The letterbox collaboration – next step

After almost six months the letterbox collaboration is coming to an end – or part of it. We have decided the set of long drawings is finished, but the portraits are continuing, and new projects have begun.

Pat suggested a new collaboration which is based on the idea of a streetscape, in a concertina book. So, I made us two concertinas, each with 10 ‘pages’, 10 cm square, and I drew a roofline along the full length of each, both different. I began one, creating a streetscape with houses, people, shops, cars, bicycles and more, and Pat began the other. We both struggled with the concept, we had to dig deep but in the end we both had a lot of fun with them, creating a whole world from our imaginations. We each keep the one we started and Pat has already made covers and a small box for hers. I am way behind! Then we started another one, which I won’t elaborate here. If it works no doubt I will share it, as well as the two streetscapes.

We began the long-shaped works in mid March, as the pandemic was really getting hold across the world. It was something to keep us motivated and inspired to create artworks, with no intention of them being for exhibition, just purely for pleasure and to stretch our brains, exchanged via Pat’s letterbox. We have now made 109 of them, half started with random marks by me, and finished by my friend and neighbour Pat, and the other half begun by Pat and finished by me. We have both produced imagery that we had no idea was lurking inside our creative minds, lots of surprises and unexpected satisfactions.

Below are a few of the starting points, and then following are the images that resulted from them, some by each of us, in no particular order.

They are 15 x 7 cm and on watercolour paper.

Author: anna warren portfolio

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

9 thoughts

  1. Anna, I’m literally speechless (doesn’t happen often, make a note!) over the creative collaboration of this project! Such an inspiration and what fun y’all must be having. A nice way to connect during our ‘quarantine’ periods. My fave? The pig jockey. I would love 5 minutes inside your creative and collective brains! XOXO

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It has been (and continues to be!) fun, and challenging too. Often I receive one of Pat’s squiggles and have to leave it on my desk for a while till something jumps out at me, and I know it is the same for her. The pig jockey is one of Pat’s and it’s one of my favourites too. I don’t know if you saw my earlier posts on this collaboration, but Pat is legally blind, she does have some sight but not not like you or me. she has a lifetime of art making that informs what she does. I am constantly impressed by her inventiveness, imagination and skill.


      1. Wow, missed that on the earlier post. What a testament to creative courage! In a world gone mad where everyone wants to be the ‘victim’, what an inspirational example of positivity. I’m so taken with this collaboration and will review each piece again now that I understand. Can’t wait to see more from you both.


  2. I’m glad that you had the foresight to photograph the starting points before you did another thing to them. Because it really helps to see them. For instance I can see the playfulness of them. And that when you (and Pat) received the starters how it would be hard for serious egos (inner critics) to get in the way of the process. As the starting points are so light-hearted and joyful – I think you’d want to retain the mood. And you both have! These are absolute delights. My overall impression is CIRCUS. They are each performers in a circus that you and Pat have created. Their tumbling and balancing acts bring joy to us; your audience.


    1. They certainly are a circus! That gives me ideas of how I could progress with some … I think as time went on we both relinquished control, and let the marks take us off into whimsical directions. I’m glad they are joyful, it certainly feels like that to me. I felt it was really important to keep a record of the starts, just so we could see where each image had come from. With some of them I feel surprise that they ended up where they did!

      Liked by 1 person

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