We painted together on Saturday. Well he painted and I packed and prepared for my upcoming workshop trip to Nova Scotia and dabbled at my painting. I think at one point Dick started to lose interest or get a little frustrated in his piece then started to make some pretty bold moves to make dramatic changes. Sometimes a great tactic, other times great folly. Well, it worked out for him. He was scraping and scratching, then looked at me and with a brush in his outstretched hand said something like "here, you want to work on it?" This is not something I ordinarily do with students, but he's not currently, officially my student, so I grabbed the brush from him. I expected him to move away from the easel and put down his brush and let me have at it. Instead, he stayed there, working on it with another brush, and I must have commented with a remark, like "we're both going to paint on it at the same time?". That was clearly his intention. OK, I stuck with that for a little bit, before I elbowed him out, and made the moves that I was invited to make. I was maybe a little adamant. It's not like I did that much really, he had everything working and very established. I just finessed some color transitions and some edges.
Dick Eaton & Marla Baggetta
I also think it's a great lesson in getting ones ego out of the way of the work. You have to let go and not be attached to the outcome of a piece, any piece. Letting someone else work on your painting gets you there pretty quick! It's so interesting how readily we will make a change to another persons work but will be very reticent to do so on our own, even when we know it's appropriate! I may incorporate this as an exercise in some of my workshops!