Collaborating: Why it is Important
A Collaboration between Sue Hall and Ann Grasso
The original unfinished watercolor was by Sue Hall, a lake scene she decided to scrap. Since the watercolor paper was still good on the opposite side, Sue offered the blank side as a practice sheet in a mixed media class she was teaching. As one of her students, I decided to work over her unfinished piece instead. Adding gesso to the first areas of addition did not spoil the watercolor. We exchanged three more times for a total of six entries.
In general, we do not like other people touching or adding to our art. However, when there is consent, much is to be gained. The finished piece may not be something either of us wants because it is not our own style. The value comes in seeing possibilities we might never have considered. Unlike going to museums and viewing the work of others, additive work on something we have created provides more visceral reactions.
In the case of the watercolor above, the tree in the foreground with large leaves, not only changes scale, but also offers a surrealistic view of one tree having many species of leaves. The addition of the boat showed the white area to be water. The addition of the moon helps balance the white.
For collaborations to work, regardless of the genre, there are some entry-level ground rules.
- Ego’s must be parked at the door.
- Blue-sky format: any and all ideas are welcome.
- “Make it work” moments foster growth if everyone applies the attitude that working with the “givens” is required.
- Realizing that not every idea is worth pursuing but it goes in the “parking lot” anyway. It may be worthy in the future.
Lynda Lowe worked with a fellow artist Georgiana Nehl to create Lexicon.
The teachers among our readers will find a lesson plan by Ms. McBride at this link: https://lhs.loswego.k12.or.us/z-mcbrides/art%203/lexicon/lessonplan.htm
A current collaborative project Lynda created can be viewed here: https://patrapassage.com/. I encourage you to spend some time on Lynda’s sites. Your time will be well spent.
What collaborations interest you?
How might you make the collaboration possible?
Please comment so others might connect with you.
If you are interested but are not sure of the best way to begin, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.