Painting My Gratitude

By Tara Dixon

I am a painter and a mother who lives in Brooklyn, NY. I am honored to be a guest blogger for Dancing Gratitude, and I am grateful for this opportunity to share some of my thoughts on gratitude.

In January of 2010, my eighteen-year marriage came to an end. That winter, an interesting thing happened one day in the studio.

I made a painting with the words “thank you” etched in the final layer of wet paint.  Using words and my handwriting was not new for me, but I was struck by this particular piece.  I remember muttering to myself:  I just made a gratitude painting.  Always one to push an idea to see where it is meant to go, I embarked on making a gratitude series and returned each day that Spring to make another colorful study sometimes incorporating collage materials that I am fond of like shirting material and cut up cloth calendars.

Each small painting (12 x 12) was a meditation on different aspects of my marriage and my life.  I was grateful that my husband and I had had a child together. (My son is now 15.) I was grateful that we all had traveled the world together.  I was grateful that my husband had believed in me as a painter and had paid rent on my studio all these years. As the days went by and my collection of gratitude paintings accumulated, I realized that I was processing the end of my marriage through gratitude.That summer I decided to take 20 of these paintings and start a business based on gratitude.  Gratitude Designs by Tara Dixon was formed.

I am sure you have heard the expression gratitude is an attitude.  It is true.  It is a choice. We can remain asleep or wake up to all that is in our lives, even when they are not going as planned. Gratitude is a muscle.  It needs to be flexed daily, otherwise it grows flabby. Just like any commitment to a regime, even after practicing gratitude for as little as seven days in a row one can see positive results.

Tara Dixon is founder of Gratitude Designs.


Gratitude cards and other products can be purchased at
Gratitude Designs on facebook
@gratdesigns on Twitter

The Gratitude House for Kids

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  1. Kelly Odom
    June 18, 2013 at 9:55 pm

    Really needed to read this tonight! Thank you! Have been fighting off a funk this week and what a great idea! Thx!

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