Technique: Acrylic on Canvas
Community is embodied in this work from the beautiful coworking space at Work-Collective, thus the name. Lines, texture and members’ contributions are visible to highlight the meaning of the community. Vertical lines represent the individual businesses and the blended texture across the lines are blurred to reflect strong community individual strengths, blended together and the picture of beauty.
I visited Work-Collective to tour to find a meeting space for a client coming into town. As I was viewing the facility, and shared more of what I did with my Art, Sara shared a painting project the group did the previous year for the Holiday Party. As we discussed another style of community art, she loved the idea of having the members sign the canvas. After everyone contributed, I would paint an abstract art piece that would be embedded with everyone’s contribution.
In preparation for their Holiday part of December, I printed the Work-Collective logo and stenciled it in pencil before color was added to the logo on the canvas. Each contributor received a Work-Collective branded: “I contribute to art”, along with a link to this very story.
I arrived to set up for the evening of the Holiday party (Dec 15, 2023), I discussed the importance of having a “prompt” for the inspiration for the canvas and Sandra and Allyn brainstormed different words for the prompt. I subscribed to the Work-Collective in early December and even though I had a limited experience at the space, I sensed a deep love for community by a few encounters with emails, events and interactions with other members. One such encounter was with Ryan who generously offered his phone booth for a call when I booked a room incorrectly. The word community kept coming up and so that felt the most authentic prompt for the “community” to contribute that night.
As we enjoyed the buffet, libations and cookies, the members and guests were asked to share what” community” meant to them. Ava, Sara’s daughter was the first to contribute to the canvas.
After getting a trip to grab food and grabbing serrano pepper (that took my breath away) I shared more of the concept with the arriving guest so they could begin thinking about the word they wanted to add to the canvas.
As we wrapped up the evening around 7:15, the canvas was left out in the community over the holidays for other members to contribute to. For the next few weeks others that weren’t able to attend the Holiday party would still have a chance to contribute. I picked up the canvas on January 17th after everyone had a chance to contribute.
When I met with Sara to discuss the style she liked, inspiration for the canvas came from my work called Gratitude. While I have many favorite paintings, that is in my top 3 and it used a couple colors to make the texture and colors.
On January 24, after ordering new paints to replace some of my favorite colors, I set up the canvas and began painting. I started out with a big heart in titanium white, similar to how I began Gratitude. After adding white, I laid down a thick layer of primary blue (about an inch thick that I would spread around the canvas.) I discovered my style of painting years ago where I paint on flat surfaces so I can “pour on the paints” and work with the paint on the canvas. I added orange and kept working the orange back and forth so as not to cover up the logo. I went over it a couple times and the logo wanted to remain visible along with another quote at the bottom, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller. I wanted that to be somewhat seen so I colored it in the only part of the painting that was yellow. I added a lot of white at the top and then used a texture tool to draw our lines. I noticed there was some precise wall paper in the kitchen and was inspired by it to create more of the linear elements to the work. I wrapped up adding more blue at the top and I texturized it further and carried many of the colors throughout the painting. At a certain point, in every painting, you reach a point where there is nothing else to do but let it dry. I reached that point and the more time I spent with it felt complete. Community is embodied in this work.
Contributing to the canvas
Subliminal Layers showing through ““Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller”
Texture close to finish
Dec 13, 14, 2022
Dec 15, 2022 – Jan 17, 2023
Nov 19, 2022 and Jan 12, 2023
Jan 24, 2023
Two Lanes – Belong Gabriel Rios/Thomas Jack – Gold Remix Brick Braun – A Very Good Thing Boney James – It’s on Spyro Gyra – Carol of the Bell
Picture of 5 people holding hands Girl in dress Girl in dress (saying Yay)