Sunday, February 26, 2006

What is Art Farm?

Art Farm is the brainchild of Tony Speirs and Lisa Beerntsen, and began in 2005 when we decided to collaborate on our first-ever art piece for Burning Man.
A friend and neighbor here in Graton, Tom "Flip" Flournoy, had the idea to bring some quality 2-D art to Burning Man, and along with his crew, built giant, 15 feet tall easels, to be arranged in a large circle out in the desert. And on each large easel would be 8'x12' paintings on plywood. He called his camp and idea "Easel Park", and when we got wind of it-Lisa and I excitedly got to work on what would become the first Art Farm piece--"Headgames".(there's also a spinning wheel that isn't attached yet in this foto)

The idea was to paint a simple, large painting (in this case a head in profile), over a dense layer of pencil and pen & ink drawings-using transparent acrylic paint. Because the theme at Burning Man that year was "Psyche", the very nature of the concept made it attractive to have all sorts of crazy drawings to form the backdrop, because we sort-of saw them as the "thoughts" inside the head. Quickly we figured out that we should have more than just our own drawings to form this back ground-so we started asking other artist friends if they wanted to join in-either directly, or if it was easier-by making good xeroxes of some of the pages out of their crazy sketchbooks. Our friend Chris Hataway jumped in next in a large way, and though some contributed just a few drawings, by the time we finished "Headgames" we had almost a dozen collaborators.
In addition to our regular paintings-we realized that we were hooked on making these collaborative drawing/painting hybrids, and thus, Art Farm was born.