I’m excited to finally be announcing a new project I’m working on! It’s been sitting with me a while, both conceptually as well as getting all the physical prep work ready to go.
It’s called the 108 Intentions Project!
The concept behind this project is to bring joy into the world through art. I’ve noticed since the Election cycle this past year, our nation has become more divided than united and it bothers me. It bothers me a lot. Especially when I read online or what’s going on in the news, and see how ideologically we’ve become divided. When I turn the media off and I cast all that aside, I realize how similar we are. We’re just humans living through life together. I think much of this division is driven through the proliferation of messages we’re receiving from media and social media outlets, from all viewpoints…and I kept thinking, “what can I do in my sphere of influence to make a difference? How can I jam the system with joy? What unites people no matter your age, race, ethnicity, social class, identity, etc…
Art (and Music)!
As a visual artist, the part I play might be small, but it may have a big impact. Even if its only one person, maybe my art will bring joy to someone?
So as this idea was blooming, I was reading the book How to Sell Your Art Online by Cory Huff. I stumbled upon it at the local library this past Spring and I read it cover to cover. Inside there I was inspired by a project by Jolie Guillebeau where she made 100 paintings in 100 days, and then continued the project again and again in different ways. I thought – “hey that would be a cool way to be more consistent about putting my time into my studio”. As an Art Teacher – I’m always go-go-go at work, and it can be so easy to put everything else I need to get done at home in front of my own studio time as I’ve been working creatively all day.
A while ago I had an unfinished project where I was going to paint scenes on playing cards. I was inspired by the Artist Trading Cards project we were doing at school with the students. I remember gessoing some playing cards and then putting them between books to flatten… but then got busy again. When I moved, I couldn’t find those playing cards. So I brought back the idea and bought 2 packs of playing cards to repurpose and make my art.
Then I was driving around one day and thinking about how many playing cards are in a deck. Everyone remembers the game “52 pickup”, but then if you add the two joker cards, there’s 54. Multiply that by 2, and you have 108….
“Wait, 108. I’ve heard that number before,” I thought. Spring Equinox had just passed, and a lot of yoga studios were advertising a day where they have a class and you do 108 Sun Salutations to usher in the new season. As a yogi, I haven’t yet worked my way up to that (still working on balance!) but I thought the concept was interesting. So I researched it further… The number 108 refers to spiritual completion in yoga. The reference is taken from Eastern Religions, and also occurs within nature. I found this fascinating because as an artist I’m always reading about and better trying to understand the Golden Ratio or the Fibonnaci Sequence that we find both in art and in nature.
So synthesizing all the above – I was inspired to call my new project/artistic journey the 108 Intentions Project.
Unlike those “make so many artworks in so many days” projects, I decided to make mine more as a stream of consciousness. Sometimes as a teacher, artist and the other roles I play in my life, I find it hard to make time every single day on a project. I also don’t want to rush an artwork “just to get it done”. However my goal with this is consistency – keep striving to make the next one. This will help ensure quality over quantity. So instead of 1 day a card may take 2-3 days. That’s fine with me as sometimes with mixed media you need drying time before you work on the next layer.
As an artist, I’m hoping I learn new techniques through this project that will not only help me grow as an artist, but bring new ideas to my classroom. I’m teaching hand-based drawing, design and mixed media courses this coming school year, so this will keep my hand skills up and the new skills, techniques and processes I learn will hopefully inspire my students as they seek solutions in their own work. As a Digital Artist, I’m learning the new Adobe CC package and upgrading that skill set as I market my project as well.
As I blog about each new artwork, you’ll be able to purchase it off my Etsy Store. With each card, they increase in price. So the first one will be $1, the 2nd $2, and all the way to the 108th being $108. The idea being that as I keep working on this project, the quality of the artwork improves and increases in value! 🙂
This project will help me build my studio, both by upgrading my equipment, but also expanding my social media presence as an Artist. I also will be donating 10% of my profits to charity. This past May I walked with co-workers to support the Connecticut Breast Health Initiative and I will be putting the money I raise towards the walk next May. I wanted to support a charity that helped women going through breast cancer treatments. This cause is dear to me as my Mom is a breast cancer survivor, so are a good handful of my co-workers, and my Grandmother passed away from it. I’ll be updating you all on my fundraising progress through my blog and social media.
I’ll post stories about my artworks, the influence behind them, the process, what I was listening to at the time and posting timelapses on YouTube. Each artwork is signed, numbered, and individually wrapped and packaged. Here’s also a neat bonus! They’re sized to fit within a 3.5 x 5″ frame, so you can decorate your desk, a shelf, a nook in your home, or give it away as a gift!
Here’s Project #1. I titled it “Golden Slumbers”.
This artwork began intuitively. Maroon/burgundy is my favorite color, so I laid that out first and painted the background. I had just seen the Moody Blues in concert at the Oakdale Theatre a few weeks ago with my Mom (I took her as a combined Mother’s Day/Birthday Gift) and got to hear not only their greatest hits, but for the first time, they played their album Days of Future Passed from start to finish. That was a treat! Since then, I’ve been listening non-stop and was listening to them at the time I was making this piece. I decided to use bubble wrap texture as my mixed media element, and just went with it. In the end I illustrated a tree of life coming up from a hill, which is a symbol I enjoy and for visual contrast added golden leaves. As a Beatles fan, I titled it Golden Slumbers after the song on the Abbey Road album because of the golden leaves, and the background ended up having a Starry Night –like quality to it – though it was unintentional at first. Subliminally it may have been influenced by a recent trip to New Hampshire where I saw the most stars I’ve ever seen in a night sky. It was absolutely amazing! (I wish I had my DSLR camera that night!), I’m also a big fan of hanging out on my porch during sunset and seeing the sky change color behind the trees across the way from my apartment.
I’d say the intention behind this artwork is peace and tranquility. The feeling you get when you’re observing night-time unfold.
Below you’ll find a timelapse of it’s creation, and you can find it on Etsy here…