I want to invite you to join with me in manifesting a positive response to all the daily ills (mass murders, wars, bigotry, fear and illness) we see happening in the world. I want to celebrate the peace, joy and love that I believe is at the core of who we are inside as people. I'm asking you to contribute to a meditative mosaic of 108 paintings based on your submissions of peace, joy and love. I’m calling it the Gathering Goodness Mosaic.
I’m Susan York. I’m an artist. I’ve been painting and making art in one form or another since I was three years old. My favorite type of work is making paintings that tell stories celebrating life, preferably in a series, a book or murals. My original idea for the Gathering Goodness Mosaic was born from an experience I had 3 years ago when I was diagnosed with Stage 3C Ovarian Cancer. I sat in a doctor’s office and he told me I had to have surgery in 8-10 days to remove a huge tumor or prepare to die. I was terrified so I asked everyone I knew to pray and send good thoughts to me.
After my surgery with the tumor removed, I had a prolonged miraculous sensation. I was able to physically feel all those prayers and good thoughts coming to me from around the world. I was overwhelmed by the PEACE, JOY and LOVE I felt. I really wanted to find some way to give back to those who had shared their energy and kindness with me in my time of need.
After much consideration I decided to do a mosaic of paintings that would be a physical manifestation of the peace, joy and love I felt right after my surgery. I decided to make the 108 paintings GATHERING GOODNESS MOSAIC to form a mala (a string of beads used to count during prayer & meditation) of positive feelings in the world.
Unlike many other painting-in-a-day projects mine will have paintings of varying sizes from 8" x 8" and 8" x 24" through 20" x 20". I need the flexibility of a true mosaic in which the pieces will be carefully woven together for the needs of the individual paintings and the combined impact of the whole. I am committed to give this project my best work.
What I need from everyone interested in this project is not only your monetary support but your photos, stories and songs that inspire the feelings of peace, joy and love within you. I listen to music and books while I paint, so your suggestions of other art forms to incorporate can be paramount in this project. Additionally if you would like to share a moment or story of your own (in 500 words or less) I’m trusting and hoping that some of the images that I’m sent to draw from may also represent your story too.
SUBMITTING TO THE PROJECT:
When you become a backer, I will send you an email address I have created solely for this purpose to which you can send your submissions. I ask that photographs be in digital format of 150-300 dpi with a maximum of 2MB per photo or 10MB/email. Songs: Please submit title and artist or, if you are sending your own music a file I can play on my iPhone - you probably know better than I which file formats work. For story submissions please send Title, Author and Collection if it's a short story. OR if it's your own story please share it in the body of the email or in a pdf attachment of 500 words or less ( = two typed pages in 12 pt).
I will be reviewing/reading the stories and photos to create a cohesive whole looking for how images support ideas and speak to me in general. I will be making a collection of your images looking for overlap to represent as many people's submissions as possible as I weave together the plan for the mosaic.
So my plan is to raise money to pay for canvases (prices range from 6-$60 each) and supplies ( I put out about 40 colors each time I work and the paint is only good for about 4 hours). To successfully complete this project I’m anticipating several 8-12 hour days which will use a lot of paint (a single tube can cost more then $32) plus gesso, mediums and studio overhead including heating costs through the winter months.
Costs will also be incurred in transporting and packing the art work to venues to display the mosaic in Maine, New Hampshire and New York (I have selected these states because that is where my journey with cancer has taken me). Costs incurred to publicize receptions and supply materials on ovarian cancer symptoms to exhibit venues. Songs and books that are not in my personal or public library may need to be purchased. Costs will be incurred in the creation of rewards to backers.
Those who contribute at the $750 or $1000 level may submit up to FIVE images, stories or songs and I will paint something inspired specifically by your submissions. You will have the first option to select this work or another piece from the 108 works of the mala / GATHERING GOODNESS MOSAIC.
