Wednesday, August 24, 2011

How Collaborative Painting Works

I Will Walk You
Acrylic and rhinestone on canvas board
5 x 7 inches
by Moonka Minka, Jake Fabrycki, Anne J. Paris

This past year, my good buddy @moonkaminka turned me on to collaborative painting. We started a huge canvas at my house on a night when several friends were over. At least five different people worked on the painting, and when the night was done, so was the painting. I took it to school, where I got tons of positive feedback on it. That led me to have the kids make some collaborative paintings. When I get a chance, I will will post pics of those here. Meanwhile, here's a little 5 x 7 collaborative painting that has the following lineage:

I asked my high school students to make a painting in the style of the surrealists. One student, let's call him Jake (because that's his name), came up with a sketch of a town where people had melon heads, and they could shop for different heads at the melon store. He soon realized the size of the canvas was not going to accommodate his vision, so he switched to paper and pencil. I took the sketch and proceeded to fill in the large blocks with color. Then the school year ended. The other night, Moonka Minka was at my house, and I asked her to finish the painting. Here's the result.

The secret to collaborative painting is that you really cannot care about controlling the outcome, which can make it a good exercise in the artistic process, because ideally, we should not be worried about the finished product at ANY point in the creative process until it's time for signing and framing. Or actually maybe just when it's time for hanging.

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