I have been exchanging mail art and quirky tweets with Anna Jane Searle for a little under a year. Anna (@annajanesearle) and I have many connections including a real love for nature, animals and texture. One day going through my piles of prints, I found 3 (somewhat) unfinished screenprints that I had intended to do something further with, but never had… The silkscreens were done on raw canvas and feature a gorgeous Yellow Headed Blackbird, in the original edition, he’s perched amongst thin brown branches:It is a 7 layer screenprint: Black, light grey, dark grey, light yellow, dark yellow, light brown & dark brown, which means I drew 7 separate drawings (stencils) for each color, then made 7 separate screens and hand printed each layer, one at a time on top of one another to end up with the final image. For some reason during the printing process, I decided not to add the final two brown layers to 3 of these prints, with intentions of using them in another project… However, that project didn’t surface until just a few months ago when I stumbled upon some of Anna’s amazing embroidery work and an idea just clicked. I asked Anna if she would be interested in collaborating on a project with me and she was thrilled by the thought. I kept my the specifics of my big idea a secret, sealed the three blackbirds inside an envelope filled with other goodies, then sent it across the pond as part of a mail art reply. I asked Anna if she would add to these fabric prints with her embroidery, specifically requesting perches for the winged creatures. I didn’t want to dictate too much, so I left the rest up to her: the perch object, color pallet, beading, size, etc. Anna recently finished the third and final piece, and so I am thrilled to now be able to share the results of this adventurous collaboration, with you! First Anna made a lovely little brown branch with deep green leaves and lovely little crystal drops that make me think of dew. The second was a fun surprise for me, as I hadn’t really considered what other objects this adorable fellow could perch on… A lovely pastel rock that has endless textures and patterns of greens & purples, within it. Lastly she embroidered a blue-hued triangle shape that makes me think of a mountain top, a church steeple or even the roof of a house. It is the most abstract of the three pieces and the most unexpected… which is something that I love about collaborations: the beautiful unknown. Aren’t they gorgeous? Our plan with the three pieces was to keep one each and then possibly sell the remaining one… No decisions yet about which one is staying where, but honestly they are all so gorgeous that I don’t think either of us will be disappointed with whichever one we get. What do you think of this collaboration? Your reactions and comments are always welcome!