For our second autumn session in the ArtLab Studio, I set up a collaborative painting on canvas for my students. Each chose their color (some colors, like pink, we mixed, which of course is an event in itself) and then the girls painted in turn, encouraged to give each other space and to take their time.
As the painting developed, they exchanged colors, brushes, and thoughts. They tried to guess what each was going to add to the painting. They talked about what they might paint next.
At a certain point, I suggested that we circle the painting and paint from both sides of the canvas. The change in perspective led to an even freer approach.
And finally the big question was posed to me: Who gets to take this painting home? This was actually the perfect question. My plan for my classes at the ArtLab Studio is above all, to create the sense of a working artist’s studio, where improvisation and experimentation drive the direction of the projects. I hadn’t planned on making a series of collaborative paintings on canvas, but the idea came as a result of the enthusiasm for what the girls had made. So we would create at least three more paintings before the end of our session in December, and each child would have one to take home. Now, who will choose which?