“Ultrasound” my latest painting, has been an exercise in channeling group creativity through my facebook page.  Almost every idea in it’s development was contributed by people through comments on photos of the unfinished canvas.  I often say that my best work is a result of happy accidents along the way – changes in direction that are inspired by elements of the image as I put them down on canvas.  Having others chime in on the series of Rorshach tests that span my process expands the creative input significantly.  It’s not that I’m relinquishing control, I still have final say on what gets incorporated – “I’m the Decider” 😉 – but this way I’m the curator of a much larger pool of ideas that may not necessarily be my own.  Plus, it’s always fun (and funny) to see what images are conjured up in other people’s minds when they look at something nebulous.

This is how it went. Click on the images to see the original facebook threads.

It all started with a blob.

Someone said it looked like a baseball mitt, so I hollowed it out.

Now a couple of folks saw a baby, specifically: “baby wrapped in a blanket” and “a baby in the womb”. Another person got a “sound” vibe (probably because it looked like a shell). So I went with a baby…wearing headphones.

I decided that I wanted the baby-container to echo a madonna-with-child so I manipulated it a bit.

A friend had recently bought me flowers for my apartment (not something I usually purchase for myself), so I had flowers on my mind.

More flowers…sunflowers!

The woman needed some texture.

At this point I was wondering whether I should stop before I smothered the baby. A few people said I should stop, but I wasn’t convinced. Some said I needed more in the top left, I got suggestions for “one bird and one bee” and “A butterfly would look great!”. I went to work on the butterfly, eventually deciding that I needed a second one. Now I felt it was done, all that was left was to name it.

I got a bunch of really great suggestions for the name, but in the end “Ultrasound” was the best one. Quite fitting that the process that created the painting was responsible for naming it too.

If you feel like you’d enjoy being a part of this brainstorming in the future and haven’t done so already, please “like” the Shirzad Khusrokhan Art page.