Translating Art Through Various MediaMar 18, 2023
Translating Through Various Media
A bit more than a year ago, my friend Jill and I began a book collaboration that has been so useful and fun for both of us that we decided to continue. We will eventually bind the books using coptic stitching and gorgeous covers of one kind or another. Our method has, so far, remained the same, our spark of inspiration will continue to change.
Our method is as follows:
We each begin with three double-page spreads. On the left side is drawn a grid of nine rectangles made up of three rows of three columns. The right side is left blank for a full-page rectangle. We each draw three different line drawings, or monochromatic sketches, in the first column. The pages are then exchanged. In the second column we create collages inspired by the sketches. The pages are again exchanged. The third column is for a painting that is informed by both the sketch and the collage. The left side of the double-spread is now complete. The original three sketches have evolved from line drawings or monochromatic sketches, through collage interpretation and into small paintings. The right-side of the double spread is for a unique work in any medium, or mixed media, informed by all nine of the thumbnail studies on the left side of the double-spread.
First time around, Jill and I chose our subject matter arbitrarily for each of our three pages, keeping the subject the same for all three sketches on each page. We made a notes to indicate what the sketches were about. The colour palette was determined in the collage stage during which the second artist interpreted the drawing of the first artist.
Our current group of pages is slightly different in that we started off by choosing paintings created by Patrick Heron, colour mapping the paintings to develop the colour palettes. In addition to utilizing Heron's colour palettes, we also challenged ourselves to observe Heron's techniques and incorporate them, one way or another, into our work. The above video illustrates the stage of these pages shortly after I arrived in Wales several weeks ago. Through this exchanging of pages, both of us have been forced to expand our horizons in ways we might not have otherwise done. It's been wonderful as well as entertaining. For those of you who are participating in the Colour Mapping Community, you will recognize this as our current Challenge. In the Challenge, the artists are translating each stage themselves rather than working collaboratively with another artist. The two experiences (working alone and working collaboratively) are quite different. Both are richly rewarding.
Though just starting off, the Colour Mapping Community has already become a nurturing place for sharing the work of artists we enjoy, artists who inspire us and a place for encouraging one another to experiment with techniques that we are not completely comfortable with. I smile thinking about some of the work that has been posted that is absolutely fabulous in a medium that the artist "has never enjoyed".
If you haven't taken a look at the work created in the Challenges, I encourage you to take a peek. Go to the Colour Mapping Community and click on the Challenges tab. Then click on the different challenges to view the work posted and the comments being made. If you have not signed onto the Community before, feel free to become a member. There is no charge for membership. You can register through the link on my website store. Don't worry, you won't be charged anything ... you just need to go through the process of "enrolling". If you run into any difficulties, please contact me.
I'll be heading back to the States next week to begin final preparation for the launch of the updated version of The Color Scheme Game online course that begins on May 11th. Maximum number of students is 25. If you aren't able to make it into the spring course, don't fret. It will be run again in the autumn. Unlike my previous online courses, the new courses are scheduled at specific times so that we may share our work with one another AND have interactive live sessions that are recorded for those who are unable to attend at the designated time. Very exciting!
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