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.

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.

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…

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…

Portugal Gallery

The stories are developing.

A shell made its way to Portugal, and ended up in a fantastic hotel in Lisbon, called the Gallery House. A very lovely person who works there found the art, and it now has a home on her desk.

The art had special meaning to her. Her mother called her “Concha” which, in English, means shell. In an email to me she writes:

Thank you for giving happiness to me”.

No more words are needed.

To Mexico

Do you see it?

Look carefully….

A secret agent was in Mexico, and dropped a piece of art in a zoomie place:

Journey are important and traveling is fun. Perhaps even more fun when tasked with being a secret agent.

Big thanks to my very special helpers.

World Famous

The project continues. It’s “world famous” now – in the sense of the art showing up at some pretty famous restaurants! In this case, a well-known place called Fran’s – located in Toronto (Ontario), Canada. If you are there for breakfast, the traditional ‘two eggs + bacon’ is a very fine choice.

The drop-off at Fran’s was down in the basement near the washrooms, and here’s a terrible photo showing the secret envelope stuck in a plant:

I’m sure someone found it, and I sure hope they enjoyed what they found. When they opened it up, they would discovered an old barn:

I like old barns. They remind me of growing up in a rural area; the sounds and sights of tractors and farm fields bring back strong memories. Old barns have so much character, and you can always see hints of colour on old barns, whether a red door, rusty roof, or faded white paint on silos. When possible, I try to peek into old barns and look up to the rafters, smell the hay, and glimpse the stalls (imagining workhorses there, making their horsy noises).

It’s always worth pulling off to the side of the road when you see a nice old barn. Take a pause, enjoy the structure, maybe take a photo or two, or maybe sketch or paint what you see. I’m pretty sure that will give you some joy.

The rural life may also remind you about having a big farmer’s breakfast, perhaps a traditional two-eggs with bacon.

Art found in a coffee shop!

Big news, friends.

Art was found. In a coffee shop (somewhere in the eastern part of the USA).

This was piece number four – a mushroom. It was created in January, and dropped by a secret agent in early February.

The person who found it posted a photo on Instagram:

I received an email about it. The message was that the art was found, it brought joy, and offered an opportunity for conversation between a parent and a teenager. These are all good things.

Do you have questions about this project? Don’t hesitate to reach out. And I hope you find some art out there in this big world.

You might ask… what does the mushroom mean?

From my point of view, fungi are silent and helpful partners to so many things. They help trees grow, they help things decompose, and mushrooms can provide little careful homes for other creatures – you can often find small beetles or other critters living in between the gills of some species. Some mushrooms are also tasty to eat (but some are also poisonous, so BE CAREFUL). I hope that next time you are out and about in a forest, and the weather is right for it, you might be lucky enough to spot some lovely fungi. They are everywhere, you know!

Launch!

It has started.

The first piece has been placed somewhere in a very large city. A second piece will travel on an airplane next week, and three more pieces will then make their way to at least two different countries, on at least two continents.

This is exciting!

It’s also a bit nerve-wracking – will someone find the art? Will someone share a story, and let me know the art found a good home? I told myself it didn’t matter if I heard from people or not. But if I’m to be honest, it does matter. And the main reason it matters is because I hope the art ends up somewhere, instead of in a trash can.

So, dear people of this lovely planet: keep your eye out for art. It has been shared. If it is found, let it live somewhere other than a recycle bin.