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Artists: David Gallup & Nansi J. Bielanski

Work: Reborn

Oil on mounted canvas with 22 karat gold and custom handcrafted frame


Below, in the artist’s own words, they describe the process and inspiration for creating collaborative art together:

“Creating art is like a dialogue between the artist and canvas.  Creating Collaborative Art adds the dimension of exchanging ideas with another person as the paint is added to the canvas….”What happens if you try this?….Can we take this in another direction?, etc.”  Since we experienced the same dives in various parts of the world, we wanted to convey that shared experience on canvas. Beginning with flowers (that are similar to many of the life forms on the ocean bottom) we started working on each others canvases, eventually sharing the concepts and ideas of new paintings and the back-and-forth of both of us working on the same canvas. The following is the result of this collaboration.

People ask us all the time, “How do two people work on one painting?” Sometimes they add, “…Without killing one another”.  I think this question comes from both the presumed attachment of the artist’s ego to the final work (perhaps an all-too-real stereotype of the egocentric artist),and a misconception of what it is to create a painting. Any skilled artist can make a successful descriptive mark in the desired color. Certainly the two of us are beyond the point where that is the challenging part of painting.So what is left? Only everything visionary and creative: concept, design, color harmonies, surface considerations, subject, mood, statement, style, innovations… all of it. These things are all easily discussed, considered, and then tested on the canvas. In the end, which of us makes the mark on the canvas makes very little difference so long as we agree on the intention.

Now, sometimes we think we agree, and when one makes the mark the other is surprised. This is more often good than bad, and the differences in our tendencies and stylistic interpretations has, at least for us, been a great strength. Our love and respect for one another greases the sticking points on finding a shared vision, and the work is complete only when both artists have been satisfied with every bit of the painting, and feels that their vision – though maybe improved- has been expressed.”