Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Canvas #288: Prima Strada restaurant, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Alison's story is so great. I love the lessons she's teaching her kids through their participation in the Blank Canvas Project!

Alison writes, We are a family of four, with two boys, ages 2 and a half and four months old. We want to ensure that as we raise our kids we are teaching them about Happiness and the concept of that by doing nice things for others, not only is it the 'right' thing to do, it is a sure fire way to increase  your own happiness.  We also want to promote contributing to our community.  

I saw a post about this project on Facebook and it seemed like a great way to demonstrate this to our toddler, and walk the talk

We painted a pizza, as food is also a big part of our family.  We love to eat and cook together and pizza is a favorite.  To make sure we were all apart of it, we made tomatoes with all of our fingerprints (there was paint everywhere, and it was great!).  

We placed it at our favorite restaurant, Prima Strada, Victoria BC - we have had great meals there as a family, and with friends.  The best part is they give our toddler pizza dough to play with at the table, and has brought so much happiness to him with this simple gesture.  We now often make pizza at home, and enjoy many moments of throwing the dough in the air singing 'Mama Mia, Pizzeria'.  We wanted to give back to the restaurant with the canvas to say 'Thank you'.  We took it last night, had a great meal with good friends, and left it in the middle of the room when the servers were not looking.  The best part was we talked about it all week to our toddler, about how we were making the world a more beautiful place, and how we were doing it as a surprise, and 'just because' - not for any credit, or anything in return.  He loved it, and was very proud (we had a great chat about it this morning at breakfast)

Thank you for the wonderful idea and helping create a fun moment and lesson for our family.

Aren't the fingerprint tomatoes the best idea ever!? I love it!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Canvas #284: Innisfail hospital, Innisfail, Alberta, Canada

Elisha makes beautiful art with newsprint. She's shared some of the process of the creation of her canvas for the Blank Canvas Project over on her Facebook site, as well as some of her other beautiful artwork.

Elisha says, I was very excited to participate in this project as it ties in so wonderfully with my artwork.

I use newsprint in my art and specifically incorporate positive words into each piece.
I chose to leave my piece at the local hospital/extended care here in Innisfail, AB. I arranged with the ladies in admitting to leave it in a patients room while they were out. Due to privacy I was not allowed to do it myself. So I left it in admitting and can't wait to see who received it!!

Don't you think it would be so inspirational for a patient to find that in his or her room?? Positive vibes all around!! Thanks, Elisha!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Canvas #214: FOUND!

Christine's canvas was found!

Sheri found the canvas outside of the Barnes & Noble where Christine left it. Here's what she has to say: I saw it out the corner of my eye, "this is for you" I picked it up admired the black mountain like image and they colorful sky. Flipped it over and looked your website up. Made my day!!

Sheri included a picture of the canvas.

Canvas #214: outside Barnes & Noble, Richmond, Virginia, USA

How strange the internet is sometimes, hey? Back when I was in high school and university, I kept a Livejournal, and met some very lovely people. Christine was one of them. After I abandoned Livejournal, Christine and I connected via Twitter. Isn't the world such a small place? I am thrilled Christine wanted to participate. Here's her story:

I had a lot of fun doing this project.  Your envelope showed up on the day after Valentine's day and I was on a mini vacation, had gotten engaged the day before, and I was really excited to see the canvas when I got home.  I knew it was coming soon, but hadn't really thought about what I wanted to do until V-day, when my fiance and I were both having insomnia in the hotel room.. haha.  As I lay awake an idea came to me of creating a starry mountain scene, but starting with a black canvas and painting around the mountains to create their shape.  For some reason I really liked the idea of the background being connected and flowing with the foreground, just one solid piece.  I also liked the idea of using spatter techniques to create a glitter-crusted starry sky.  I really like the poem, "The Lady of Shalott," one I actually recite to combat insomnia (still learning it) and I love the Lancelot parts where Tennyson compares his gear to the stars:

The gemmy bridle glitter'd free,
Like to some branch of stars we see
Hung in the golden Galaxy.
As often thro' the purple night,
Below the starry clusters bright,
Some bearded meteor, trailing light,
      Moves over still Shalott.

So I had all this in my mind when deciding what to paint.  The process was pretty simple:  paint the canvas black, block off the mountain areas with masking tape, and spatter away.  I used a paper box as a "studio" to keep things clean.  I messed up and ended up doing it all over, but since the background is black, it was no problem to do that.

I could *not* decide where to put this thing!  Finally, today, I just left it outside of Target.  I thought it was a good spot, but when I came out an hour later, it had fallen over and no one had bothered it.  I just couldn't leave it there.  So I took it back and tried the Barnes & Noble near by.  I found a little nook for it outside.  I watched for a little while, but no one really seemed interested in it.  Hopefully someone will come along and take it home

I love the colourful splatters. Amazing!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Canvas #41: University of Victoria Library, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

I am so sorry for the radio silence here the past couple of weeks. I had a couple of canvases waiting in my inbox to be posted but I had to finish my report cards, which is an enormous task indeed. So you lucky readers will get to see a few new canvases over the next few days.

Mary Jo went one step beyond and attached a little gift to her canvas!


Mary Jo's story is such a great one. She writes, I was inspired by a group of first year university students who commented that many students on campus are feeling a great deal of stress. I thought I would try to add a bit of joy to the day of those students who crossed paths with my canvas. So, I painted my canvas sea blue, added the word "JOY" to trigger a positive thought, adjusted the easel to prop up the canvas and cradle a beautiful moon shell that I found on the beach. 

For those who are curious enough to pick up the shell and take a closer look, they will find a small scroll inside with the following words: 

Although this wave is stringing us along 
Just know you are not alone. 
Pay no mind to the demons that fill you with fear. 
Settle down it will all come clear. 
Just know you are not alone.
(adapted from Greg Holden lyrics "Home")

Friday, March 1, 2013

March Report

Over the next couple of weekends, I'll be participating in my last class of my Masters' degree for the year, which was Creativity in Educational Practice. I am going to present The Blank Canvas Project, which I've been working on as my independent creative project since August.

Here's a Prezi I put together to guide my presentation.

I have had such an amazing time with this project, and what's great is that it's still not finished! There's still a bunch of blank canvases sent to participants just waiting to be decorated. And I still have lots of canvases, so I'm going to keep accepting participants at least until they're gone. Thanks for taking this ride with me. :)