Final Stage of three-part collaborative art project on 10″ square panel for ‘We’ Exhibit at Connexions Gallery, Easton, PA.

Stage Two & Three of 'We' Panel

Stage One: Application of flowers on white background by Megan Crouse

Stage Two: Transformation into Self-Portrait wearing Swimming Cap by Michelle Neifert

Stage Three: Addition of two figures and development of color and value design by Chris Carter

I had to complete my panel early so that I can return it prior to my surgery.  What a fun project.  The greatest challenge was to preserve the contributions of the previous artists while making an idnetifiable contribution of my own.

In the first panel I wanted to simply provide an initial seed of inspiration without dictating the direction that the second artist could move toward.

First Panel - Stage One by Chris Carter

The second panel was challenging because so much of the ‘story’ was already told.  It didn’t give me very much room for my own input and still leave room for the third artist.  I felt badly about altering the foreground figure as much as I did, but I had to change the expression in order to connect with the painting.  The mural behind the figures was my main contribution.  I left the second figure exactly as it was.

Second Panel - 'We' collaborative project

The third panel was the most fun of all and the most challenging.  I knew that the first stage was the application of flowers on a white background because I was at the gallery when Megan dropped it off.  I loved the transformation of the flowers into a 1950’s Swimming Cap by Michelle Neifert.  It was one of those fabulous, costly ($5.00) bathing caps that I never had and always wanted.  My first challenge was to develop a design pattern of values for the panel.  I came up with about six and chose the one I liked best.  Into that pattern I designed figures that fit within that design.  I was tempted to paint over the dark circle in the lower right corner.  It presented the largest challenge of all, bringing a great deal of attention to itself.  The only solution I could come up with was to create a rather large breast around it.  Working backwards from the design to the ‘story’ was exhilarating.  I used oil paints to paint over the layers of acrylic applied by the first two artists.  Fortunately their layers were thin and did not present a problem painting over in oil.  The end result allows plenty of room for interpretation and smiles, a little serious, a little silly.

I’m already looking forward to next year’s ‘We’ exhibit.