For my mom for Mother’s Day, my boys and I sat down at the kitchen table and each painted a 5×7 canvas. No parameters. No guidance. We each painted our own thing.
In hindsight, I should have established a common theme of some sort, like we each painted with the same blue color or we painted related objects. Our end result was a masterpiece of colorful explosion from Joseph; a subdued, bi-color work of art from Thomas; and an unfinished-looking project from me.
Our three separate works of art don’t look at all connected, and yet, when Thomas got frustrated with his tree that he felt looked nothing like a tree, Joseph suggested he turn his painting upside down. Thomas’ tree became a hill. And after I finished my background and was at a loss for what to do next, Thomas told me it looked like being underwater and suggested I add a shadow of a boat. Since we tend to kayak more than row in this family, the boat became a kayak. I’m not sure how the J’s scrawled across Joseph’s canvas came about, I have a feeling that was his own idea, but Thomas and I were there for creative suggestions had he ask.
So while our finished product may not look collaborative, the process was, and the memory will remain in our art.