When I launched the creative series “52 Weeks of Peace”, I posted a new peace sign design on my blog each week for a year. Thank you all for your continued support and encouragement, your appreciation of the art, and your participation in helping to spread the idea that “peace starts here”, with each individual, in everyday ways.
“Patricia Saxton has taken an icon of our culture and subjected it to Mozartian variations that are surprising and delightful.” ~ Milton Glaser
Below is the full series with accompanying texts. As sometimes happens, this is not the end of it though… I’ve already begun the next “52”. The spirit of it is real, and if you see them sprinkled among my blog posts, please enjoy.
“52 Weeks of Peace”~ Full Circle: September 1 . 2010
It’s official now ~ we’ve come full circle from September 1 to September 1. And while all 52 Weeks have been posted, something didn’t quite work out with the math (which could explain why I’m in the arts and not a mathematician?). So here’s the bonus week as promised (and created with joy by my lovely daughter I have to say!). Besides, it’s only fitting to end, as begun, on my birthday.
And here are my wishes this year ~ That thought by thought, action by action, this nutty, misguided, confusing, troubled, hopeful, amazing, strange and beautiful world may become a better place for our dreams to thrive. That we all choose to participate in the unfolding of what brings us our own individual peace. That we take a bite of something good and make a delicious offering of that something to ourselves, our friends, families, neighbors, co-workers…. That we uplift and respect and care and appreciate. That we smile on one another more. Imagine the peace that would bring! … and if it only brings peace to a few, know that within those few, the circle has already widened.
Sweet Peace to all.
Sweet Peace to all ~
Week 52: August 23 . 2010
As the “52 Weeks of Peace” series comes to its inevitable end, it’s my hope that the spirit of mindful peace will carry on long after the last posting. I hope you’ll find peace in unexpected places ~ and nurture its presence. I hope you’ll seek it, recognize it, allow it, and share it. There’s great power there… beginning with you, me, our families and friends. It doesn’t have to be a movement you join; more importantly, it’s a movement you feel within.
Here’s to planting, growing and tending gardens of peace ~ within ourselves as well as “out there”.
Thanks for sharing this journey together. Cheers all!
PS: Because the series started on September 1st, there will be a “bonus” posting next week.
Week 51:August 16 . 2010
Week 50:August 9 . 2010
I can hardly believe we’re already at week 50, with only two to go after this! I hope you’ve been enjoying the series ~ and who knows, maybe it’ll set off some kind of peace chain reaction …
Week 49:August 2 . 2010
Yield to peace…
Week 48:July 26 . 2010
Go with the flow!
Week 47: July 19 . 2010
Cool and refreshing…
Week 46: July 12 . 2010
Week 45: July 4 . 2010
Peace is liberty.
Today we honor of the United States of America. We honor our founders ~ their courage, their foresight and their brave ideals. And we honor our collective indomitable, independent spirit … as night skies across America burst with color, rumble and crack with cannon-like blasts, reminding us of all those who have fought for our freedoms and fought for peace, who have dreamed and toiled for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Happy Birthday America. May you have many, many, many more.
Week 44:June 28 . 2010
Reusable. Recyclable. Remarkable.
Week 43: June 21 . 2010
Summertime. The weather’s hot. The sun is high overhead, gardens are bursting and most people think about ways to cool off … pools, sprinklers, lakes, oceans, and streams take center stage.
Being near the coast, my mind gravitates to the sea; its grandness, its wonder and its gifts. And one of those gifts, so simply and exquisitely designed… seems to perfectly carry the message of peace and good will; a message worth remembering as life’s waves alternately cleanse, toss and tumble us about …
Week 42: June 14 . 2010
Recipe for a yummy breakfast …
2 chocolate chip waffles, 2 slaps of butter, 1 generous slathering maple syrup, 1 large handful blueberries, 1 scoop raspberries, 1 dollop of peace. (whipped cream optional.)
Week 41: June 7 . 2010
I found this stone in my backyard …
Week 40: June 1 . 2010
“Stairways to Peace”
The path to peace is not often straight. Sometimes you have to climb around, zig and zag, twist and turn; maybe even go upside down for a while. But however you arrive, the door is welcoming… and patiently waiting to be opened.
Week 39:May 24 . 2010
……………… ♦ ……………….
“We meet them like a pleasant thought… ” ~ William Wordsworth, from “To the Daisy”
……………… ♦ ……………….
