Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Art of Giving and The Giving of Art

To anyone who knows or is acquainted with me through my social media pages, it's no secret that I have a mad love for my cats.  Phineas (The White) and Loki (The Exotic Tabby) came into our lives about 4 years ago, and to call them "Game Changers" doesn't even begin to cover what they have come to mean to us. Each of their stories about their lives before we adopted them - and since - are blog posts in their own right.

But today's writing is not about that - no, today's story is a tale of gifts.  And how they can be used individually, combined, divided and multiplied.

It began a couple of weeks ago when I had the chance to set up a table and offer Energetic Dowsing at a local holiday metaphysical fair.  Using a pendulum to measure and shift energy is one of my gifts - and I met so many amazing and wonderful people at this event.  I also had the opportunity to use my Paypal App and plug-in on my smart phone so I could swipe credit cards for payment. The money would then be deposited into my PayPal account. (Hey!  don't judge me - it was the first time I had used it and I was a little excited, ok?)

I did pretty well at the fair, and about a week later I was sitting in front of the computer, reading through my Google+ Stream.  Over the last several days, I had been aware of an indiegogo campaign taking place for Cliff Roth, one of the people I had circled when I first started in G+.  This night, I noticed another post - the campaign was ending at midnight, and they were short of their goal by just a few hundred dollars.  I started thinking that maybe I could contribute a few bucks, and then it hit me - I had my profits from the past week just sitting there in my PayPal account, and surely I could donate some of that to Cliff's campaign - phrases like "Pay it Forward" and "The More You Give, The More You Get" circled in my head.  I was so grateful to the people who had come to my table at the fair, and I knew I wanted to keep the money moving in some way.  This was truly a gift for me to be able to do.

I clicked on all the appropriate links and got ready to make my donation.  The page opened up, and all of a sudden there were a lot more choices than I had been prepared for - Levels?  Perks?  And I realized that Cliff was, in turn, giving back to his funders!  So I chose my level of giving, which included a colored pencil drawing of the subject of your choice, done in Cliff's distinctive style.

Allow me to digress for a moment to tell you that Cliff does a variety of interesting artwork that he sells -
(by the way, I love the "Framed by Abed" piece, but if he does a drawing of Ron Swanson from Parks and Rec, it WILL be mine - as a gift for my husband who willingly admits to having a man-crush on him)
- but on Google Plus, he has been dubbed "Speedpaint Master of the Googleverse."  He does a very stylized type of digital caricature that really catches your eye!  And while I love to see what he creates of those, I was not yet brave enough to offer myself up for that sort of sacrifice yet; much less framing it and hanging it on the walls of my house! Maybe someday...

So I chose the next thing that popped into my head - my beloved cats!  Yes, that was perfect.  Cliff and I messaged back and forth a couple of times and I sent him a "few" pictures to work from for the drawing...

He chose the last 2 photos, and cropped them to his satisfaction.  In less than two days, he was done.  Until the actual piece of art arrives, I keep going back to the screenshot I took and looking at my wonderful cats - because I can't even begin to tell you how real this drawing looks to me.  He got the eyes, and as they say - the eyes are the windows to the soul.  And you ain't got nothing if you ain't got soul!

But wait -there's more!  As if that wasn't enough, (with my permission) he documented his artistic process on his You Tube channel.  Watching someone create a drawing - making 2D material appear to be 3D - has always seemed utterly magical to me.  click here and watch Cliff's awesome talent as he brings my cats to life!

I have a friend who dispenses some of the most wonderful and wise sayings; one of my favorite Guide Lines refers to how you know if you are doing the right thing. Ask yourself - "Does it make you feel heavy or light?"  As I was relating this story to her, I said "I've never felt more in my life that I was part of a bigger Win-Win situation - does it make me feel heavy or light?  Oh my, I am Floating!"

And then to top it all off, this morning, Panache Desai posted something that describes so perfectly why I enjoyed this so much:

"When you are blessed with love and abundance, the best way to truly give thanks is to give that love and abundance away. ♥"

And that is what the Art of Giving means to me.

*Cliff Roth is available for commissions and you can purchase some of his work online here.  He can be contacted through Google+facebook, or his You Tube channel.

**And in case I need to say it any clearer...I highly recommend his work! After all, 'Tis the Season - of GIVING.