Friday, July 9, 2010

Painting with a Purpose: Week 2 Giveaway!

There has been a frenzy of painting action going on here. In addition to my taking over the dining room floor for BIG, Cowgirl has been joining me in painting our second painting for our Painting with a Purpose Campaign. Say hello to Celebration Elephant!

This happy pink pachyderm is waiting to join your home, bringing with her balloons, a lush garden and elephant-sized love. All you have to do to be entered into the drawing is make a one time donation to Half the Sky Foundation. There is a badge over on the right hand side of the blog that says DONATE NOW. This will take you directly to our pledge page. Be sure to either sign on for the honor roll there, or leave me a comment here letting me know you made a donation. Each week, your name will be entered into the drawing, so one donation gives you three chances to win! Cowgirl draws a name on Monday, so be sure to leave a comment today! If you are not familiar with our campaign, more information can be found here.

Cowgirl and I cannot thank you all enough for the generous support and contributions we have already received for this campaign. We are very close to our target goal of $600, but would love to blast past that goal! Each dollar you donate goes to support enrichment programs for the children living in Chinese orphanages. Some of these children are waiting for their Forever families, but many will only know the love and care of their nannies. Through Half the Sky Foundation's support and training, each caregiver is given the training and the tools to make a difference in the life of a child.

Art is plays a central role in the work Half the Sky caregivers provide for the children. So this art a-thon is a way of celebrating the power of art to make a difference in the lives of those who create and for those who celebrate Love through creative expression. For Cowgirl and myself, making art together is one way we strengthen the bonds of communication, respect, and care. Each painting is a truly collaborative process. Cowgirl comes up with the themes and I begin by sketching out the form. This week she suggested and elephant with balloons and flowers. I then asked her what colors to use and begin to paint the outline of the elephant and balloons in the paints she selected. She then goes in and fills in the forms. After that, I asked her about the flowers. She told me the colors and then, in the true form of a 5 year old, said "you do it" and ran off to another activity! So I painted in the garden.

The next day we agreed upon grass and a blue sky which she then filled in. Sometimes I will go back over patches where the paint is thin, but I try to retain her original brushwork. For this painting, the word Celebrate came to mind, so I added that in. In the previous piece, Cowgirl came up with the name Friend Fish and I adapted that to Friendship Fish (as every animal she names tends to be Friend Dog or Friend Cow!) The final day we make any additional touches and sign our names: C Dog and Lis.

It is fitting that our final assignment for week one of BIG was to paint as a 5 year old. Connie shared this wonderful quote from Picasso: "Every child is an artist. The problem is staying one as we grow up." I would say, the best way to stay in touch with one's inner child is to paint with a child! The process not only keeps me in touch with the fresh way a child sees their world and interprets things, but also how they celebrate the really juicy things in life: balloons, flowers, pink elephants, floating hearts, rainbows. By working with my child, I am learning from her; what I hope she is gaining is a validation of her ideas, her creations, her unique expression. I believe painting together is strengthen our bond of trust and respect. And in that space, love can blossom free and unconditional.

So, what would your five year old self like to express? How do you honor the child within you and the children in your life? Taking time to color, paint, read stories, or listen to the stories our children tell us is both healing and amazingly inspiring. You never know who you might meet. Perhaps a pink polka dot octopus?

We'd love to hear from you! Leave a comment and let us know about your art-full plans for the weekend. You might just win an elephant. ♥


  1. I always love it when you two make art together. Seeing this makes me happy. I just donated but I think I missed signing on for the honor roll.
    Have a fabulous weekend!

  2. I love kid art! That elephant is adorable! You guys make a wonderful artistic team. Keep it coming.

  3. These paintings are so joyful!

    My art-full plans include some painting for BIG! I've had a difficult week and am a bit behind, but it's OK. :)

  4. Dear Lis-this is truly so amazing what you are doing! I think you told me about it a couple of weeks ago-but I was sick + sleep deprivation = memory loss! I have read the book Half the Sky but am just now going to look into the foundation. Yes, girls are treated very poorly in China...I am so glad your daughter found you!
    Plans for the weekend-spend time with Tara xxx

  5. Hi Dear!!! Congratulations on reaching your goal already, and its not even a half of July!!!
    Love what you both are doing :* "Celebrate" is rarely used in my personal dictionary, but I'm learning to be more familiar with that particular word...

    Love :*

    P.S. I donated to your case, but I wasn't sure what to do with the honor roll, so I just skipped that one ;)

  6. Dear Lis-sorry I have only now had time to read up on Half the Sky Foundation. It is such an amazing story-of how it all started. What really got me by the heart are those pics of the girls in the orphanages. I just wanted to scoop them all up and hug them, kiss them, LOVE them. This breaks my heart-in all of their eyes I see my Tara. It is such an absolute shame that this happens. China and India are the worst for girls. India much more so-they kill them there. I am so proud of you for doing this-your heart is so huge and wide. I just made a donation but didn't put my name on the honor roll-at least I don't think I did!! Not computer savvy enough for that! maybe I did..? xxx

  7. p.S. I read the book Half the Sky when I was pregnant-it has these amazing stories in there. I think the name comes from a Chinese proverb that says that women hold up half the sky but...maybe there is no connection to this foundation? I will try to find out. that book is truly awesome though!