Reimagining (with coffee)

The world has changed.

It’s a difficult time for so many, and the pandemic continues to have us in its grip.

This project, as you know, is about being a global community, and it is about joy and hope and optimism. I was pretty rattled when my part of the world went into lockdown (soon after a piece of art was dropped off and found in Montreal). I couldn’t do art, and couldn’t find ways to be creative given the fear, anxiety, and worry that was so intense and startling. It’s taken me many months but I have now found some time and space to get the sketch book out. And while things are still grim, it’s time to get cracking again.

However, this project needs to be reimagined. People are not travelling (nor should they!) yet this project was set up in a way for art to travel around the world.

Here’s my idea for phase two of Found This Art:

I am going to mail some pieces to coffee shops around the world, and ask the owners to drop a piece of art on a table, or maybe stick it in with someone’s order. Maybe some people will find the art, and that will put a smile or their face. Or maybe the barista can stick up a piece of art on their wall somewhere for people to enjoy. What do you think? Do you know of a great coffee shop who would be game to take part? Is it in Australia? Maybe Spain? What about Iceland, or Nairobi? Let’s do this.

Stay well, everyone.

Trouvé à Montréal

Big news from a fabulous Canadian city*… the 58th piece of art was dropped in Montreal and it was found (or “trouvé“)!

This was a “thumbnail landscape” – a small winter scene with a wee cabin and trees. It was dropped by a secret agent on a bench in a fitness center in the downtown area:

The finder of this little piece was delighted, and she tweeted her discovery later in the day! …although it seems to have migrated from the bench to a nearby window sill (Yes, everyone, we have a twitter account)

And this little winter scene was posted up on a bulletin board in its new home:

Once again, it seems this very fun project has brought some joy into someone’s life, and that’s the whole purpose.

The world is a tough place with so many stressful things happening. I believe firmly that art can connect us, bring us happiness, and keep us grounded during difficult times.

Please be kind and spread joy whenever you can.

*another piece of art was found a while ago in a different and equally fabulous Canadian city – here’s the story!

Hope and Joy

I have big news to share with you –

Earlier this month a very special secret agent recently dropped piece #38 at the Seven Stars Bakery in Providence, Rhode Island (the Hope Street location). The piece was carefully placed on the condiment table, as seen in this photo, here:

I’d like to visit this bakery sometimes – apparently it is one of the best.

The day after it was dropped, I received a note from the person who found it, who is named Joy.

It reads:

I found painting #38 dated October 2019 at the Seven Stars Bakery on Hope Street Providence, RI. I saw it sitting on the service station and assumed someone was coming back for it. After it had been sitting there for awhile I picked it up and turned it over and saw that it was probably left there intentionally. I love it so much, it brought such a smile to my face and now lives on my shelf where I can see it everyday. Thank you!”

You are MOST welcome, Joy!

And it is so fitting that this bakery is on Hope street.

Hope and Joy: these are good things.

The start of 2020: trees and trilobites

Hi Friends! Welcome to the new decade!

I had some fun over the holiday season, and prepared six pieces to share around the world, including ones featuring mountains, trees, birds, and trilobites. It’s the first edition of ‘from the studio’ for this year!

The craggy trees was inspired by an old painting in my parent’s house when I was growing up – I believe it was in my Father’s “den” (which was essentially a room with his slides, paperwork, a desk, and a bookshelf containing various interesting titles on all kinds of things, including ships, natural disasters, and field guides – you can never have enough field guides!). I recall a piece of art on his wall that depicted warped trees emerging from steep mountains. There is something amazing about the ways tree roots find their way among the rocks to the smallest patches of soil. They persist.

There’s also something special about birds on a wire. Sometimes when I drive home from the train station after work I can see a nice row of our feathered friends on the overhead wires. They are often pigeons, but I’ve also seen starlings there, and sometimes I can’t quite make out the species because the silhouettes just don’t provide enough clues. So, this wee painting of three birds can be whatever species you wish it to be.

So there you have it: Six pieces to start off 2020. Keep your eyes out, folks, you just might come across one of these when you are out on your own adventures. Let me know if you find one!

