A month before my 30th birthday, I started feeling anxious about how I would spend such a milestone of a day. Despite my long history of disliking my birthday (cue ‘its my party and I’ll cry if I want to’), I wanted to focus on the truly great people I’ve been blessed enough to be surrounded with. Quickly, I found myself online booking a cabin in the woods for the weekend of my birthday. I wanted a place that I could retreat to with the people that make life so wonderful. I found a little place 45 minutes away, booked it and started inviting all my people.
As the weekend approached, I was packing up and feeling giddy that I got to spend my birthday this way. I started thinking about how I could create a visual reminder of the weekend and decided to put together a little collaborative art project for everyone to work on while we were at the cabin. The brainstorming began and I started thumbing through an old coloring book of famous artworks that I bought while I was in college. I found a piece I loved by a great folk artist named Grandma Moses and decided to do something with it. I’ve always been drawn to her work and she created most of her pieces late in life. There’s something so hopeful about that and I hope I can still be creating that long!
So, I enlarged the page and cut it up into thirty pieces. I took a stack of the pieces with me to the cabin with some art supplies and had the gals work on them while we chatted and ate (and ate and ate). The rest of the pieces I brought home with me and I stuck them in the mail to friends and family that couldn’t be there. Checking the mail became pretty exciting as the pieces started to return. Each piece had such personality. I’ve got some artistically talented friends who used beautiful drawing techniques and then I’ve got some who rolled their eyes at the thought of coloring and had to be begged to complete a piece. But each one turned out great.
I eagerly waited to assemble all the pieces until I got the very last one. The final product makes me a sentimental mess. It’s a quilted version of the people that make life good. I don’t deserve to have these thirty people along for the ride, but I’m so grateful for them and I’m hoping this artwork will help me remember that on a regular basis.
:: Liz ::
I love this concept, in fact, I’ve written about it on my blog http://dougbeckersartist.com/collaborative-artworks-are-fun/
Love this idea Liz! What better way to celebrate than with 30 friends?!