They say when someone imitates your work it is the highest form of flattery. I used to have a hard time with that until I read a book by Austin Kleon entitled #steallikeanartist. I have spent many years, decades working with individuals who have physical, mental and or addiction issues. I teach them to use art as a diversion. A healthy escape from challenges they may face in their day to day life. Many times I would use my cups as a template for others to copy. They are simple shapes but allow the artist to use their imagination as to what forms, shapes or decoration might go on or around the cup. Creative choices can give a person back a little control in their lives when control can sometimes be out of reach. Other times I would use the cup template to teach form, shape, and composition to students who just wanted to learn how to paint or draw. I recently connected with a friend who's son took lessons from me over 10 years ago. She shared with me that he still has the cup he painted when I gave him lessons. (see picture below to right) I was so excited and overwhelmed that he felt connected enough to his painting that he still has it displayed in his room all of these years later! Whether I was using my cups to work with Veterans (see picture below to left) in recovery or just using them in general for painting and drawing classes I love that there are copies of my cups out there in the world. Beautiful works of art done by beautiful people. #steallikeanartist
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By getting out into the community, I have the opportunity to meet strangers, engage in conversations, and give my paintings away to COMPLETE STRANGERS! In practicing using my Art as a form of compassion, I must overcome my ego to use my time, talent, and money to create an original work of Art to give away, not for sale in hopes of making someone else’s day a little brighter.