A Valentine's Gift Crafted by Words Left Behind

"All creative work builds on what came before. Nothing is completely original." -- Artist, Austin Kleon.

I first became fascinated with Austin Kleon's work about three years ago. His canvas is a newspaper. His art -- poems created by the words left blank in an newspaper article; only after eliminating the unwanted words with a permanent marker. The exercise has been called "Newspaper Blackout."

I was so enamored by the uniqueness of the art. The message that can be spelled out by simply blacking out unnecessary words. I revisited Kleon's work this morning and almost appreciated it more than the first time I saw it. I thought I would take a page from his book (literally) and try my hand at creating the perfect Valentine's Day gift for my husband.


"I love you most. partners for 20 years and for life."

There are really no guidelines or instructions for this project. The best advice I can give is to "have no plan." Don't start the project with a phrase you want to create. Somehow, quite organically, ideas start to form. Read through the article and certain words will strike you more than others. 

With pencil, draw a box around the words that form your sentence or phrase. Using a small-tip or angled paint brush, lightly brush the paint around the word. Paint the remaining white space with a wider brush. 

Once dried, draw an outline of the word (to help it stand out a bit more) with a fine-tip permanent pen. 

If you free yourself from expectations of this project, you will enjoy it more. Let the words speak for themselves and trust me, magic will happen.

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