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Monday, January 16, 2006

Collaborative Work.



For an introvert, I seem to be collaborating quite a bit with other artists, recently. A couple of the pieces I've made with June Underwood have featured on her blog. Today, the pictures on here are of a piece I've been working on with Thelma Smith.

It didn't start out, for me, as a collaborative piece. I made a top with the working title of 'Vanishing Point', which I thought was altogether too structured for me...so it lay around. Thelma had seen a photo of it, and liked it, so I sent it to her with a parcel of other bits and pieces. I didn't expect it to come back again, the top changed, sandwiched up and part quilted! I have to confess that I looked at it and thought, what am I going to do with that? So I added some paint and some stitch, and didn't feel any better about it, and put it away.

Over the last week, though, I've been working on it again. It is still sans title; poor Thelma doesn't even know that I'm writing about it here, and she will have to decide whether she might want it back to add to. You like surprises, don't you, Thelma??? It is pictured here. What was a pale coloured top with a dramatic black streak added to it, with some paint added, has become something different. I'm still not sure that it's finished, I think it might want to be foiled...or Thelma may have other ideas. As always, though, it didn't turn out the way I expected it to.

I like working collaboratively. It makes me take a step back from the piece I'm working on, and really look at what is going on in it, before I add anything. I think, when you work on a piece day in, day out over a specific period, you get too close to it. Sending it off for someone else to work on it is certainly a leap of faith; but it also encourages you to step outside of your comfort zone, gives you time to think, and to make design and other decisions in response to what's going on in the piece itself, rather than what is going on in your head at any one time on any one day. Myself, I think it slows me down, and I think that's a good thing.

I wonder who else is out there working collaboratively? Anyone? It would be good to hear a bit about your experiences.

3 comments:

thelmasmith said...

Oh, Marion, I do indeed like surprises. It is a joy to see the progress of a work neither of us was enthralled with. I like the rhythm and cadence of the additional brushwork zig zags. You've done well in pulling together a work that each of us left sort of scattered at the beginning. I keep going back and looking. I think foil may be just the ticket. thelma

marion said...

Technically, I think that was the problem...it needed pulling together, and the paint by itself wasn't enough. Lutradur to the rescue...with about three layers of dye on it. I even know where the foil *is* !!

janet dennie said...

I love the idea of collaborative art. Congrats Thelma and Marion for making this piece. I love it.