Painting Across Continents
In the sometimes overwhelming, detached world of social media, making a real connection can — perhaps ironically — seem diﬃcult. And yet, Pinterest and Facebook were the vehicles through which David Lobenberg (of Sacramento, California) was connected with Ibe Ananaba (Lagos, Nigeria), and a genuine, international friendship was born.
“Ibe suggested we collaborate on a watercolor project together,” says Lobenberg, “and I responded that we could share a photo reference portrait of someone and each do a watercolor interpretation of it. Ibe suggested painting each other. Bingo!”
Ananaba felt painting each other instead of a random model would result in a more meaningful exchange. Ananaba says, “We both got to study each other’s personality and appreciate our peculiarities, diﬀerences and similarities.”
Global Self-Portrait Love-In
It didn’t take a lot of convincing to get Lobenberg on board. He’s already a fan of portraiture. He had started another online project several years ago. “On my blog, I asked artists from all over the world to send in a self-portrait, and entitled the project “Global Self-Portrait Love-In” — a nod to my generation — but with this [new] project, we’re keeping it one-on-one.”
Lobenberg and Ananaba exchanged photos and practiced doing studies of the other one. “He sent me a variety of face-making photos, which added fun to the whole exercise,” says Ananaba. “The white beard has been a major pull.”
What’s the takeaway? Ananaba says he’s learned that “art, generally, is a powerful tool of communication and bonding, irrespective of age, location, tribe or race.”
The Time Is Now
If Ibe and David’s story of social media friendship through art inspired you, don’t waste a second in jumping in (or back in!) to painting, drawing and sketching. It connects you with your creative spirit and with your fellow artists!
Start with an art journal and take it from there! The No Excuses Approach to Drawing and Watercolor video download makes it easy and accessible to get your feet wet, artistically speaking. And it is just a click away. Enjoy!
This article originally featured in Watercolor Artist magazine.