Building Bridges: The Sunflower Project & the 2019 Multifaith Calendar

Wish150 Alberta Mosaic
Acrylic on Panel

I am pleased to say that the Sunflower Project is growing yet again!

The wish 150 Alberta Mosaic Sunflower has been selected by the Multifaith Action Society for inclusion in their 2019 Multifaith Calendar. The 2019 theme is Coming Together: Exploring New Connections. As the  aim of the sunflower project is to create bridges of good will and the growth of positive action, I felt that the Sunflower Project would be a great fit for the Multifaith Calendar. I am also honoured to be recognized and included as an artist of no faith (by choice), by the inclusion of my work in the calendar.

” Founded in 1972, the Multifaith Action Society (MAS) is a Canadian registered charity dedicated to the facilitation of interfaith education and dialogue. For over forty years, MAS has worked to build bridges between the myriad cultural and spiritual communities that characterize British Columbia, and has collaborated on a wide variety of public education campaigns and initiatives that have affected positive social change while raising awareness of multicultural issues.”

I believe that the effort to promote understanding between cultures and faiths is a good and worthy one. Therefore I am happy to have the Sunflower Project featured in a fundraising initiative which will be supported by individuals who also believe in affecting positive social change across cultures and faiths.

I will make sure to let you know when the calendars become available for purchase!

The Sunflower Project: Sharing Opportunities

Taking it Global, the group behind the Canada Wish 150 Mosaic Project, has asked me to share a funding opportunity for Canadians between ages 15 and 30 to initiate and implement community building projects, from gatherings to gardens and beyond. Funding levels for projects range from $250 – $1500. Visit   Canada Service Corps to learn more!

The Sunflower Project: Inspired Actions – Kelly Small

Wish150 Alberta Mosaic
Acrylic on Panel
A letter from a member of the Sunflower Project:
I happened to sit beside Debbie.lee and her friend as we made art at Rumble House one evening over a year ago. Towards the end of the evening, she mentioned she was an artist and told be about her website and sunflower project. I was intrigued and inspired! At the time, I had been doing some soul searching after being a stay-at-home mom for 5 years and having done a fair amount of artistic journaling that year as a way of expressing my grief after my Mom passed away in February 2016. I would look at the sunflower seed painting she sent me, pinned to the bulletin board above the sewing area I had created with my Mom’s sewing machine. And then the seed sprouted as I realized I could share artistic journaling with others. I started a Meet-up group called Artistic Journaling for Times of Transition and have offered 12 sessions. This is now sprouting and growing in other directions as I continue to share my gifts with the world. Thanks planting a seed, Debbie.lee!
Artfully yours,
Kelly Small
I can’t tell you how much it means to know that the seeds are sprouting out in the world! If you would like to join the project  follow this link to sign up.
Congratulations Kelly, I look forward to seeing more from your growing project in the future!
Debbie.lee Miszaniec,
One Life Fine Art

Sunflower Seed Paintings 31 – 36

These six sunflower seed paintings are the first for 2018, and the first of thirty I was able to purchase materials for, thanks to the honorarium from Taking It Global’s Wish 150 Mosaic project. Thanks Taking It Global!

In honour of the new year, I decided to take these six back to basics with black and white, and to explore active words which might give us thought about how we want to be in the new year.

Root has already gone to a good home. I am sure the rest would also like to find their homes! Go here to learn about the project and sign up to receive one free, or donate to ensure we keep this project going!

Sunflower Project 2017 Review

Wish150 Alberta Mosaic
Acrylic on Panel

One year since I started the Sunflower Project, to encourage lovers of art and of life to share their gifts with the world.

This has resulted in 30 paintings completed for the project, 18 of them with the assistance of donated funds from supporters.  25 paintings have been mailed, my gift, to people who have signed up on the web site to participate in the Sunflower Project.

And then, the project grew: Taking It Global and Wish 150 invited me to contribute a piece to the Alberta Mosaic. The detail above is from the panel I contributed to the mosaic, and is based on the Sunflower Project. The Mosaic was unveiled in Edmonton at the end of October, and there are plans being discussed to have it exhibited in Calgary as well.

