Birthday, 2005, a collaboration between Wes Hempel and Jack Balas
I usually work out my ideas fairly comprehensively before committing paint to canvas, but occasionally I run into problems. Living with another artist means I have someone to consult with, and Jack is often more inventive visually than I am and more adventurous when it comes to imagery. He can think spontaneously in spatial terms, which means he has a fuller visual vocabulary than I do. Sometimes his ideas are so good, it makes more sense for him to just take over the painting. The canvas then goes from my studio to his (we never work on a piece together in the same space), and I relinquish control to him, which I admit is scary. Almost always, though, I’m delighted with the end result.