In July, I was given the opportunity to be the featured guest at the New Boston, NH Farmers Market. They gave me a tent and a table in the center of the market and the chance to do a painting demo or whatever I wanted. I wanted to do a large participatory art project. I have done this on a small scale with up to five friends, but I hoped I could get a lot more people to participate.
There was nice weather on the day of the market, which was a break from the prevaling rainy pattern. I had many large tubes of paint and a bunch of clean tuna cans to squeeze the paint into. I had loads of brushes in various sizes and two 24x48 inch surfaces -- one was canvas and the other plywood prepped with a coat of gray housepaint. That second one, was just a spare in case the canvas got covered over the course of the three hours the market ran. It turned out that I could have used even a third surface, I had so many participants.
My own paintings are geometric abstracts based on quilt patterns, and what I expected was that at the end of the market I'd have a couple of colorful surfaces that I could use as a backgrounds on which to superimpose triangles or stars. However, when I got the paintings home I couldn't bring myself to paint over them. They are too good. They are so much more than what I expected. They are full of movement and interest and joy. They are portraits of the best in people. Maybe the term collective consciousness applies.
As I write this, the paintings are hanging in the New Boston Whipple Free Library. It's possible they'll be in this year's library auction. I've also made them available on a print-on-demand site so that they can be printed on a pillow or a coffee cup or made into a puzzle. (There are lots of options.)
Be in touch if you'd like to host or participate in a collaborative art experience and we can work together on an idea.