Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Canvas #343: Home Depot, Red Deer, Alberta, Canada

Trina is an incredible woman: a loving mom and wife, a talented actress and director, a compassionate teacher, and an all around wonderful person. I'm lucky to have her as a friend and part of our creativity collective.

Here's her beautiful three-dimensional canvas. It has letters all across it and says, "No matter how you spell it, YOU are ENOUGH" in the corner.

Trina writes, I placed my canvas in Home Depot as I thought that it would stick out like a sore thumb!  I truly wanted to place this little gem in an obviously unexpected location to bring it the most attention to the recipient. My recent trip to Home Depot proved to be just the right location for such an unexpected and surprising oddity to discover. So I set it amidst the ubiquitous bathroom vanity choices on a display bathroom sink counter top. Voila!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Canvas #341b, Cibo Restaurant, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

I forgot to write down the last canvas so I mislabeled this one. There's two Canvas #341s out there, so we'll call this one #341b.

I have a group of friends who are my sisters in soul. We get together from time to time to create and play together. We met today, and decided we should create some canvases. In the next little while, expect some posts from these incredible ladies about the canvases they created.

Here's a sneak peak:

The canvas I created today has a simple symbol on it: the ampersand. The ampersand means something that at first seems quite ordinary: and. But if at first glance this symbol doesn't seem to hold lots of meaning, it does. It's what comes after the & that's important. The ampersand joins things. The ampersand implies more. The ampersand means growth.

So let's take that attitude to life, shall we? Let's think about the more & the next & the after. Let's think about the fullness. Let's carry on forward and grow.

We finished our creative day by going out to dinner at Cibo, an amazing restaurant in Calgary where the food is made to be shared (another hint of the &). We ate like queens. Let me give you a taste: polenta fries & handmade ricotta gnocci with sunchokes & mushroom pizza with truffle oil & hazelnuts. I left my canvas on the table after we had finished our delicious meal together.

What happened next was something I wasn't expecting. As we were putting on our coats, we gathered near the door, and were saying our goodbyes. The waitress went to clear away the glasses and cups from the table, & I watched her as she discovered the canvas. She carefully picked it up, and looked at the art, & the sticker. She flipped it over and found the label on the back. She glanced over at us, uncertain. This was a first for me - witnessing someone discovering a canvas. It was quite awesome to watch.

She came over to us, clutching the canvas, and held it up, and said, "Thank you." I said, "It's for you." She said, "This is so nice." She seemed a bit speechless, and definitely touched by the gesture. It was pretty amazing seeing the reason why this project was started in the first place - to bring joy to strangers - in person. & definitely more special that I got to experience all of it with my brilliant group of friends. & it helped me remember that even though we don't see the reactions of the people who find our canvases, & sometimes we don't even hear from the people who find them, we need to remember that people do find them and do feel joy when they do. So let's keep this project going!

On that note, I have decided to stop providing the canvases for this project, but I do want it to continue. If you are reading this and wish to participate, please send me an e-mail at I will give you a number for the back of the canvas and let you know what to write on it. And you can go and find yourself a little canvas to decorate. Sound good? Drop me a line!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Canvas #340: The Mint, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

I don't know Amanda, but I get a clear picture of her through her words and art. I think Amanda is a vibrant young woman who seems to bring a bit of joy wherever she goes. I've seen crayon art before, but Amanda did such an incredible job blending the colours, and I absolutely love the message she pasted on top. What a delightful surprise for someone to find!

She writes, My name is Amanda, and I received my canvas a couple of months ago where I live in Calgary, AB. I did my artwork on it and left in the city I was visiting, Victoria, BC. I have a couple of in-progress photos, and couple of my canvas where I left it.

I wanted to make my canvas as colourful and bright as possible. By taping some coloured wax crayons above my canvas and then blow drying them, I created what looks like a rainbow exploding on my canvas. After letting the wax dry, I cut some letters out of the newspaper and glued them to the canvas. I said "love your life," because when I think about spreading a message of positivity, I think about making sure that everyone in the world is happy and appreciates the life that they have, and lives that life to its fullest.

