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!

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