If peace were a flower, what better than this? ~ one of simplicity and cheer, with purity of heart, mind and soul; long-blooming and resilient … a pleasant thought indeed!
Nourishment, life, birth, growth … rooted in peace.
Week 33:April 12 . 2010
You can take it with you wherever you go.
Week 32:April 5 . 2010
Peace is freedom. Peace is priceless. …If only we could just mail it.
Week 31 Addendum:Notes on the Peace Symbol ☮
I’ve included a second “Peace Egg”, which you’ll notice is 180 degrees from all the rest. Some would call it “upside-down”. But there are those who believe that the peace sign we most typically see is the upside-down version.
They will tell you that the peace symbol is, in truth, a reflection of the tree of life … reaching upward towards heaven, open-armed, gentle and alive, whereas the downward, more common peace sign actually defeats the purpose by appearing as a sword. Some feel that if you spend just a little time looking at both versions, the “up” position feels more comfortable and “peaceful”… and that the “down” position feels more angry, which furthermore explains why peace movements have failed. On the flip side, the downward version is said to have been developed to express “no nukes”.
Different opinions abound; but those who view the commonly seen peace sign as upside-down and therefore “wrong”, tend to feel very strongly about it – so I wanted to nod to that belief, at least once in my series, and give them some “peace”.
Symbols and their meanings have a rich and deep history, which I’m only touching on very lightly here. But as someone who’s made part of her living creating symbols, I do find the subject pretty fascinating, and likewise, I understand there can be substantial elemental power within symbols on an energetic level, which I have also experienced first-hand.
Yet meanings can be interpreted differently, or diluted, or ignored … and while I don’t disagree with the notion of symbols as a potent force, I also believe in an individual’s capacity to affect their surroundings, including the symbols in their environment.
So for the purpose of my “52 Weeks of Peace” series, I chose the “downward” version ~ against the wishes of a dear friend ~ for a couple of reasons: 1. it is most familiar and for right or wrong is widely associated with peace, and 2. I personally find a sense of grounding in this version; I see roots, just as the upward version can be seen as branches. Roots, to me, are very life-giving.
And … as many also believe, it is often intent, after all, that matters.
ps: I also realized that what some call the upside-down “downward motion” of the more commonly seen peace symbol – actually points “up” for me. The arrow shape that forms the legs is clearly directing the eye upwards, which feels positive to me. Whereas the 180 degree version points down. i personally find a better sense of balance from the more “common” version. Of course, whether you see it as “up” or “down”, it should always represent what is inherently good.
Week 31: March 29 . 2010
Week 30: March 22 . 2010
There’s more than one way to solve a puzzle…
Week 29:March 15 . 2010
Oh, the music in the air!
An’ the joy that’s ivrywhere –
Shure, the whole blue vault of heaven is wan grand triumphal arch,
An’ the earth below is gay
Wid its tender green th’-day,
Fur the whole world is Irish on the Seventeenth o’ March!
~Thomas Augustin Daly
Week 28: March 8 . 2010
Paint your world.
Week 27:March 1 . 2010
Part intention, part belief… peace is a place that dwells somewhere inside us all … beneath the fray, outside the chatter, standing at the edge of chaos … stored in elements both real and imagined … and always a little bit magical.
Week 26:February 22 . 1010
26 weeks marks the series’ midpoint – and the idea of “halfway” turned into “half-full/half-empty” … which, of course, leaves room for personal interpretation, so I’ll just leave it at that for now.
Week 25: February 15 . 2010
Week 24: February 8 . 2010
A light-hearted treat for Cupid’s favorite holiday … just couldn’t resist …
Roses are red, Violets are blue, Sugar is sweet ~ and Peace is too.
Week 23: February 1 . 2010
“Field of dreams …”
Week 22:January 25 . 2010
This week’s peace sign was designed in particular honor of a friend of mine whose positive, effervescent spirit shines everywhere she goes. It’s the rare individual who radiates her kind of light and blatant enthusiasm for life ~ the kind of person who unwittingly causes you to pause and embrace life right along with her. And because she recently came through a second cancer surgery – with flying colors and a good report – she’ll be able to keep on shinin’.
For my friend, this piece is a celebration of life.
In her honor, “Debbie’s Peace” is dedicated to all the courageous survivors – as well as to the memory of those who have battled and lost. And hopefully this small offering will serve as another reminder for all of us to give our support and fervent hope towards finding a cure.
