Art Collab Fin! / by Amarett Jans

We are proud to announce that the art collab for the 3 charities is finished! The auction begins this evening at Double Mountain brewery in conjunction with the Tilly Jane fundraiser evening.

Christine Fisher, being the final artist to complete the project shares her process here.

The Process

Three artists representing three local charities on one piece of art is both a challenge and a thrill. When I picked up the work from April, my first response was…”oh, it’s big!” For some reason 30 x 30 looks larger in person. My next reaction was excitement because between Amarett’s and April’s works they had put a lot of elements into play that I love, and although I hadn’t a clue what I would do exactly, I knew I would be able to have fun playing off their work.

My Inspiration

Columbia Riverkeeper’s mission is to protect and restore the water quality of the Columbia River and all life connected to it, from the headwaters to the Pacific Ocean. Their work includes education, water quality monitoring, and activism to contain various threats to water quality. As a person who requires water and food to live (like everyone), I can’t think of a more important cause. Beyond that—rivers and nature are themes that never cease to provide awe and wonder.

As I reflected on Riverkeeper and why I am so inspired by their work…one of the things that occurred to me is how much their success results in things we don’t see. It’s the rare event when an oil train blows up and we have a visual reminder of the catastrophic possibilities that are often averted due to the advocacy of groups like Riverkeeper. While rivers and fish are beautiful, the day-to-day work involves understanding a lot of complex policy and science, and being able to navigate through gray areas when issues are not simple black and white. I also admire the way Riverkeeper connects people across political boundaries and honors native communities who hold sacred traditions and connections to the river.

Creativity within Constraints

A blank canvas can be overwhelming. This collaborative format provides a lot of freedom but also the much appreciated constraints from the agreed theme and work of the other artists. When I got the canvas, quite a few things were defined: All the remaining blank areas needed to be covered by me. Both April and Amarett had left watery elements pointing toward that blank area. Amarett used paint and April used collage, so I used a mix of both to unify their works. And while Amarett’s work was mostly pastel colors, April used black, white, and grey with bits of red and blue, so I knew I would stick with this overall palette and add contrast.

From there, the piece evolved as I worked on it. It took numerous layers of painting and collaging to find a point I would call completion. The weather turned rainy as I was working on the piece so I made it rain and the resulting flood incorporated lots of subtle (and not so subtle) references to the various aspects of our beloved Columbia River.