As a result of receiving the honorarium for contributing to the mosaic, I am able to produce and mail 30 more Sunflower Seed paintings!

I look forward to carrying the Sunflower Project into 2018 and watching as those seeds grow into something beautiful!

Sunflower Project Update: Paintings 13 – 18

Sunflower Seed #13
Acrylic, 5 x 7
by Debbie.lee Miszaniec
Sunflower Seed #14
Acrylic, 5 x 7
by Debbie.lee Miszaniec
Sunflower Seed #15
Acrylic, 5 x 7
by Debbie.lee Miszaniec
Sunflower Seed #16
Acrylic, 5 x 7
by Debbie.lee Miszaniec
Sunflower Seed #17
Acrylic, 5 x 7
by Debbie.lee Miszaniec
Sunflower Seed #18
Acrylic, 5 x 7
by Debbie.lee Miszaniec

These 6 sunflower seed paintings, exploring a purple/yellow palette and stripes, have been brought to you by Kamla Hari McGonigal, who donated the funds for the materials for these six paintings. The first four will be going out to Carol Borschneck, Estelle Bungay, Jazmin Tyson and Katia Goussous (in that order) later this week. Sunflower Seed Paintings #17 & #18 are still looking for a home. Go here to learn about the project and sign up to receive one free, or donate to ensure we keep this project going!

Having Patience

It seems as though I am always waiting for things to come to fruition. To hear back from that application, or for that idea to catch on.

Right now I am working on an addition to my sunflower project that has to do with patience and time. A week ago I planted a Sunflower Seed. I decided to document the growth of this seed through its lifespan. I am interested in what happens to the Sunflower Project during the course of the life of a single planted seed.

Right now, I am waiting to see a sign that the seed is even viable. Each of the daily photos has been just black soil. I have no idea if my effort is futile. I must be patient, and wait the requisite time before attempting to plant another seed.

Here I have a little advantage, as the seed packet has guidelines for germination. The benefit of learning from the experience of others.

However, when it comes to creative projects and the entrepreneurial spirit I have found that, quite often, while patience is advised, the advisors are silent on how long one is to be patient, and when having patience has crossed over into flogging a lost cause.

Fortunately, The Sunflower Project showed it’s viability early on, with the first request for a painting coming less than a week after I announced it on social media. The first donation to support the project came in about a month after the project was initiated. Whether the project can become self-supporting remains to be seen.

Like any good gardener, I must continue to nurture it and have patience.


The Sunflower Project: Why just the seed?

Sunflower Seed #3
5″ x 7″
by Debbie.lee Miszaniec

“Hey, what about adding paintings of sunflowers to your paintings of sunflower seeds? the sunflower is such a happy looking plant.”

This question arrived at my inbox last weekend. It is a very good question, so I thought I would address it here.

The sunflower IS a happy looking plant!

Metaphorically speaking, we all want more sunflowers in our lives. The sunflower seed is a reminder that we can’t have the flower without taking the time and the risk to nurture the seed into a flower.

When we do that, the flower, which only has one season to brighten our lives, will return to us a thousand more seeds, which if nourished will bring us a thousand more flowers, and so on and so on.

Perhaps I personally cannot nurture all those thousand seeds into flowers, and on and on, but if I give you a seed, then we can share that responsibility. Together we can grow a network of people who are bringing more sunflowers into the world, and together we can all benefit from those flowers.

The seed is the potential for future happiness. While the flower may last only one season, the seed will last years through adverse conditions until someone has the ability to nurture it into life. It is hope for the future, and it is the ability to hang in there today.

So the answer to why The Sunflower Project gifts paintings of Sunflower Seeds, rather than paintings of Sunflowers:

Because the seed is an enduring symbol for what I am seeking to accomplish with the project. It is not simply about giving away paintings for free, nor the pleasure of receiving a gift. It is about sharing a responsibility. By receiving the painting, you in some sense take on a responsibility to protect and nurture that future flower; to assist in making the future a bright and beautiful place for all of us with your own thousand gifts to give the world.