I left my canvas in a lovely lunch place on Douglas Street of Victoria, BC, called The Mint. I had a delicious curry chicken wrap there (twice, I might add), and I just thought the place was so cute and enjoyed myself so much that I decided to leave my canvas there. I hope someone finds it and that people enjoyed the message my artwork was trying to spread.

Thanks so much for participating, Amanda!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Canvas #319: the Folk Fest, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

There's a real kinship between music and art, so it makes sense that Megan and Danielle decided to place this canvas at the Winnipeg Folk Fest. Two busy moms, Megan and Danielle made their canvas with the help of their kids' fingers. Check it out!

We placed our canvas at the Winnipeg Folk Festival.  We have been attending for years now and this was the 40th Festival celebration.  We  decided that we would make fingerprint art.  We made one of the finale songs chorus, and we all had a great time.  I hope it brought everyone who saw it some happiness at this year’s Folkfest.

- Danielle Shannon, Megan Donald and Juliette, Clark, Molly, Maya & Evelynn

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Canvas #s 235 & 341: Calgary Farmer's Market, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

It's been a really long time since I made a canvas, and so this afternoon, I sat down and found myself creating not one, but two! I was headed to the farmer's market later that afternoon, so both canvases were inspired by local products and produce.
It says, "You have seeds of greatness inside you. Today can be your new beginning. Today could be the start of something amazing." - Joel Osteen

This one says, "Enjoy what you create. Look more. Read more. Explore. Make mistakes friends. Be ethical & never stop learning."

I hope someone looking for heirloom tomatoes comes away with much more than that!

Here's what I came away with: Fresh BC cherries!

- Erin

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Canvas #215: FOUND!

Danica wrote to share that she and her little brother found Canvas #215 in a park called Old Orchard Park. I have it listed as belonging to Ms. Croy, who asked for a bunch of canvases for her class, but never received an e-mail from her, telling her story! So it's a mystery as to who actually made this canvas!

Here's what Danica said, My 8 year old brother found this and asked me if he could keep it, I asked if there was a name on it.He said no so I said "Why not?" He got so excited and I was happy to see him so happy so in the end everybody was happy! When we got home he told our parents and we put it up in his room. We found this awhile back, but I just saw the back and I checked out the website and I noticed that mine didn't say "this is for you on it" Maybe it came off? Anyways this was really cool and I was happy to see my brother happy so thank you :)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Canvas #292: a dentist's office, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Ginny is a hilarious, incredibly warm woman who is currently battling cancer. Ginny writes, I am so sorry that it has taken me months - not 1 month like it should have - to finally finish my canvas and take it somewhere to give it away. I just had the worst time liking what I'd begun and so then I'd scrape it all off and begin again- I did that process 3 times!!!! I'm hoping that maybe you'll accept my excuse: I was awfully sick with my Chemo treatments. I spent days at a time, during each 3 week treatment cycle, lying in bed sleeping and watching TV. I was extremely exhausted like nothing I've ever felt before - for 3, 4 or sometimes days 5 in those weeks, to get up out of bed and down the stairs from my bedroom to the main floor and then back up to bed was more that I could do in a day. 

So my canvas lingered, along with other major parts of my life. I don't remember much of the last half of winter and most of spring. I was worried that you wouldn't accept the canvas if it was this late BUT I went ahead and finished it and put it out into the World anyways. [Editor's Note: We wouldn't DREAM of refusing a canvas past the deadline! Creativity is creativity is creativity. If any of you who are reading have a canvas past the deadline and are wondering if it will still be accepted, the answer is YES! Send it in!!!] I hope that it's was okay to do so. I left it at my Dentist's office, took some pics and "kissed it good-bye"! I am glad that I did this though and appreciate the work that you have put into the project.

p.s. I have surgery tomorrow to get the tumours OUT!!! Wish me luck!

Let's all send Ginny some positive vibes, shall we? Huge amounts of luck to her!!!! Ginny needs to be cancer free NOW! Fingers crossed!!!