hard to remember to take a picture. It tends to stop the flow and when you're in the flow, the last thing you want to do is stop it.






Francine has a huge studio with all kinds of paints, toys, and tools. We experimented with stencils, and paint inks, and pens that you fill with paint to write, and with tape, lids and tubes and there was so much more we could have done. Some of the techniques I'd have liked to try weren't possible because there wasn't enough drying time. I did have to go home that night.





When we got to the point above, we decided that the design was established and it was time to start shading and adding depth to the painting.





Francine jokingly told me to listen because now she was going to be the instructor. Too funny. She taught me how to rub on and off the black paint to add shadowed edges to the shapes within the painting. It'll take me a while to develop better technique but it's HIGHLY ADDICTIVE. You start seeing shapes and edges everywhere and wanting to highlight them. Even with my lack of skill and several oops, the painting turned out not too bad.





At five o'clock, we had to call it done even though there were all kinds of lines we'd both have liked to keep exploring. It's a two and a half hour drive and I needed to go home. I brought the painting back with me and when we have time we'll add a few more finishing details and sign the piece.





The finished painting is very graffiti-like. It's a great mix of both our styles. Right now, it's hanging on the lime-green wall in my upstairs hallway and the wall color is adding even more glow to the painting's colors. It was a lot of fun to paint with Francine and it was a lot of fun to paint. It's something I'd like to do more of.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - a fun day with a friend, developing new skills, safe travels

I dream my painting and then paint my dream.
- Vincent van Gogh

12 comments:

  1. That looked like fun! Thanks for sharing the experience.

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    1. You're welcome. It was a lot of fun.

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  2. That turned out great! Now you just need a matching necklace. ;-)

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    1. LOL - I could certainly turn some painted canvas into some necklaces. That's an adventure for my new studio.

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  3. What a blast of a day Myrna! just great you two have the opportunity to set up such a fun day and grabbed it :)

    And i like that piece a lot - i can just see it in my mind's eye hanging on the lime wall, vibrating away. Love it! Thanks for sharing :)

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    1. You're welcome. It was a fun day.

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  4. The evolution of this painting is amazing! Not only does it look great, but it looks like fun to do as well.

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    1. It's intriguing to watch the layers build up and start interacting with each other. I took a class several years ago that used bubble wrap and corrugated cardboard and other things like that to create texture. Playing. So good for us.

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  5. What fun! If it was me, it would look like something the cat left a hairball on. lol. How lovely to share your experience with a professional artist and what an amazing result.

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    1. LOL - painting with a hairball could add some interesting texture. It was great to be able to ask how-to questions and "apprentice" as I painted.

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  6. What fun! I tried this a few years ago with a good friend however my result was not as pleasing to the eye. I had it in my head that I was supposed to create dimension by going for a 3D affect. I used so much paint that it took weeks for the painting to dry. My friend thought I should stick to water colors - not as expensive for supplies. It sure was fun though.

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    1. Or just practice some more. I want to learn how to use the gel mediums to create the texturing 3D effect and I'm curious because i think it goes on the bottom and how do I know what to do with it when I'm building the piece organically. I can see lots of play time in that.

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Thanks for commenting. I appreciate the feedback and the creative conversation.