In the hands of over thirty individuals, a Gift Of Love has been delivered. These gifts are most likely touching hearts more profoundly than I will ever know. Back on April 1, 2012 I was inspired by God to create 100 hand-painted paper lunch bags to illustrate the gift of love; and, then share them with others. Some went to friends, a few to family members, but most of them are going to acquaintances and people I have just met just because our paths crossed at that moment in time, which has been my favorite experience.
This week I plan to give out twenty more Gifts of Love, which will bring the total just past fifty bags. Each lunch bag is a work of art and love created with a blend of crafters (liquid) and artist (heavy-bodied) quality acrylic paint. Each Gift of Love is different, but theme of love and hearts are on each one. And, each image tells a story.
Gift of Love #34 has footprints and hearts on it. It tells the story of how love is a journey of the heart that needs to be made authentically without covering up who you are. When we present ourselves as someone we are not, we set up our relationships for failure. It is only when we can bear our heart and soul to others that we are able to attract those who love us for who we truly are creating a strong and profound bond. How are you presenting yourself to others?
Are you trying to impress others as someone you are not or have you permitted yourself to be genuine and true, letting go of all expectations? Are you able to let go of any concern of how others might think of you? It is not easy, but once you can, you will feel uplifted and joy will fill your heart. The only person you need to please and delight is yourself.
This is my personal self-healing portrait. By following what I did, you can make one, too. I first started with an art journal. I used a Strathmore Visual Journal with 140lb/300g paper because I used watercolors in my self-portrait.
On the left page, I used a soft-lead pencil to write self-critical sentences about myself; those things I know I should say about myself, but I find myself thinking at times…like, “I am not good enough or pretty enough to find success or have friends…etc. I filled the page to release all the pent up negative energy.
Then, on another sheet of paper I wrote down the good intentions behind those statements. My self-doubt gremlins wanted to protect me from being hurt. When you keep your self-esteem low, you are not likely to dream big. Big dreams leads to taking risks, which may result in great disappointment (or great success and joy); however, I know we automatically lose all those chances we do not take! We automatically fail all those activities we do not try!
I gave thanks to the negative statements (my gremlins of self-doubt) for their good intentions and over-painted my doubts, fears and negativity on the left page of my journal with gesso (a derivative of white acrylic paint) so those statements were no longer visible. On the right side of my journal I then sketched myself, emphasizing my best features. I used watercolor crayons and pencils.
Next, I added water and watercolor paints. I swept my hair to the left page and added a colorful background; I painted in hearts and added butterflies using a butterfly rubber stamp and ink. The final and most important step is to add a positive statement to heal my heart, “Believe in Yourself and Be Love.” I also added one word to my face to reinforce my healing, “FAITH.”
This art project was quite therapeutic. You could make this a collage project using a photograph of yourself, and other images and positive words, if drawing and painting are not your favorite activities. It would be fun to print out an image of yourself using the grey scale option. Then, you could color it any way you wanted. The possibilities are endless.
Today I had magnificent time with my friend Edie of Life by the Seat of my Pants. I was a guest on her live on-line art show, Art by the Seat of my Pants and we had a fantastic time creating and teaching art today. I shared how to make the Gifts Of Love bags and Edie experimented using different media on Tyvek paper, which is the specialized water-resistant paper that is used for U.S. Post Service Priority Mail envelopes.
Edie started her program by introducing me and my Gift Of Love campaign. She shared the Gift of Love I gave her and she did a great job explaining the premise of the campaign, which is to pay Love forward to others. Inside the Gift of Love is a memento of the art of the bag printed on card stock and a letter with an original poem in it that I wrote entitled, Gift of Love. I will make the Gift Of Love campaign directions and its corresponding letter available this weekend on my website, Hearts That Care.
As we continued co-hosting Edie’s art show, I demonstrated how I did the backgrounds for these works of art. After doing 2 backgrounds, I set those aside to dry and started painting on one of my completed backgrounds to demonstrate how I conceptualize the images. I saw angel’s wings in this particular bag. Each bag is unique, but each bag will have at least one heart painted on it. The heart represents Love and Hearts That Care.
Edie did the second half of the show, where she used various painting and coloring materials on the Tyvek envelope. She started by using Gesso on half of it. While the Gesso dried, she used Neocolor, Intkense, Distress Ink, Water Color Paint, Craft Paint and Acrylic Paint on the “naked” side. Each of these materials acted differently. The Tyvek seems to have a waxy coating and a really interesting texture. The material seems indestructible. You cannot tear it easily. Edie also found that the Tyvek is not porous enough for most glues. You cannot glue things easily to Tyvek. Be sure to visit Edie’s blog. I am looking forward to doing more art shows with Edie in the future.
- Gifts of Love Update 7 (akissofbliss.wordpress.com)
- Gifts of Love Update 6 (akissofbliss.wordpress.com)
- Paperwallet: Eco Fashion Meets Funk (earthtechling.com)
Yesterday, Palm Sunday, I planned and started my Gift (Bags) of Love campaign. There will be four steps involved. I am uncertain how many days it will take.
Step one: paint 100 bags with art of love.
Step two: fill bags with tokens of love.
Step three: distribute bags.
Step four: collect stories.
I was able to paint 6 bags after I posted yesterday’s blog; and I am in the process of completing 6 more bags. I photographed them tonight in sets of 3. The lighting is not to great; so, I may retake these tomorrow using daylight.
I am quite excited on how this is proceeding as I am enjoying the process of painting each bag with heavy body (good quality) acrylic paints. I will post my progress as I go. It will probably take me 2 weeks to create 100 bags. I may start distributing bags after I paint and fill a set of 20 bags, which will take me less time. Below are the photos of the bags in sets of 3. The last 3 are in progress. I invite you to give me any feedback on these. Any suggestions?
- Palm Sunday (akissofbliss.wordpress.com)