"Red Lips" - A Collaboration with my Toddler

June 24, 2015

A Collaboration with my Toddler

"Red Lips"

by Eve and Ruth Oosterman

It has been just about a year since Eve and I began to seriously collaborate together and we have come such a long way from where we started. I am so blessed to not only be able to share one of my greatest passions with her, but have her fully embrace every aspect of it. What once began from her scribbling with a black marker and using watercolor to create collaborated paintings has now evolved into something so much more complex. Although she provided me with inspiration, color and theme suggestions in the beginning using the limited vocabulary of a two year old, we are now able to sit and paint simultaneously as we discuss the art piece's vision and journey together.

 I have loved being able to connect with Eve on such an intense, creative level that has bonded us in ways I never thought possible. Along with those priceless memories there has been an invaluable amount of teaching and guidance, from Eve. She has taught me how to accept my "mistakes" as part of the artistic process, to see and use colors in ways I never thought possible and most of all patience.

When we were painting "Red Lips"I , ironically, had to keep mine zipped shut. (which is not an easy feat for me) When I saw her take the red paint and cover up the lips followed by using black (her favorite color) all over the face I felt myself cringe. As an artist you can have such a clear cut idea of what you want that it is easy to forget and ignore all of the other amazing possibilities, she is my constant reminder of what could be. I kept my mouth firmly shut and continued to paint at her side, reminding myself that she sees things in ways I never could or will.

I am so thankful I kept my big mouth shut. Although it was far from my original vision, the painting was miles beyond what I thought possible in all the best ways. Eve made this piece sing with color, energy and passion in ways I couldn't, just by using her beautiful and creative mind.

 It may be hard to let go but that is the beauty in collaborating. It is going on a journey with someone else and taking turns holding the reins with no judgement or criticism, but simply being open to any and all possibilities. It requires patience, an open mind and the ability to compromise, all skills that I definitely need to work on and so Eve has truly become my teacher.

I only hope that one day she can grasp just how much she has taught me in life.

So here is what we created side by side.

As you can see in the video time lapse, once Eve broke out the crackers she decided she was done her portion of the piece. Later on I added some details on the face and used a black pencil crayon to add depth and texture to the hair. I absolutely love this type of collaborating with her that begins off with a basic sketch which she helps me "color" in. Our collaborations have evolved from her starting and I finishing, to us painting simultaneously instead. I am excited to see what other ways to collaborate we discover next!

Make sure to watch the Time Lapse Video to see how "Red Lips" was created.

Prints will be available through our Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/EvesImagination?ref=hdr_shop_menu 

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