About a month ago I noticed a post by one of my current students on Instagram requesting other artists to collaborate with him. Jordan – aka @rippleeffect61 – has a style that is uniquely different than mine so I hesitated at first, wondering if I would be able to do something with the challenge. The teacher in me got the better of me though and the delight in throwing a student a few curve balls motivated me to respond to his post.
We decided to each create a small 8×10(ish) composition and then swap them before giving them back to the original creator. Below are the first stages that we swapped.
Jordan gave me the work on the left which had curved edges on 1 side (it had been cut from a heavy duty sketchbook). I trimmed his piece down to have 4 curved edges and matched mine to his in size and edge format as well before giving him my piece (on right).
I created my work on bristol paper with acrylic paint and a homemade gelli plate and added some gold leaf and contractors sheet rock tape.
After the initial exchange we agreed that we’d keep swapping back and forth until we thought they felt complete. With such disparate styles this push/pull has made a lot of difference in the overall cohesion of the work.
Because my Week 10 corresponded with our college’s spring break, I spent some extra time to make my contributions (the second round of my own piece and the first round on Jordan’s) as comprehensive as possible using water-media and ink.
I started with Jordan’s original work. Because I couldn’t figure out where to start or how I’d tie together more realistic imagery (my style) with the imaginative and chaotic symbols and marks I decided to provide some positive/negative layering to help create more interaction between each of our styles. This also made it easier for me to plug in a flower for some more contrast. Although I see the orientation as being one way, I’m curious to see what Jordan does with it at this point.
Jordan returned the work I started with additional marks with gel pen and pastel to echo some of the circular elements from the tape and gold leaf. One of the things I liked the most was the eye.
I immediately felt like the lighter area around the eye took on the natural shape of a bird neck. Because of some other work I’ve been planning, swans were a natural direction.
I quite like this second piece as is – technically according to our original conception, the work could be done at this point. However, as Jordan’s marks were minimal in the final work, I wanted to see if there was anything he’d like to add back in. I am not sure that he’ll do much but we’ll see – it is just part of the fun.
This has been a fun experiment – one that I am planning on encouraging with other students in the Art Club and my advanced classes. While this means some extra work for me, I think I am up for the challenge.
It will be nice to have the pieces to take with me when we move this summer and I have to say goodbye.