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Create Thankfulness

The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention” (Aesop)

Every Thanksgiving we all are bombarded with the “hype” of the season and very few of us actually take time to think about the things in our life that we should take a minute to be thankful for.

Painting and my participation in product design have allowed me to meet so many other gifted artists and gave me the self confidence to share my adventures through blogs, magazine articles and educational outlets. The best part of my journey, however, is being a part of the lives of my readers and students. Last month, I wrote an article about the “Healing Power of Art” and I received stories about how much your art has meant to you as you tackled/overcame health problems with the help of your art and fellow artists. Wow! You got me thinking of how my art has changed my life, and in turn, touched others and I thought about the power we all have to connect. (Thank you, Sue Clark!)

With the holidays coming, the memories that stand out in your mind today may include big gatherings, trips, fun decorations and special after dinner chats, but the memories we are most thankful for may not only occur in November, or involve your family and friends. Even though we are not “chefs”, we don’t have second thoughts as we plan, gather, decorate, cook and put on great “feasts” for Thanksgiving…but for some reason, when it comes to our art, we shy away from sharing our talent, even in the smallest way.

This month, let’s express Thankfulness in an artful way and make a commitment to ourselves to participate in one small act of kindness or encouragement.

To make it simple, I am including a template of leaves for you to paint, color, copy, write on, or decorate in any manner you choose. (Or….gather a few leaves from your yard) You can hand them out as a “calling card”, store them in a jar, or just leave them around town with inspirational sayings.

Here are a few ideas-(If you plan to make several, color copy to cardstock after decorating)

Copy templates to watercolor paper and use watercolor pencils to decorate with soft washes.

Involve the kids and use markers, pencils, watercolors, glitter, pastels, stamps, fabric or paper scraps.

Cut out the leaves

Acts-Be random!

  • Smile at a stranger

  • Open a door

  • Help load groceries

  • Help someone fill their gas tank

  • Rake leaves for a neighbor

  • Pick up trash around your neighborhood

  • Write a postcard to a soldier

  • Clean out a closet and donate locally

  • Gather old/new paint supplies and donate

  • Offer to teach an art class

  • Help download pictures and make files

  • Read a story to a patient waiting for treatment

  • Drop by and visit an old friend (or call!)

  • Clean out your “stash” of magazines and drop them at a community center, emergency room or local library

  • Volunteer to serve dinner at a shelter

  • Say “thank you” or “I’m sorry”

Acts-if you are a “planner”

  • Drop off decorated leaves at a local senior facility or homeless shelter to use as door decorations, name tags or table markers

  • Place them in a jar and have your family write what they are thankful for each day and read at your Thanksgiving gathering

  • Decorate a box of homemade goodies and drop off at the closest fire station, emergency room, or post office.

  • Fill a Ball jar with soaps, toiletries and a pair of socks and drop at a community center.

  • Donate “under used” painted decorations or projects for a silent auction or fundraiser

Are you “IN”? Hopefully you will find one act of kindness that you can participate in this month. Feel free to share pictures and stories (and painted leaves) on our facebook page, cuz kindness is contagious!

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