Our self-expressions group meets here at the shop every month. We are primarily a discussion group (topics vary but generally are related to art or creativity in some way). But we also do a challenge project every year. We have had fun with our projects and it is always exciting to see what everyone creates. We have a wide variety of artistic people in our group, ranging from quilting to fiber art to paper arts to jewelry makers to painters and pretty much everything in between. Which is why the challenges are always so interesting to do.
Our challenges usually start with a basic parameter of size or sub-strata to be used. Then there is either a topic or theme of some kind that we are pursuing. After that it is all up to the artist to decide what they are creating.
This challenge is called a Whisper challenge – or sometimes it is called a Telephone challenge. Remember the game of Telephone when we were kids? One person whispers in the ear of the next person some phrase or comment. Then each person whispers in the next person’s ear and it keeps going around the room until the last person tells out loud what they heard. Invariably it is nowhere near what the original phrase was, and laughter and hilarity follows.
For our group – the Whisper challenge was done this way. We all started with a 12×12 stretched canvas (a very nice size to work on), and each person had one month to work on their piece, so a total of 4 months from start to finish for the challenge. One person took a photo of something that was to be used as our original whisper. We then divided into 4 groups of 4 people each, with each person given a number 1, 2, 3, or 4 within their group. The #1 person in each group received a copy of the photo to use as their source of inspiration. We could do an exact copy of the photo or pull one small section of the photo out or take the photo and use it as inspiration to create something entirely different. No rules!
The #1 person then gave their finished piece to the #2 person in their group. The #2 person did NOT get to see the original photo, only the finished piece from #1. They were then to take that piece and create their own piece, pulling out whatever inspired them. The #2 person then gave their finished piece to #3, but #3 did NOT get to see the photo or the piece from #1. #3 gave their finished piece to #4, who did NOT see any of the other pieces or the original photo either. You get the picture.
Some of the group took their inspiration from the style or the subject matter, some people took it from the colors, some people took it from some small part, some people took inspiration from the feelings that were inspired.
At the Big Reveal party, we had each group share their art, starting with #1, then #2, then #3, then #4. It was quite interesting to see how each group progressed. After we all shared what we had created, then we showed everyone the original photo that was used. So much fun!
Here is the original photo that was used for the challenge.
original photo by Liz Kettle
Here is group #1 and their interpretation.
by Deb Prewitt
by Asha Watson
by Donna Goodrum
by Terza Ekholm
Here is group #2.
by Kerry Cain
by Venisa Gallegos
by Cindy Sorenson
by Cass Mullane
Here is group #3.
by Linda Logan
by Lori Nicholson
by Lisa Black
by Deb Martin
Here is group #4.
by Kathy Genz
by Ruth Chandler
by Juli Heintz
by Lita Montano
It was interesting to note that the #1 person in each group pulled the grid from the windows and the tree to focus on. Then each person after that just took off with the interpretation. Very cool!
There is lots of variety in these pieces, lots of texture (which is hard to see in the photos), lots of different mediums used, and amazing creativity. These pieces will be hanging in the shop for awhile so stop by to see them in person if you get the chance.
This was a fun challenge and we will definitely do it again at some point. Perhaps you could do a similar challenge with your own art groups.
Let Your Inner Artist out to Play
Blue Twig Studio – 5039 N Academy Blvd – Colorado Springs, CO 80918