The last book – water


The final book in the collaboration series came to me a week or so ago. The theme is water in all its variations. A little daunting for me, it is not a subject I have ever tackled, so required a fair bit of thought before I started to make marks in Gale’s book. I am the last contributor, and the work done by the other three artists, Gale, Cathe and Karen, is wonderful, exploring the theme in their own unique ways. Above is the front cover, created by Gale but added to by all of us – decoration on the strap by Karen, a title tag from Gale, H2O watery tag from Cathe, and a little jellyfish from me.


Coloured pencil was my medium of choice, and maybe not a good choice as the paper is heavy, cold-pressed watercolour paper with a distinct texture, but once I had begun there was no going back! On the combined first page I added drips running down to Karen’s splash and Gale’s droplets on a leaf (Cathe will add her bit later).


For my main page I decided to plunge under the water and explore the world of jellyfish – such wonderful, odd and beautiful creatures, delicate yet potential killers at the same time.


The next combined page offered me a clear subject – clouds. Mine are top left, Gale’s top right with Cathe’s delicate watercolour bottom left and Karen’s rain falling on the bottom right.


Gale’s glorious ocean started us all off. I think she has captured the flow and motion of the sea’s constant movement so beautifully.


Cathe moved from the Pacific North West of Gale’s inspiration to France, giving us her elegant, beautifully drawn swan on translucent water.


Continuing the travel theme, Karen’s painting took us to a serene lagoon in Bali, with a wonderful fleshy lotus flower.


The final page, inside the back cover, gave us all an opportunity to say a little about our own inspirations and journey through this book.

The experiment is almost done – the four books will be soon making their ways back to the original maker of each. I have gained so much from this – I have been challenged, daunted, inspired and stretched in so many ways, and gained from the insights of each of the three others. So, thank you and kudos to Gale, Cathe and Karen for coming with me on the journey – there will be more!

Author: anna warren portfolio

I draw, I paint, I am a printmaker. Always searching for the interesting detail in the world around me.

41 thoughts

  1. Anna, I am so inspired by this experiment!! All of you ladies are extremely talented and your artworks are amazing!

    Thank you so much for sharing.


  2. I was lucky enough to meet Anna yesterday for the first time, and with Karen Hull, spend some time looking at this book. I had already been shown it when Karen Bailey came to Perth but now it was finished. It was a pleasure to actually hold it, observe every art work at leisure and physically turn the pages. These collaboration books are mini-treasures and I do hope that there will be more of them.


    1. Seeing something first hand is a bit different from on line, so I am very glad the book is still holding up to closer inspection! Part of the essence of these books is in that turning of the page, developing an acquaintance with the individual viewpoints. I think there will be more!

      It was very good to meet you, Julie, yesterday – you get an impression of a person from a virtual relationship, and I am glad to say it was reinforced by meeting!


    1. Thank you Anne, the different interpretations have been fascinating to watch – each person bringing something new to each book, and as you say, sometimes working with subject matter or materials that are unfamiliar. By learning we grow!


  3. Anna, your spread and collorative pages are beautiful and harmoniously thread into the theme so nicely. It’s wonderful to see it all together, complete…almost complete (guilty me). What a wonderful project to share and be so inspired by. I guess it’s time you to “hit the road” starting a new journey! I too, look forward to another creative collaboration! I loved working with such talented and thoughtful artists!


    1. It has been such a wonderful experience Cathe, and it has been all about the input and sensitivity of the contributions from you, Gale and Karen. Everyone has collaborated in the best possible way to make each one of these work. When I come back I definitely want to be involved in a development of the collaboration idea. We can’t stop now!


  4. Me again! Cathe’s beautiful picture of the swan brought the lovely Irish folk story, ‘The Childen of Lir’ to mind, in which the king’s three children were turned into swans and banished to spend hundreds of year on the rough seas.


  5. One finally completed, congratulations Anna, you have finished this book off beautifully. I just love your jellyfish and I share your fascination with them. I also love how you dived under the water, it rounded off the theme. Are you getting organised for your trip, I have heard that the wildflowers in WA are particularly good this year. I am excited about tagging along virtually on your trip, you must be thrilled to be almost ready to go. Karen


    1. Thanks Karen, I am glad to have it done before I go away! The packing is underway – lots of stuff still to do though! Yes, I have heard the wildflowers are good, and early too, so I hope there will still be some left by the time we get there! I am looking forward to getting going, but it will be cold for the first couple of weeks …

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Congratulations on this wonderful and beautiful endeavor taken on by all of you. The result is just magic. It amazed me how the work from all four artists just seemed to fall into place—seemed to have meant to be together.


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