Portrait on a Snake Tree
Portrait on a Snake Tree
Portrait on a Snake Tree is the first of many collaborations we have in the works with other artists in other creative fields. Through these collabs we hope to learn about other people's form of creative expression and process, how it relates to and differs from our's, and hopefully each grow a little more as an artist of our craft along the way. And of course make something cool, or weird, or totally unexpected for us each to revel in together in the end.
Big thanks to Andy, a long time friend and portrait photographer who keeps us inspired through his work and personality and authenticity on a regular basis, for being our first test subject on this. We sifted through a number of Andy's photos together one snowy night over bourbon and settled on his portrait of Hailey, taken in the woods of Nashville, TN on a peculiarly curvy tree as our subject. At first none of us had any idea what we were going to do with it, until Andy had the solid idea of replacing that tree with a snake - because 1. why not?! and 2. if you look at that tree hard enough (maybe after enough bourbon) it looks like it really could be a snake. From there, we did some test sketches of tree turned snake, determining details like the orientation of the snake, if it should break the film scan's border, and whether it should be looking straight at you (James promptly informed me that this could cause a hex, hence the one-eyed glance instead).
With creative liberty from Andy, we chose to reference a Tennessee copperhead as our snake basis and after much debate of whether to use realistic or wild color choices, we leaned to the realistic route. We chose to print the photo itself as the top layer of the print, in a halftone form so the original photo itself was evident. We also cut the tree portion out of it in order to allow the snake to fulfill his seat-worthy potential. In retrospect, one thing we may have done differently is leave some of the tree texture behind to serve as the scales of the snake - for an interesting overlap of tree and snake.
We all agree it was a collaboration success as we all had fun, got a little weird and a lot creative, and learned even more about each other's art form, influencing each of our future endeavors in some ways we probably haven't realized yet. Another element that made it even more exciting was the fact that we live in different cities, so all of our conversations about 'snake tree' happened via email, text messaged process shots, and phone calls, outside of our original kick off meeting and our final wrap up where we signed, admired, and exchanged the prints with each other. Don't worry, Hailey got one too, and actually thought it was pretty damn cool - a testament to how cool she is too. Thanks Hailey. Thanks Andy. And may we all find the snakes hiding within the trees of our creative lives.
- 16" x 20"
- Three color hand printed screen print
- Original photograph taken by Andy Rainer
- Limited edition of 19, numbered and signed by Meredith, James, and Andy
- Standard frame size