Collaboration is the Spice of Life
About two years ago I was invited to join the Firnew Farm Artists Circle in Madison County. Who, me? A photographer? Didn’t they know I couldn’t draw, sketch, paint, or mix colors? As I soon learned, there were other photographers in the group! My affiliation with this talented collection of people has been incredibly inspiring, and I have learned so many things that have made me grow as a photographer. About six months ago two friends in the group and I started discussing a collaboration. One of them is a colored pencil artist, one a watercolorist, and then there’s me….the photographer. A very unlikely TRIO for a collaboration, for sure. But, we set out to see if we could make it work. We kept it our little secret in case we weren’t successful, and we collaborated in the car, at each other’s homes and on email throughout the weeks to come. The challenge was this: each artist contributed one piece for the theme TREES, and it would be passed to the other two for embellishment and change until it emerged as one cohesive and original work of art. When we were finished we would have three pieces, a TRIO of works.
My first challenge as a photographer was to choose a photograph that could serve as a foundation piece for the others. We met together one morning to share our foundation pieces. Now my biggest challenge emerged. What in the world do I add to these beautiful watercolors and colored pencil drawings to make it work? Originally we had talked about working independently, but soon it became apparent that collaborating along the way was going to be the best plan. I needed the most guidance of the three of us because….well, I told you I have a handicap when it comes to art. After they were finished, we discussed how we would sign the pieces. They belonged to all three of us, but three signatures would have overwhelmed the pieces. We thought about using last initials, which were B for Barham (Leslie), L for Lacy (Frances) and T for Temples. BLT! A sandwich. How fitting! We had layered our works together, creating tantalizing original art. Let’s go with it!!
We are very proud of the results, which are now matted, framed and hanging in the Annual Christmas Exhibition of the Firnew Farm Artists Circle through December 27th. You can see them at The Culpeper Cheese Company in Culpeper VA. The opening reception is December 1, 4-6 pm. Please join us if you can!