It will take me approximately a month to review the submissions, order supplies, make an organic plan of how to represent the most number of images, stories and music in the Gathering Goodness Mosaic to make the strongest statement of Peace, Joy and Love.
Then I will begin the 108 days of meditative painting to complete the Mosaic. I will ready the work to transport to its first venue by July 1st, hang the work, and attend a public Q & A reception. I will return to pack up the work for the next venue, and repeat for the second and third venues. To make the project have its greatest impact I’m also inviting those who can afford to contribute at the $400 level to select a painting from the 108 created. The first one to donate at that level will get the first selection from the completed work regardless of size or subject (after the higher backers who have the choice of the work made from their submission).
I plan on displaying the work so the maximum number of people will have the opportunity to connect to the Goodness I will have gathered from your support. Our world is confronted daily with some new sadness. With your help I will create an artwork to battle not just cancer’s struggles but also the daily reports focused on fear, anger and distrust.
Instead of those darker feelings this work of art and meditation will celebrate the collective goodness I see every day in the people I meet. PEACE of heart and mind, the unconditional LOVE of a child or pet, the JOY in seeing the sunrise, a flower open, taking another breath and being grateful to notice those little things. I will have gathered YOUR goodness and added MY love and passion so it can be multiplied and shared.
I would like to exhibit in the three states of my journey with cancer before shipping the work to my supporters next December. This is a great holiday gift to yourself!
Thank you for reading my full story and for investing in the positive energy in the world AND for supporting Gathering Goodness, A Mosaic and Meditation on Peace, Joy and Love. 108 paintings in 108 days.
ANNOUNCING STRETCH GOALS! (what additional funds raised above the initial request will be unitized for)
At $22,000... I will upgrade ALL CANVASES to GALLERY WRAPPED( thicker stretcher bars and paint all the edges) this will allow the viewer to more easily see the "109th painting" formed by the full mosaic. It will also eliminate the need for framing by those who receive a painting as a reward.
At $24,000... I will design and produce a custom poster in landscape format of the FULL MOSAIC so every one can see their inspirations within the full mosaic AND see the 109th painting even if they can not attend an exhibit. THIS is an ADD ON and I WILL SEND TWO of this POSTER TO ALL ORIGINAL BACKERS and to one to EACH new backer over $10 if we make this target.
At $26,000... I will have a website designed that will allow all original photos sent to the project to be animated into the project logo. SO EVERYONE can see and feel their connection to others in the project from around the world.
At $26,500 ... I will add essential oils into the ground (colored primer) in of the canvases prior to beginning to make the painting. These will be oils that represent the positive feelings of PEACE, JOY and LOVE. The sense of smell is the most connected to memory. They are also something I wear each day so it is a way to put more of myself into the work and for the viewer to connect to their own positive memories. The oils are pure and will have a faint scent from the back of the canvas - like smelling a favorite person's sweater when they are gone.
I'm open to other suggestions from backers for additional goals if we need them.
Risks and challenges
The largest risk will be that I could get sick again. Right now I'm in good health and I feel great and looking forward to doing this work!
However the prognosis the doctors gave me post surgery and many women with ovarian cancer is a 20% chance of seeing five years. Which is part of why I want to make this work the best I can do. It is also why I want to do it NOW. I want to make a positive impact on the world. I want to leave a legacy of love, so either way I'm going to finish this project but there could be possible unforeseen delays due to illness.
I do tend to work through the pain and challenges though. One month after completing 20 weekly chemotherapy sessions, I was able to complete a 163 sq. ft. mural though I hired an assistant and if needed I will do that again to prepare canvases.
The other challenge I foresee is the transformative power of doing this much work in a short time. As any artist, I will allow myself to revisit work-in-progress to keep the work consistent and strong as a unit as well as the individual pieces. Therefore I may not "complete" one painting a day but make progress on several paintings, and complete more than one on some days. I plan to keep backers informed with updates.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (43 days)