Melissa Tomlinson Newell

Avery/Newell: Working Collaboratively

The newer works on this site represent a six-year creative collaboration focused on the natural. The impetus for these pieces was based on our shared interests in gardening, birds, collage and mixed media design.

Groupings and themes emerged organically. We passed pieces back and forth until both of us felt we had fully explored the material, the surfaces, and finally, the meaning. When we first started this experiment in creative collaboration, we were often surprised and a bit unnerved by the work we received and briefly left with “What am I supposed to do?” Once we each moved past this initial discomfort, we found we each had the ability to let go of any sense of preciousness and instead to trust the process. Over time our pieces and work evolved, with each of us responding to the marks, color use and forms as we pushed each other in new directions.

Now there is less anxiety over how to respond, but genuine excitement as we take on new challenges. We continue to draw on both the strengths and weaknesses of each other. As we continue to explore new ideas and directions, we have also discovered the joy of working in the studio together for some part of the process. These sessions have become particularly generative with the feeling of improvisational art while we move about the studio, wearing our COVID masks, socially distanced but totally immersed in the body of work we are creating. Currently we have well over 100 collaborative pieces.

A future post COVID dream is to expand the collaborative experience by inviting artist friends, family, and former students to participate. Our belief is the creative process is most fully realized and celebrated through collaboration.  

One comment on “Avery/Newell: Working Collaboratively

  1. Pingback: These Plant Paintings Made My Stress Magically Disappear

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