Collaborative Paintings

Tom Ferguson

1975 - 1978

Sara Jane/Tomas Alva

Bob Weil/Tom Ferguson

Lisa Welch/Tom Ferguson

More Places




3 lines each

Gail Davis & Mondrian

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 My musical interests included Rock, Classical and Jazz, especially the idea of Jazz, improvisation
and collaboration - the ensemble. I was always
more or less preoccupied with images so when
in a bar or around a kitchen table with friends i'd
often pass a gridded napkin around, asking  folks
to "put three lines in any square" or "put the first
thing comes to mind"... from the many napkins
were chosen the few paintings. Often they were "duets". Sometimes the participants were
children. I would usually color code so that the
names of the participants were the same color
as their linear contributions. More Places was
current with these, same style etc; but not a collaboration... or, a collaboration with myself.

One-to-one & group therapy continued to play a
helpful role at MSU. I wrote a song later with the chorus: "My Father was abused & so was his &
so was his & so it is." I remember my Father's
Father having a grumpy mean streak & my Father
certainly had a short temper, impatience and an authoritarian strategy with the family. I grew over these years from being unable to say no, to assert
myself, to being able to say "Fuck you! NO!" So
now I drop the profanity, assert myself without
rancor tho i've been known to regress in the
presence of aggressive people/situations - or alcohol.
Just as the Cyclorama job started happening
I met Cyndia. I'd make 10-day trips to NYC every
year but I was having such a pleasant time working part-time and painting/musicing, not saving for that move. I could also see clearly that NYC eats timid people alive. I'd have spent most of my energy just paying the rent. We bought a house together Fall of 78 and the Cyclorama project looked like it was going to happen (Cyndia in fact ended up doing the documentary photography).


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