Dec 23 2011

#237 “Friends”

From Frances in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (courtesy of MC)

Nothing stirs my soul more than receiving artwork from a friend of an artist instead of the artist himself/herself. Why is this? Well, simply put, when this exchange takes place and one friend offers a gift of art to another, much more than the art itself is exchanged. Messages are sent through the action that go deeper than words, and a sacred bond is created between both the giver and receiver that is difficult to establish in any other way. The message from the bestower to the recipient is one of love and trust. The giver offers herself up wholly and says, “Here is a piece of myself that I give freely to you. I value you enough to share a personal creation with you. You are important to me, and I want this gift to serve as a reminder of my love and affection for you.” The message sent from the one who receives the gift to the one who gives it is one of acceptance, admiration and empathy. This message says, “I take you as you are and I love your gift not because of the level of talent it displays but because of the sentiment behind it. I will value your art as much as I value you as a person. You are dear to me and therefore anything that you have to offer to me is precious and special.”

As you can see, this type of gift-giving is deep and meaningful for both parties. Therefore, when I receive a picture such as the one above (that was seemingly a gift from one friend to another), I become a third party to this important process and am honored to be involved. It’s almost like being a fly on a wall and witnessing some deeply sentimental event. While this wolf may be no more than the combination of a couple circles and a few lines and dots on a notecard, the symbolic meaning goes much deeper, and to me, this small illustration is a reminder of the hope that still exists in this world through the love and selflessness of good friends.

Thanks, Frances. Thanks, MT. If you’re ever in Chattanooga, send me a message. Maybe we can get a cup of coffee together, and perhaps even more new friendships will be born…