Week 21: January 18 . 2010
Week 20: January 11 . 2010
A slam-dunk? … or maybe you just dribble and pass it around for a while.
Week 19: January 4 . 2010
Dive right in …
Week 18: December 28 . 2009
2009 has been many things, but one word that comes immediately to mind is “tiring”. There’s been the good and the not so good, and all seemed to require lots of energy.
It also seemed like a year of great drama for many people – at home, in business, as well as on the world stage … much of which helped launch new levels of uncertainty and insecurity, fear and frustration. But, as if ordained by nature, these same attributes raise a fierce desire for their opposing equals ~ those of confidence, hope and success ~ and I’d personally prefer to focus on the latter as the new year approaches.
So let’s all get our rest (ah, to sleep like a cat!), and here’s hoping for some individual and collective peace, rejuvenation and cause for grand celebration in 2010!
Cheers to all.
Week 17: December 21 . 2009
“Peace on earth.”
In this season of hustling and bustling, of bright red bows and snowmen, when angels sing and church bells ring and children listen for reindeer on the roof, I also like to remember what it’s fundamentally about – which to me, is love, and joy, and peace. And when you find a moment to be still (in my experience, the magic usually takes hold sometime in the evening of December 24), you may actually feel what this holiday yearns for, sings to and praises … Peace on earth; goodwill towards men.
And wouldn’t it be wonderful if peace could stretch itself across the land beneath our stormy, hopeful skies… and for all of us to feel that peace, in heart and mind and deed.
Week 16:December 14 . 2009
Deck the halls!
Week 15:December 7 . 2009
Week 14: November 30 . 2009
Week 13:November 23 . 2009
Week 12: November 16 . 2009
Week 11: November 9 . 2009
Week 10: November 2 . 2009
Week 9:October 26 . 2009
Week 8: October 19 . 2009
Week 7: October 12 . 2009
Week 6:October 5 . 2009
Week 5: September 28 . 2009
Week 4:September 21 . 2009
Week 3:September 14 . 2009
Week 2:September 7 . 2009
Week 1: September 1 . 2009
Today is my birthday and I’m making my wishes. Lots of them! But among them is a wish that I’m going to explore and illustrate all year long in the form of a personal project, which I’m calling “52 Weeks of Peace”.
When I use the word peace here, I mean it in a broad, sweeping way .. from the kind of peace that permeates an individual’s soul with a sense of well-being, with love and with joy – to the kind that can move whole groups of humanity into harmony.
Peace is generally considered a quiet thing, like a particularly beautiful sunset – but it can also be loud, like a chorus that lets go and sings boldly to high heaven. Peace can be a meditative, sit-on-the-mountaintop feeling, or the heady, centering adrenaline rush that comes after good, hard athletics. Peace can be a sleeping cat, curled up in a sunny spot, the picture of complete contentment. Peace can be the joyful peels of a child’s laughter. Peace can be a bubbling creek, a cup of tea, the mending of a friendship – or the letting go. It can be found in a kind word, a job well done, a stranger’s smile. Peace graces a spring garden, and kicks up its heels in a snowstorm or a boisterous, pounding waterfall.
Peace doesn’t fight; it calms and exhilarates. Peace is freedom from pain, worry and doubt. Peace reaches over and takes your hand; it delights your heart. Peace feels right from our head to our toes.
And my wish is not just for me, but for you – and for all of us – to see more and experience more of whatever brings more peace, more often, into our lives. (This is one instance where less is not more!)
I’m also going to have a little fun with the designs I’ll be sharing over the next year, and I’ll hope some of that rubs off on whoever may be checking in. And in the end there should be a wide range of feeling and unexpected expression represented.
Some of you may be familiar with my pencil point series. For those of you who aren’t, the pencil point is my logo, and over several years I’ve celebrated that wonderful, marvelous little tool by creating nearly 100 design variations. If you’ve not seen them, and if you’re interested, you can see some of them here: saxtonstudio.com.
I’ll be taking a similar approach with this venture – except there will be a lot more pieces in a much shorter time period. And instead of a pencil point, I’ll be using the universal peace symbol. Each week I’ll post a new creation.
So, without further ado, here is the first – in honor of the first day of September and the first week of “52 Weeks of Peace”. (After this first one, I’ll post them under the “peace” tab above.)