Scott Bakal came to the monday night life-drawing gig yesterday. We had a wonderful model but I couldn’t resist throwing a board on the easel and looking for trouble. I kicked off an oil and Scott, who’s not shy, soon had something in hand with which to make marks too. So there we both were whacking away at this 30×40 in. surface and quite pleased with the start (mind you this is not of the model but a visual dialog between Scott and myself; right after this we did resume sketching the model). I’m looking forward not only to taking this one the rest of the way home but getting Scott back for a longer stint and new paintings. Direct collaboration is rare and may not be for the faint of heart — pieces do crash and burn and it doesn’t do to be precious — but if you’re working with a fearless fellow artist, you can generate novel visual synergies. This opens up new visual territories for me always (and I hope it creates reciprocal effects as well). If  you’re not familiar with the grace and poetry of Scott Bakal’s (award winning) pictures, it’s well worth looking him up.