One year, 52 art pieces, 14 countries

I know it’s hard to believe, but Found This Art started one year ago! It’s been a fabulous year for the project: the 52 pieces of art found their way to 14 different countries, from North America, to Europe, Australia to Thailand. I must give a HUGE thanks to the amazing secret agents (’cause I sure didn’t travel to 14 different countries this year….)

While I’m confident all the pieces were found, three people reported in with their stories: one from a coffee shop in the USA, one from a hotel in Portugal, and one from a tourist center in the Yukon Territory of Canada. I’m also confident a few more folks will report their own Found Art adventures as this year draws to a close.

This map shows the countries that become home for the Art (depicted by the dots), and the three countries were Art was found (blue dots).

I’m sure you have many questions, but perhaps the one that is top-of-mind is this: will the project continue? Well, friends, that’s an easy one to answer: OF COURSE IT WILL. It’s been so much fun to do this project, and a great adventure for me, my secret agents, and I know it has brought much joy to many people, around the world.

Please, everyone, keep an eye out for pieces of art – whether on a table of a coffee shop, maybe in an airport, on a plane, or on the back of a golf cart. The art is everywhere, waiting for you.

And Happy New Year too! I’m forever grateful that you are following along and taking part in Found This Art.

Small things

The first year of this project is drawing to a close (how do you like that pun….?).

I’ve just finished the final set of art pieces, so here’s the latest from the studio. I’ve been having fun making ‘small things’ – essentially thumbnail art. These are all done in watercolour (with some pen work on some), and they are all small (the pencil in the photo offers scale).

Small things are fun, and nice. It will also be fun and nice to see these small pieces make their way out in the very big world. Let’s see who finds them!

Jellyfish in Japan

A little while ago I wrote about some of the recent pieces of art that left the studio – and I can now happily report that one of these pieces (a jellyfish, done in watercolor) has had a VERY big adventure, and was dropped off by a special secret agent in a hotel bar in Japan!

Here’s the proof:

I want to take a pause and give a big shout-out to my friends and family who have been helping move pieces of art around the world (soon some pieces will travel to Thailand and China which is *most* exciting!!).

Thanks for following along! Stay tuned for more adventures…

From the Studio (2)

It’s been a busy few months! But that hasn’t stop this wonderful project from continuing. Art has been dropped in many places, from Australia to New York City, and on planes and trains!

Today was a chance to work on a few more pieces, and here’s another edition of “From the Studio“. A crow, birch forest, and jellyfish. Where will these appear? Time will tell. Stay tuned…

Feather of the North

Hope is the thing with feathers” writes Emily Dickinson.

I have always loved our feathered friends. They are magical animals, seeing the world from the wing, finding small insects among cracks in tree bark, and singing sweet songs. I often draw birds, and a while back I decided that a feather was a suitable thing to paint and share. Here’s the piece just after completion in the studio:

Several weeks ago the Feather was dropped (maybe by me? Maybe by a secret agent…?) at the Yukon Visitor’s Centre, in Whitehorse (Yukon Territory, Canada).

Here’s the drop location (next to the GIANT relief map of the Yukon):

It was found! Hooray! The person who found it wrote to me soon after:

…”I found your feather art at the Yukon Visitors Center in Whitehorse. It’s marked “#27″…. Finding this just makes the trip here all the more special. I am on a trip here, to my childhood home, with my parents. The Yukon has an almost indefinable magic about it. I left 30 years ago, and no place I have been since has ever felt like home. Thank you for adding another element of specialness to this trip down memory lane

Yes, the Yukon is magical.

Yes, feathers bring hope.

Yes, joy is everywhere, you just have to be ready to look for it, and accept it.

It is so fitting that the feather found the right home, and so fitting that it meant something to its finder.

Here’s the feather in its new home:

…As an aside, and for those interested, there have been about 30 pieces leave the studio since the project started in January; the pieces have been dropped around the world, from Australia to England, Canada to Mexico. Three have been reported as ‘found’, although I’m confident all have been found and enjoyed! Of those found, one was reported from the USA, one from Portugal, and now this one, in northern Canada. By all accounts, it is thrilling to have these three stories to share – all my hopes and dreams for this project are being realized! Stay tuned, friends, as there will be many more stories to come…