Wood Map of the Philippines

Last fall I picked up this sign from Goodwill for $2. I tend to fall in love with anything on wood with potential to strip and make a new canvas. This piece was absolutely perfect. It was a great size for something significant, about 1.5 X 1 ft. I originally wanted to make a sign for Christmas, but things got so busy that it ended up sitting in my office in a bag until now (yup, 8 months later).

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Since I’ve been so inspired lately, I wanted to make a tribute piece to the mother land of my parents, the Philippines. I wanted something simple and classic. I know I’m stumbling along the way in figuring out how to repurpose things, so I knew this was going to be a flawed piece. However, I knew this was a piece I definitely wanted in my home, flaws and all would make it seem even more special to me. I think I treasure all of the pieces I do where I make mistakes, imperfect execution.

Stripping the paint was a nightmare. I”m not sure if it was the product I used, my technique, or both. However, I know I definitely was rushing and ended up puting tons of scratches in the wood when I was scraping the old paint off.

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I kinda like the character the scratches bring.

Once I stripped the paint (which I still need to fix), I had a blank slate. I found a template for a coloring book page of the Philippine Islands online. Once I taped it, I had no clue of where to start. I had no exacto knife or sharp tool. So I took a screwdriver and started scraping the outline of each island away.

This was a small time-consuming task, but that’s the beauty of these projects for me. It is teaching me patience. It is teaching me to stop, exhale, and breathe. I’m slowing down and existing in the moment.

I desperately need this stress reliever.

With my Grave’s disease, these art projects are a form of therapy for me. Actually, meditation may be more accurate. Even if I can squeeze in 10 minutes of working on the piece in a day, I’ve spent those 10 minutes completely with myself and focusing on my art.

It does bring an inner peace.

Once I outlined, I filled it in with chalk paint.

It will be a lovely addition to a wall gallery I want to assemble.

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