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Four Artists, Twelve Months – A Collaborative Project on Ampersand Gessobord!

A CALL TO CREATE:  ABSTRACTED STATES OF MIND is a year-long collaborative project between 4 abstract artists who describe themselves as being “connected by friendship and a call to create.” Each month the four artists will create a work of art on a 12″x12″ Deep Cradled Ampersand Gessobord with a defined theme. Then, at the end of the year, all of the artworks will be displayed in an exhibition.

The first month’s theme is “JOY” and is to be interpreted using warm colors. Each artist is charged with creating a painting that shows “joy” as they interpret it, using their own unique approach and style. Each artist uses different mixed media applications, so it should be an interesting outcome!

The California-based artists who conceived of this idea for this project are:

Andrea Raft

Andrea first studied painting at the Brentwood Art Center in Los Angeles. Where under its auspices she traveled to Giglio, Italy to study and paint. It was there she developed her interest in earthen hues, and textures, inspiring her to paint in overlapping layers, revealing an aged patina and history. Found objects, collage papers, photography, metal leaf are often found in her mixed media pieces. Her work is often serene and meditative.

Andrea has lived in Los Angeles, Freeport Bahamas, San Luis Obispo, and most recently moved to the Coachella Valley. Each shift from urban to rural, east, west and her travels to Asia have inspired her artist perceptions,
further enabling her to study, paint and show her work in a host of disparate environments.


Sylvia Torres

Sylvia is a native Californian, a contemporary artist, and art educator. She works in mixed media, acrylic, oils, and encaustic. Her work reflects complexity and depth containing bits of nature, pieces of memories and items others cast aside.

Sylvia was an Artist in Residence for 11 years at Studio Channel Islands Art Center and on their Board of Directors. As an art educator she taught at the Carnegie Art Museum in Ventura County, at Studio Channel Islands Art Center, in K-12 classrooms through the Art In The Schools program, Ventura, CA, at Venus Art Studios, Palm Desert, Idyllwild Summer Arts Program and various organizations.

Sylvia was interviewed and her history archived by Donna Granada, founder of Focus On The Masters, a non-profit dedicated to documenting, preserving and presenting the work and lives of highly accomplished contemporary artists, bringing them to the forefront of the art community. Her work is widely exhibited nationally in solo and group exhibitions. Prior to her work as a fine artist, Sylvia was a graphic artist, an art director, and a print salesperson.


Meg Walling

Meg Walling is a painter and mixed media artist who was raised in western Pennsylvania, where she first registered the impact of color and developed an appreciation for the natural world that remains an important inspiration to her artwork today.  Colorful, textural and vivid, her paintings highlight the beauty, geometry, and starkness of the desert landscape where she has lived for the last 45 years.

Meg is drawn to geographic areas that are visually rich, have a strong sense of place and extremes in environment.  Now known for her abstract landscapes and figurative work, she has exhibited in numerous southern California galleries, commercial public spaces and in the Palm Springs Art Museum.  Her paintings are found in private art collections from New York to southern California.


Pat Kodet

Patricia Kodet graduated from San Jose State University, with a BA in Fine Art. Patricia sold paintings just out of college at various art galleries in San Francisco and the Bay Area. She painted commissioned portraits as well as abstract acrylics. She is now a full-time resident of the Coachella Valley where she is creating Abstract paintings.

Kodet’s expressive approach to a non-representational painting has created a series of soft flowing paintings. They are painted with passion and strength. About 80% of most paintings are painted with her hands (in gloves). After the initial pushing of paint with both hands, she uses large brushes. Many of the paintings are completed in 1 session.


Upcoming themes include subjects such as “courageous” and “whimsical” to connect their artworks. They have also come up with a few restrictions for each theme so that within each theme, the four artworks will have similar elements as well.

The themes for the next 12 months are:

  1. Joy ‐ warm colors
  2. Boastful ‐ complementary colors
  3. Inquisitiveness ‐ all whites
  4. Gratitude ‐ text
  5. Isolation ‐ cantilever composition
  6. Powerful ‐ angles
  7. Nurturing ‐ circles
  8. Enervated ‐ shades of grey and blacks
  9. Whimsical ‐ filigree
  10. Courageous ‐ metallics
  11. Meditative ‐ cool purple/blue
  12. Romantic ‐ warm red

We’ll be checking in on them each month throughout the year to see what they are creating and how their individual take on mixed media, work together within the connecting themes and the limitless possibilities of a blank, Gessobord panel.

2 comments on “Four Artists, Twelve Months – A Collaborative Project on Ampersand Gessobord!”

  1. Avatar Jean Marmo says:

    What a fun collaboration

  2. Avatar Billie Coker says:

    This is awesome. I can’t wait to see what these creative artists create.

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