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I believe that art enriches and informs our lives everyday in many positive ways. Sharing those experiences, whether as an artist or as an appreciator, is part of the pleasure. I welcome your comments and hope you find something of value: a laugh, an insight, a new idea or just a happy moment. Enjoy art!

Friday, July 4, 2014

I Found Value for Free, really FREE!

Happy 4th of July
How has your way of celebrating changed?
Hope you enjoy your day.

If you are thinking of your freedoms this weekend (and we really should take a moment to do so) you may have a moment of cynicism when you wonder if there is anything left in this world that is really FREE.  And whose fault is that?  When was the last time you gave something of any value away...for free!?  I mean, no strings attached, no tit for tat, no expectations of a note....just made someone happy for free and that was enough?  Now that has me thinking.

I recently received something for free, something that made my heart sing with the format and attitude of the givers.  Artists Heidi and Peter Seibt are determined to give away 365 original oil paintings this year to complete and utter strangers.  Really.  

Why? you ask.  At 77 years of age Peter has decided that "hope" is a connective thread between us.  He wants to promote hope and provide hope.  He is doing it with a discussion about art.  In his words:

Yes, that's a lot of work, yes, that is a bit crazy (maybe), yes, instead of earning money we spend it and, yes, it makes us happy.
It makes us happy, because we daily receive so much friendly encouragement, daily listening to the hopes of others, discovering every day how incredibly varied and intense associations, reflections and inspirations of the people of the images are, as directly and effectively they are experienced.

Me and my very own Seibt original, #86
I think it looks like a heart on a piece of toast

When I first read about the project I went to their website, and read all about the project.  How they had become disillusioned with the lack of art for common man and the inflated attitudes and prices towards the craft.  

inflated mediocrity and the cynical misinterpretation that the value of art is its price. As a reaction to this we are initiating something simple, natural and necessary. It is our pleasure to give away 365 objects of art, original oil paintings, signed, to people who appreciate them because they find an attraction in them and connect them to their hope. 365 people will connect their hopes with a picture and be connected to the choices and hopes of others.
And that will work.

Again, their words. So I shared a hope based on this painting.  And then all of the hopes shared for one day go into a hat and a lottery drawing determines the winner.  Then fun videos are made of the drawing.  Fun.  Yes, fun and free and artistic.  How could I resist?

arrives beautifully matted and ready to frame

detail with texture

I was thrilled when the 3rd time I entered I won #86.  Just participating made me happy because it reminded me of how strong the word "Hope" is and what an oxymoron the word "hopeless" is.

I received it all free, from their heart.  No postage due, no handling costs, no nothing other than my willingness to write down something that I had hope for, something I longed for or wanted faith and fate to provide.  And I read the hopes of others.

I encourage you to check out the links above and think about the idea.  I know it has me thinking about giving things away, unexpectedly, freely and just for the fun of it.  I am hoping my painting gang will take this idea and morph it into something beautiful we can offer. Peter and Heidi would love to know that their idea is growing in scope.

I'll close with part of their note to me on the painting:
"...We wish you luck and joy with your hopes, with the painting and anyway with everything in your life.  And that each time you look the painting, your hope is stronger and more beautiful."

If you guessed that the Seibts are not native English speakers you would be correct.  They work and post their art from the Cycladic island of Paros. 


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