Week 15: Teacher/Student Collaborations (part 2)

As I mentioned in the Week 10 post, I’ve begun to work on a few collaborations with students. As part of this project, students start a small 6×8 or smaller composition and exchange it for one of my own in-progress works. Both of us then add to the others work before returning them for the original creator to finish. This has been a really fun project and as the semester has drawn to an end in the past couple of weeks I’ve been working on their pieces in order to return them before finals.

The following works were all presented to me early on and completed during Week 15 – I’ve been too crazed to post about them but these were shared originally through Instagram. I’ll share additional works in the next couple of posts as this has been my primary artistic focus as of late.

Collaboration with Charles:

Charles presented me with the piece to the left above. I found it difficult to know what to do at first because I didn’t know what the symbols were. I finally figured out that the signs are representations of zodiac houses. This helped me determine what to do next. As the unsealed work in oil pastel on computer paper was somewhat poorly mounted to a piece of matboard my first task was to create a surface that I could paint on more easily.

I trimmed up the work and adhered Japanese rice paper on top with acrylic matte medium. This allowed for the original drawing to show through but also evened out the color to create a ground for additional layers. I sprayed the piece with some Dylusions metallic spray and then painting back into it with white gouache. The crab (for Cancer) is not related to either Charles or my individual zodiac sign – it was simply a choice made based on my love of sea life. Charles seemed really happy with the outcome and I have not yet been updated on what he’ll be adding to it to resolve the work.

Charles chose to work on the above piece of mine (left) and added in more abstracted and random elements. I haven’t worked to resolve this further but I’ll share the outcome when I do. I am really not sure what to do with it but I’m thinking that I might try more tissue paper to push back the more high contrasting values to a more subdued color palette.

Collaboration with Rosa:

Rosa’s work was a bit more comfortable for me because her aesthetic is closer to my own and she is a big fan of roses (like her name might suggest). She presented me with the composition on the left below. She and I have birthdays that are only a few days apart and are both Aquarius. She integrated the alchemy signs for Aquarius and I continued the bouquet she’d started with more roses to create more resolved spatial balance overall. In addition I started working with pen and ink to build some texture and value in the inner triangle.

I really wanted to keep working on this – I had ideas about laying in washes of watercolor and embroidering the outline of the triangle, however, in the end I decided that these additions might prevent more creative resolution on Rosa’s part.

Rosa added some of herself to the work she selected from me above (left). She has worked with wave imagery in almost every one of the four courses she’s taken with me and I was happy to see it reoccur here in this collaboration (right). It makes me think of her and the meaning it holds in her life – something that resonates personally with my own at this point in time.

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