Art and Love from Me to You

Celebrating Vulnerability at an Art Show

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I am so happy to be part of The Declaration of You Blog Lovin’ Tour!  The Declaration of You, published by North Light Craft Books and available now, gives readers all the permission they’ve craved to step passionately into their lives, discover how they and their gifts are unique, and uncover what they are meant to do! This post is part of The Declaration of You’s Blog Lovin’ Tour, which I’m thrilled to participate in alongside over 200 other creative bloggers. Learn more — and join us!

This week the topic is Celebration!  

For two years I worked on 100 paintings in gratitude for 100 people.  This project culminated in a gallery show where I displayed all 100 paintings, invited everyone I knew and had lots of local press.   The event was held last summer, June 2012 and called A Hundred Thank Yous.

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The night before the opening, with friends’ help, I hung all of the paintings on the stark white walls of the gallery.  Next to each painting was a card with the name of the person who I made the painting for and a description of why I was grateful for her/him.  It was all very personal.  My people + my heart poured out in art and words.

The paintings were all hung.   I stepped back.  Done.  Two years.  100 people I adore.  100 pieces of art.

My husband paused and looked around the room, and began to cry.  He was so moved and overwhelmed.

Suddenly, I was horrified.  I have never felt so vulnerable in my life.  So exposed. 

I was totally unable to celebrate the accomplishment in that particular moment.  I didn’t expect to have such a reaction.  I wanted to cancel show and just mail out the paintings quietly without any party.  I felt like I wanted to hide.

At the same time, I was grateful for my husband’s reaction, so heartfelt and present.  He was filled with real emotion and warmth, while I was afraid.

I’ve thought a lot about that moment and I believe that some of my fear was about stepping into my own light.  Don’t be so full of yourself.  Who do you think you are?  Don’t get too big for your britches. 

The next day, at the opening, there were a lot of people.  My closest people came.  New friends I had never met came.  There was lots of crying. (I couldn’t believe how much crying!)  Lots of hugs.  Lots of cameras.  Lots of love.   

celebration1I vowed that during the opening I would be clear and present.  I vowed that I would feel the love.  I vowed that I would take it all in and celebrate all the goodness I had created.  I trusted that my husband’s reaction was true, that the energy of love from the art was palpable.   By the end of the day, I knew it was true.  In a sense, I showed up and celebrated vulnerability.

The whole experience of the Hundred Thank Yous is one of the most favorite celebrations in my life.  Some of it was hard.  Most of it was joyful.  All of it was worth celebrating.

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 The Declaration of You is a DELIGHTFUL book.  I poured through it on my long flight home from Portland.  The illustrations, messages and exercises are fun-loving, engaging and totally empowering.  As a bonus, the book includes all of these gorgeous contributors!  Love them!  

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 I was able to attend Jessica and Michelle’s Book Launch party in Portland a few weeks ago because I happened to be in town for the World Domination Summit.  I have a lovely signed copy of their book and it was SO fun to meet them in person again.  The party was a blast!  Plus, they are just too cute.

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{ 11 comments… add one }
  • Jessica Swift July 24, 2013

    This is so amazing, Lori. I wish I could’ve seen it all in person! How wonderful that you set the intention to soak it all in during the opening. I just love love love this post. 🙂 xo

  • Liv July 24, 2013

    I also wished that I could have seen all the paintings.. but right now I’m doing a month of gratitude and are sending and giving your beautiful cards to all the meaningful people in my life.. some of them have cried and I’m so grateful for all this beautiful people in my life but also that I can show gratitude with the help of your paintings.. like gratitudesprinkle over the world.

    With love
    Liv (from Sweden)

    • LoriP July 24, 2013

      Liv, this is such a sweet comment. Thank you! I love that you are sending them all out from Sweden 🙂

  • danielle July 24, 2013

    lori, You are an amazing soul. Such love and goodness in this. And good for you to recognize that you needed to be present and open to fully appreciate the outpouring of love returned to you during and after the show. -danielle

    • LoriP July 24, 2013

      Danielle, I so appreciate you! Thank you <3

  • Joyelle Brandt July 24, 2013

    It is so scary pouring our hearts onto the canvas and then opening that up to the world. But your gifts are so sacred, and you continue to inspire me to push further with my own art, to be more raw and vulnerable, and I am so grateful that you are so brave.

    • LoriP July 24, 2013

      Ahh this comment just made me so happy. Thank you Joyelle. It means a lot.

  • Fenne July 25, 2013

    Such a beautiful and touching project.
    I think it’s good that you showed them in a gallery, this way they show the impact that people have on each other and how we can we contribute to the joy of the ones we love (and even the ones we don’t know)

  • Maureen Hayes August 21, 2013

    Thank you for sharing your vulnerability! It shows that we create dark by allowing our fears to rise to the top, temporarily overshadowing our gifts.
    Kudos for not letting fear win and for having the awareness to step back into your light to shine for the world to see! We are grateful!

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