painting collaboration in progress & the shoulder of artist, Stewart BremnerThis week was a bit scattered in the art department. I followed through with a few leads, sold a couple more flashcards and made a house call regarding the large commission. I also started a collaborative painting with visiting Scottish artist Stewart Bremner. He started the large canvas, worked on it for about ten to fifteen minutes listening to his music while I watched. I then plugged my ipod in and dove into the painting also for about ten to fifteen minutes with my music on as my usual guide.
Working with another artist is a complex process. I have done it before with English artist Steven Heaton on our delay before abandon piece, but it is a different process when the artist you are working with is actually in the room with you.
It is an interesting thing to watch an artist you admire as they choose their colors, their brushes and plan their next move. The color choices and strokes you recognize after studying their work, yet you also recognize the fact that this work it is not going to be your own but something shared and new, a strange hybrid. My internal dialog while watching Stewart paint runs amok..."Do I paint over that, do I leave it? What if I don't like raw umber...?" Let's just say there was a spirited debate during and after painting. There are lines and boundaries that get pushed and crossed when collaborating with other artists, even ones you are close to. We laid the frame work for something is about all I can say. Will this painting be something we will ever show? Is this just an exercise? Only time will tell.
I enjoyed the experience and I look forward to working back into the painting with Stewart and seeing how it evolves. We have set some basic guidelines and have agreed that both of us want more time with the painting and more consistent music selection. Alternating every ten minutes just never let me connect to the piece or go inside of the painting the way I am used to doing when I work. It is a telling experience, one that I look forward to exploring further this week. I will keep you posted!
Until then keep fighting...