Day #15, 30x30, Talk about blessings!

Attachment-1(5) I'm straying again from my theme of Botanical Dreams, for good reason. This morning our family traveled to one of our favorite beaches to explore. I stopped in front of the crashing waves and offered a short prayer for the day: for protection, for grace and for generosity and walked off towards the lava rocks.

I stopped to put on my Keens, knowing the danger of lava cuts. As I bent to pull on my sandal, a man appeared and began to warn us of the 40 foot waves. My mind took in the information, but as it did, a huge wave flipped me over and dragged me out. There was nothing I could do, but shout for help.

My sister and the gentleman had to wait for the water to go out before they could reach down and pull me to safety. My next thought was for my daughter and her boyfriend who had gone on ahead. I asked the man, who appeared ocean savvy, to go with my husband and find them. Which they did.

But the story wasn't over. My leg was fairly cut up from the lava and my husband also scraped his foot, trying to help. We stopped at a local store for band-aids and Neosporin. My sister, who was still in shock from the incident (as was I) ran in without her wallet. When she got to the cash register, she discovered she'd forgotten her wallet. Another protector emerged in the Australian woman behind her in line, who simply said; "I'll get it." Amy promised to pay it forward.

After two such incidents of grace what can one do but be thankful?


Generosity & Creative Deed 365

Attachment-1 (1)An online project, Creative Deed 365,  got me thinking about generosity. What makes someone want to give? The project's creator, Gretchen Miller, decided that she wanted offer a project/challenge that involves "...making small pieces of art (3 x 2.5) to randomly gift to others as acts of kindness and to spread creative goodness to others in the spirit of 6 Degrees of Creativity’s 2014 Creative Deed Project.  I want to dedicate 2015 to sharing this process with others and give all the art away with year long positive messages of hope, inspiration, and possibility."

As I read further, I discovered that Gretchen was leaving the cards in coffee shops, tucked in bookstore shelves, at bus stops, almost any public place you could imagine.  Each of them had the following message on the back:

Creative Deed 365 | Creativity in Motion

I was inspired by Gretchen's idea and wondered how I could adapt it for myself. I knew that I couldn't keep up with one card a day (although I tried). Instead, I began to make cards in odd moments in the hospital, using them to process an interaction, or in an art therapy session, and as a means of self-care.

Attachment-1I wondered what to do with them, how could I offer them to others as a means of inspiration? I wanted to provide a place where people could look through the cards, choosing one that felt right to them. But where would that place be?

The idea, when it finally arrived, was simple. As I prepared my studio for our town's open studio tour, I thought about how when I visit artists' studios, I want to to leave with something tangible, something that preserves the beauty I've seen. The problem is that most of the time, I can't afford the art work.

I decided that in my own studio, I would take that obstacle away. Although much of my work would be for sale, I would give away small "365" pieces of art.

And I did. I watched people looking over my work: the prints, the large wall pieces, the gift cards and I could see at certain points, a small moment of longing cross their face. At those moments, I offered them a card. They took the process to heart, leafing through them as if they were tarot cards, searching for just the right one.Attachment-1 (3)

After that, I couldn't stop making the miniature offerings--although I don't know where the next drop off will be, that's all part of the surprise element.

If you are interested in joining Gretchen's project: Make a request to join the Creative Deed 365 Group on Facebook and contribute your own art in the spirit of this effort.