Last summer, from the heart of my garage in Edmonton Alberta Canada, a colossal project was initiated between myself and multi-talented friend Adriano Aschenbrenner. We had the outrageous idea to paint a 32 foot x 5.5 foot canvas under the summer sun, with fast drying acrylics, good tunes, and a small gathering of neighbors as cheerleaders. No small undertaking, but exciting nonetheless! We chose to collaborate by painting at the same time which was a new and challenging concept to me on it's own, as I normally prefer to work alone. However, it's always good to challenge ourselves and keep open-minded to new opportunities, right? This felt like the RIGHT time to jump right in brush first and experience something fresh and maybe even exhilarating.
The sheer size of the surface we were creating upon also posed some interesting questions. To give you an idea, 32 feet is the length of a large cross-country moving truck, and just under my hieght in width if I lie down next to it. However I prefered to simplify the daunting length by thinking of it as a science fact: On Earth, a free-falling object accelerates at 32 feet per second. So, I thought, if I were to throw down my paint quickly enough this could be merely 1 seconds worth of work. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy. Not so scary anymore.
Before pouring paint to canvas, Adriano and I met up a couple of times for coffee and free-thought discussions about the idea we were going to tackle, with some timed concept drawing sessions tacked on to our early stage development as well. I prefer to work in the moment, but when working with a canvas of this size and with a new partner, and a thousand dollars worth of paint, I think the little bit of pre-planning connection and concept discussion did us a favor. Plus concept design is a lot of fun on it's own.
We started our painting adventures one sunny noon-hour with yerba-mate, a tango playlist, buckets of paint, and hopes of visionary grandeur. I was buzzing with over-stimulation like a 5 year old at Disneyland for the first time. As soon as we mixed the first colors on a makeshift palette, I immediately forgot all the concept and pre-painting discussions shared between my painting partner and I, and my mind began swirling and vibrating with a multitude of color and forms all competing to be the initial contestant on the art project of the year: The Garage Masterpiece. I had to calm myself down a bit and give the selfish side to my brain a talking to. Afterall, this was about sharing, fun, and collaboration, not to satisfy my greedy solo creative needs, haha!
Next step: As we combined efforts our individual work and ideas began to overlap. We didn't judge what the other was creating or lend much advice. Instead it was more interesting to see what the other would do in the moment. We chose to stay open minded with color, media and brush strokes, that were rendered under the influence of a hot sun, and music that invited dance steps to go along with color application, and a light conversation about worldly things. We chose to work partially in the garage, and also with our art project rolling out and down the driveway as well, which lured the neighbors in to watch and ask questions. After several sessions the garage masterpiece has evolved in to something highly interesting and although not completed is already considered a success and achievement to me. It was (and is) a highly exciting and ambitious project we took on and I regret nothing. I discovered that I really get SATISFACTION from working with the right partner.
My hope was that our final creation would become cohesive, and at the very least our styles would stand up or even relax in to a parallel partnership that would play off of each other. With confidence I can say that was attained. Thank you for your time, patience and inspired creativity on this project Adriano. I am a better artist because of it.