The project began before I knew it was going to be a project (how many other projects hold that pedigree?!).
A glimpse at a telephone pole pierced with countless staples. A photo. An idea. The first piece. Left Behind

' Left Behind ' in an earlier format.

'Left Behind' in an earlier format.

More pieces followed on its heels. And more. Today I wanted to revisit the first inspiration, post image on source. Sort of like a thank you. An acknowledgment.


Another spot on my mind, just a block away. An image I've seen daily for nearly a year. It, too, prompted a piece. But when I went walking today, something was off. Wrong.

Instead of the rich red heart that has greeted me daily, I saw a whitewashed tree. I felt loss. I felt a piece of joy had been obliterated. Because it had.

The original background image for ' Love Me .'

The original background image for 'Love Me.'

' Love Me ' tree whitewashed.

'Love Me' tree whitewashed.

As I posted my card, an artist nearby said, "I like that. I like it a lot." Turns out he was the one who had painted the heart.


The artist introduced himself as 'Chris' and asked if I had more of the cards. I told him I'd run home and print him one. A group of us stood and discussed how sad it was that his heart had been painted over, as if it didn't belong, as if it were ugly graffiti to be erased. It belonged. And I will miss it.

And sad as it was to see the heart banished from the landscape, its disappearance led to a moment of conversation. Creators talking to creators. I don't know how many times we have passed each other on the Venice Boardwalk, but today we took the time to stop and speak. And I know from now on we will always say hello.

Chris Ouk

Chris Ouk

Please visit Chris' website ( I thank him for providing the origin to  'Love Me.'