Nancy Tankersley’s Wednesday Clinic at the Easton Studio has created a group project that hopes to raise money for people in our area most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. The group, all serious painters, has been meeting weekly at Nancy’s studio on Dover Street weekly. Each artist works on projects of their own choosing and Nancy is available for guidance.
Although members come and go as their personal schedules allow, many have bonded as friends as well as fellow artists. When the clinic had to close due to the quarantine, artist Rhonda Ford suggested an idea that might keep them all working with a common purpose. Nancy loved the idea and also saw a teaching opportunity.
The idea was to assign each artist a portion of a scene of Nancy’s choosing and their job was to duplicate what they saw to the best of their ability, closely matching shapes, colors and values. “Artists tend to paint things, but when presented with a project like this they are forced to paint more abstractly since most had no idea what they were painting.
Painting without a preconceived notion of how something is supposed to look usually results in better painting”, explains Tankersley. It is how the small shapes and colors work together that results in a realistic image. Interestingly, this idea of images collectively assembled is known as an “Exquisite Corpse” and started in the 1920’s as a game for artists and writers. Since then it has often been employed by teachers of painting as a learning exercise.
The challenge was to come up with an image that might have common appeal and show appreciation for people most affected by the virus. Nancy chose a picture of the interior of the kitchen at the Bartlett Pear Inn taken a few years ago. In classroom settings, the artists are given pieces of an image that has been cut up into smaller pieces.
In this case, Tankersley had to digitally divide the image into sections that could be emailed to the artists. After the sections were painted by each artist, they were mailed or delivered to Rhonda Ford who carefully glued the images onto a hard surface. The result is an arresting and interesting image and pays homage to the countless workers in the restaurant industry who are so important to our town, but have suffered during this time.
The small differences in style, color choice and scale make the painting appear fractured, giving it a contemporary look. The size is 30 x 30 inches, making it a nice sized addition to a home or a business. The framed painting will go to the highest bidder and ALL proceeds will go to organizations such as The Neighborhood Service Center.
The participating artists were Joy Smith, Adam Kernan-Schloss, Jane Anderson, Mary Clark Confalone, Marianne Kost, Lori Yates, Kathie Rodgers, Rhonda Ford, Kathy Kopec, Patti Hopkins, Joanie Hart, Mignonne La Chapelle, Laura Kapolchok, Stephanie Handy, Diane Tinney, Abby Ober, Mary Ellen Mabe, Arlene Zachman, Diana Dardis, and Nancy Tankersley.