“You are born alone. You die alone. The value of the space in between is trust and love.”
Many artists extol the virtue of solitude. We have been taught to think that great works of art are one, coherent idea coming from one painter, one hand, one brushstroke at a time.
But can you imagine twelve artists painting on twelve different canvases, all at the same time? Chaos! you would imagine. How could all those conflicting ideas, techniques, talents and egos work together to produce amazing art for a good cause?
Prince Edward County Studio Paint Around for Good Cause
Valuing the space where trust and love can abide, is what makes Prince Edward County Paint Around work so well, is so intense and in the end, is such great fun. And creates amazing works of art, in a single evening, as raffle prizes for our good cause, Hospice Prince Edward.
Last Saturday night, while the rest of Canada watched the last live performance of Tragically Hip, twelve PEC artists gathered, set up their easels and canvases and prepared their paints.
Prince Edward County Paint Around is a bit like musical chairs, but with artists and easels, with canvasses and art supplies. Twelve painters were put into three groups of four, so four painters worked on four paintings, ending up with (3 x 4) twelve paintings. Music controlled our pace and concentration. Three minutes of slow, calming music to get ourselves ready followed by five minutes of fast music, five minutes in which to paint.
During the first five minutes we each laid down the foundations of ‘our’ painting. When the music changed, we moved on to our neighbour’s canvas to pick up where the previous artist left off and to add our own brushstrokes and touch.
Fast, furious and intense. No time to ask the other painters, “Just what did you mean by that stroke, that colour? Why is that image of a vase of flowers upside down? Huh? Oh, I hope I don’t mess this up. I’m all alone here. Trust and love, Joanna. Just paint!”
Gradually, twelve paintings emerged. Apparently it was great fun to watch them coming to life. As one of the painters, I couldn’t see. I was ‘in the moment’!
When the final whistle blew and it was all over, we could relax, check out each others’ work and ask those nagging questions which had to be set aside while we got on with the work, only to discover that the answer in most cases was, said with a shrug and a laugh, “I don’t know. I have no idea!”
And then those who had bought raffle tickets had their chance. If their number was drawn they got to choose which painting they would like. Happy faces, holding their canvases by the edge, paint still wet. Live art. Living art. Giving art.
We are not born alone. Don’t forget our mothers. They were there with us! And if we’re lucky, we will not die alone. At the very least I hope the memories of family and friends will be with me. And what’s valuable about my time in between? I guess it really is trust and love.
Thanks to all the participating artists. You can see their artists’ pages at PEC Studio Tour 2016.
Mary Brett, Pamela Carter, Philip Dandurand, Annik Depres, Barb Hogenaur, Mia Lane, Sam Sakr, Vicky Sharp, Jennifer Lawton, Richard Leach, Karole Marois.
Thanks to The Local Store for hosting us.
You can still donate to and support the hospice. Go to Hospice Prince Edward.
Prince Edward County Studio Tour 2016
Over the last two weekends in September, 40 PEC artists will open their studios. You’ll get behind-the-scenes access to some of the most interesting artists in Ontario.
Friday to Sunday, September 16 to 18 and Saturday to Sunday, September 24 to 25. 10am to 5pm.
Come and see me. I am Number 34 on the Studio Tour.