Collaborating: Why it is Important

 In My Blogs

A Collaboration between Sue Hall and Ann Grasso

Collaboration between Sue Hall and Ann GrassoThe 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.

  1. Ego’s must be parked at the door.
  2. Blue-sky format: any and all ideas are welcome.
  3. “Make it work” moments foster growth if everyone applies the attitude that working with the “givens” is required.
  4. 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.

Lynda Lowe Georgiana Nehl Lexicon

The teachers among our readers will find a lesson plan by Ms. McBride at this link:

A current collaborative project Lynda created can be viewed here: I encourage you to spend some time on Lynda’s sites. Your time will be well spent.

Lynda Lowe, Patra Passage


  • 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
Showing 6 comments
  • Roseanne

    I love the finished product. Thanks for the share

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      Ann Grasso

      Thanks Roseanne. I appreciate your commenting publicly. I am gratified that so many people have written to me personally about this blog. My highest hope is people will find pleasure in creating collaborations. Would you like to partner with some others?

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      Ann Grasso

      Rose, your link to a passage regarding “leaves as healing for the nations” adds to this piece immeasurably. A collaboration of words. Thank you.

  • Rose

    I love this blog entry and the idea of collaboration! I also love the featured painting. It reminds me of a Bible passage about a tree in heaven: “…and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.” Thanks, Ann, for this dose of inspiration.

  • Angela Werner

    Ann, this is a fun blog! I have collaborated with my students in creating a finished product where each completes a part of the puzzle. I’ll send you a picture.

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      Ann Grasso

      Oh, I look forward to seeing your collaboration with students. May I ask what you are teaching? I do hope we can find some folk who would like to participate in collaborating on AGPA!

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