04 May 2015


I have been thinking about what to do with this canvas for a couple of years.

Wow. Seriously? I hung up the blank white canvas 3 years ago. Then the following year I painted it yellow. And two months later, a lovely shade of ocean green  (La Mer).

Fresh Canvas
Commitment-phobic artist, much?

I keep thinking I need to pour myself a glass of wine and get busy getting creative before we have our next gathering, but then, I draw a blank when I get the paints out again. I seem to just enjoy painting over things. What does that scream about me?

I love the idea of painting in a group with wine - how wonderful! - but I dislike the idea of everyone painting the same thing. My idea (something that I would like to do a few time this summer) is to host a party with paint, canvas, wine and nosh, but also provide a variety of subjects for my friends/family to paint or sketch to leave with me.

After we rotate around on a few occasions, we'd all have our own original paintings made with love and wine and good times.

But back to La Mer. I have considered leaving the canvas and paints out in the sunroom during a gathering and encouraging guests to make their marks. That might work, but then again, who knows?

So I decided to research the collaboration part of this activity and came across Tunisian Collaborative Painting. A group creates a work together—painting over one another's brushstrokes if they like and deciding by vote when to finish. Interesting.  The concept was developed in the 1980s by Tunis-based journalist and multidisciplinary artist Hechmi Ghachem as a way of bringing artists together during the regime of President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali. These artists participated in the collaborative painting sessions as acts of solidarity. It's all done in absolute silence, monastic silence.

I can't imagine my friends being totally silent but I can imagine having a finished wall hanging in my near future.  Maybe I could shepherd folks into the sunroom in small groups, trade empties for paint brushes for a moment?  I could casually leave out favorite objects in viewing range to see if they make it into the photo. Check back with me in 3 weeks to see if I've been successful...

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