Week 17: Teacher/Student Collaborations (part 4)

The semester is just about over and I’ve finally finished the remainder of the first stage of my teacher student collaborations . The following works were completed rather last minute this semester but I managed to return them by the last day of classes last week.

Collaboration with Dana:

If you’ll remember from Week 16 I mentioned that I actually tossed out a specific challenge to my students to throw me by giving me anything they wanted – something unexpected to completely make me work outside of my “comfort zone” as I’ve been asking them to do all semester. The reason I mentioned that this was possibly not the best idea is because of students like Dana. (*sigh*)

Dana is a charming young man with a genuinely sweet disposition.  He certainly threw me for a loop when he sheepishly gave me the composition above (left) and skeptically asked me if it was okay. Context: I had to talk to Dana about his very Georgia O’Keefe-esque flowers earlier in the semester leaving him very embarrassed and unsure of how to develop his work in a way that was less… feminine. So, I took it serious and told him I could work with it – this is the liberal arts after all.

The composition on the right was my solution. I turned the primary subject matter into a group of mushrooms with the addition of gouache and added a couple of platforms for additional elements (like more mushrooms). In the one on the left I decided to leave it unfinished for Dana to work back into. I’m curious what he’ll add to the third platform.

In my composition (left) that Dana worked back into (right) he was a bit more tame. He added a few insects to the mix and some pale color. He seemed a little hesitant and uncertain about how to work on the surface of my piece but I think that when I go back in I can resolve the wash and make some areas more vibrant and intentional.

Collaboration with Khen:

Khen is not a current student. He actually graduated a while ago. He and I worked together in multiple classes but also in founding the art club on our campus. Khen and I have kept in touch through social media and I actually taught his little sister in my Drawing I class this term. Through her we were able to exchange our collaboration pieces.

He sent me a drawing of a cat butt – an inside joke among all who have taken my Drawing I class in which the biggest hurdle is the sighting of a photograph with a cat figurine in it. Over the years this assignment became “affectionately” called Cat Butt. Now, those who have survived seem to reference this trial as a common battle won and the veterans of this war bond in their shared misery… you may think I’m being melodramatic but, seriously


In my addition I included some watercolor flowers and a few circles for a more graphic aesthetic. In only a couple of days after giving the result to Khen, he posted his resolved composition on his Instagram (@kusay0193).

Khen choose the work to the left (above) and added in the floating figure as well as another small reference to Cat Butt (I really think I’ve scarred some of these guys for life). I really like this and am glad that he carried over the light blue wash in the way that he completed his work. I plan to bring in some of the yellow that I added in to that one into this when I wrap it up.

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