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generations (work-in progress)

drawing, embroidery, social practice, 2015-2016

"Take an object / Do something to it / Do something else to it. [Repeat.]"

--Jasper Johns


How many works might I generate from a collaborative drawing exercise in which I participated in 2015?



In the spring of 2015, artist Christian Clayton led a group of six people through a collaborative drawing exercise which he developed with his brother Rob. To begin, each participant was given one enlarged photocopy of a portrait from a high school yearbook. "Draw eyes," he said, "for about five minutes." When the time was up, he said, "Pass the photocopy to your left, and the drawing that you made to your right." This continued for six rounds. The photos of the collaborative drawings below were the result of that exercise. 

In the summer of the same year, I prepared a teaching demo based on the Clayton Brother's exercise for a job interview for an artist-educator position. I brought in these reference portraits--photocopies of photographs (some cropped), from the book County Fair Portraits by Mikkel Aaland.

I did not get the job, but I walked away with some lovely collaborative drawings (chalk pastel on newsprint).

Later that summer I decided to sketch one of the portraits on black linen (with my left hand--I'm right-handed) so that I could make an embroidery. The set was complete in January 2016.

In the spring of 2016 I began this embroidery to experiment with embroidery floss thread count on muslin--what would the stitches look like if I used not the standard 3-strands of thread, but 1- or 2-strands. I used my photocopies from Aaland's book of portraiture as references for this work.

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