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Day 4 of 5 Series: Art In Your Heart

Today, January 31, is National Inspire Your Heart with Art Day, and I wanted to try something new on this occasion that recognizes the value of artistic endeavors in our life.

It’s so important to find our artistic streak, and I bet you have one even if you haven’t realized it. Art should be fun, and not everything has to be the Mona Lisa. Besides, there’s already one of those, so do your own thing!

The Project for Today

For my something new project today, I decided to identify three of my photographs used in postings to The Daily Artisan blog; draw and paint them as small illustrations; and make gift tags out of the artwork.

In thinking about which photos, it seemed like a good approach to select subject matter for three things you would give someone as a gift (since these were going to be gift tags). I picked photographs of flowers, a cake, and a toy (Winnie the Pooh).

Who’s An Artist? Yes, You!

When I started playing around with pen/ink and watercolors years ago, I had to reconcile that watercolor illustrations are not photographs. They don’t pretend to be an exact representation like a photograph, but rather an impression of something that’s recognizable.

So, if you start with a blank piece of paper – then bring pencils, pens, and paints to bear (no pun intended with Pooh) – and when you’re finished, someone looks at it and knows what it is – then you’ve made art. It’s as simple (and enjoyable) as that!

For the serious artists out there who paint and sell major pieces that hang on gallery walls, it’s awesome, and I greatly admire your talents. And for those of us who play around making little illustrations like mine today, that’s also a good thing. Different, but good in its own right.

Imagine a world without art in all its forms, and think of how less inspired a life we would lead. National Inspire Your Heart with Art Day is a great reminder to appreciate the art around us and to make some of our own!

Sunflowers, Pink Cake, and Pooh

The three photographs I selected for today’s art project are:

Each of these photos became the subject matter for a small pen and ink illustration, finished with watercolors and made into a gift tag.

The sunflowers and Pooh gift tags are 3 1/2″ square, and the pink cake is 4″ square of hot-press (smooth) watercolor paper. First, I sketched them in pencil, and then inked with a COPIC Multiliner Pen. Next, I used my favorite watercolors, Sennelier French Artists’ Watercolors, to paint them.

After cutting the artwork down to a square (and rounding the corners), a hole punch was used to make an opening for the gift tag ribbon. You’ll see in the photos below I placed the holes in three different locations (top center, left side, and top left corner).

To finish the gift tags, I ran a piece of gold satin ribbon through the punched holes, and made a loop to work with packages and bows. Each tag has room to write a “To” and “From” with names, and you also could write a short note on the blank backs of the tags.

The project was a lot of fun – and it gave me an opportunity to spend a few hours honoring National Inspire Your Heart with Art Day!

If you’re not already, spend a little time with art – take a class, watch a video, grab some paints and play. Above all else, play! You’ll find yourself transported to a place of creativity, calm, and composure. Art is good for the heart!


Pink Birthday Cake

Winnie the Pooh

What’s something artistically new you would like to try? Please comment below!

January 30, 2022



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