Set Your Heart on Fire

16 08 2012

by Gina Valenziano


Medium: Acrylic on Canvas

Topic Abstract: Set your Heart on Fire was created at a couple of different times.  The bottom canvas was created a few months ago when I was just fooling around with different ways to paint on canvas and incorporating color.  The top two sections were created on the same day when thinking about this project.  I have a lot of painted canvases around my apartment and when I like to make them flow into each and create paintings with different sections.  Fooling around the other day I found that the colorful bottom canvas and the top left one had the same shade of red in it and when positioned close to one another it looked like the beginnings of a heart and the idea was formed.  Setting your Heart on Fire though the name of this piece is also the concept of it.

Rationale: I went to a Jesuit school and even though this project is not supposed to contain religious aspects, I still decided to incorporate one of my favorite quotes from St. Ignatius onto it.  I had changed the quote a bit to fit my painting more.  In the left hand top of the left hand canvas I wrote: “It’s been said to Go Forth and Set the World on Fire…I’m starting with My Heart.” I chose to put this on my painting because words are strong and meaningful things, and for me, I believe that to set the world on fire like St. Ignatius says, one must start within themselves and slowly branch off.  Like the heart in the painting it you can see how the heart is strong in the middle and then will slowly branch off at the sides and then winds downward.  As we have discussed with the “Muddled Middle” this painting represents a joining together for a common language for the common good.  This painting was intended for anyone who could relate to having something spark their interest and ignite their hearts.

As is stated in Taking it to the Streets (Corbitt and Nixx-Early 2003), community is talked about as a connectedness and acting together around a common interests and goals.  That is what the heart is, a symbol of connectedness and one that works together.  Through out the book, Taking it to the Streets, Corbitt and Nix-Early involve the heart and the passion one has to what is going or being accomplished.  They show that through community, like through the individual one will be able to experience that passion.

Development: At first I didn’t have too much rationale for this project, it seemed to have developed on its own more so than anything.  One thing that I love to do is sit and creates different things using color.  So when I realized that these two very different canvas and painting flowed into one another and creating something on their own, I sat down and it hit me that painting is a passion for me, something that I love and here I could see the beginning of that heart start to take place.  In class we have read over many different articles and many different books but in all of them one can see the underlying theme of heart, of the authors having heart, the experiences having heart and so on.

Intended Audience: Anyone and everyone who has that spark of inspiration and passion to do more.

Challenges: Found this work challenging because though I am not a very religious person or spiritual person I had to be consistent and not focus on any of those things.  While I did bring in the quote from St. Ignatius I still realized that though his saying is strong in words and deeds it is also the start to the realization of one looking inward and then moving outward.

References: Corbitt, J. N., & Nix-Early, V. (2003). Taking it to the streets: Using the arts to transform your community. Grand Rapids, MI: BakerBooks.

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