Have you sparked?

Over the last week and a half I participated in a great creative exchange called SPARK. This was the 40th SPARK event and was masterminded by my friend Amy Souza.

What is it and how does it work?

You sign up on the SPARK website, then Amy will match you up with another artist, someone that works in a different medium than you. Writers with visual artists, visual artists with musicians, musicians with writers….you get the idea. After the match up, you send each other an inspiration piece, then use that to create a new work of art.

This was my second adventure with SPARK and it was once again an outstanding experience. I was partnered with an inspiring writer named Lisa Kilhefner. Lisa’s words really moved me and when I first read her inspiration piece I had so many different ideas on how to respond. But I sat on it for a bit to really let her words sync in.

When I did start painting it was a challenge to translate how I was feeling into a piece. So I waited. I gave myself time. Every couple of days I would work on a layer, but it just wasn’t speaking to me. Then on the final day of the project I picked up the piece and said “this is it, time to make it happen”. Ha, of course that didn’t work. Instead I recorded myself reading Lisa’s words and I played that back as I stood at the studio table. Her words guided the story unfolding in paint and quickly I could see the response come to life. It felt right, it shared the depth of her words.

Lisa’s inspiration piece…

Knockout
By Lisa Kilhefner

I
don’t
fight
fair.
I don’t fight at all.

Once I tried
but the punching bag looked more like a water balloon,
and one hit from him was all it took
for my ooey gooey insides to erupt
all over my red leather gloves.
I couldn’t stuff it back in,
couldn’t sew up the skin,
not even with a thousand delicate stitches.

I keep my insides outside the ring
because I can’t
win.

My response…

 

My inspiration piece to Lisa…

Lisa’s response…

Pick up
By Lisa Kilhefner

Pick me, pick me, pick me

Pick me up

Pick up, pick up, pick up

and go.

Pick me up and don’t put me down

Pick up, pick up, pick up

and up you go.

I can barely see you in the night’s complexion:

Heavy with mood,

Gloomy and heathered,

Sullen and dry.

Pick me up, pick me up, pick me up.

I’m moving in circles,

etching the atmosphere,

changing my mind.

When I read Lisa’s response to my piece it made me cry. It is so powerful to read the emotion and depth that art makes us feel. As I create my pieces in the studio I know I feel this connection to them, but to hear, read, see others connect…it moves me and makes me so thankful that I get to create everyday.

The next SPARK will be happening in May. Sign ups are not open yet, but head over to the website and get on the newsletter or drop Amy an email so that you don’t miss out.

You can see all of the art created during SPARK 40 here, go and be inspired!