Cross My Heart And Hope To Fly

Works from Project Success Young Artist

Art Love Event 

If you’ve been in ear shot you’ve heard me preach about the amazing experience Tuesday nights at The Cop Shop has brought into my life.  It’s no secret my belief in angels, guardians, fairies encapsulated in human bodies.  Overseer’s who quietly place their healing energies and resources into seeing energetic bridges built between souls.  Driven by an internal knowingness that life is more sophisticated then the distraction of everyday drama.

To the outside world the outreach program Project Success between Fort Worth Police and community volunteers to create a space for children living in our local shelter to break bread and create art.  Peeling back the first layer one might see there is so much more.   This program has become a platform for healing, expanding and growing.   With a quick glance one might focus on the beautifully crafted works of art that is the end result of the real work that goes on in the sacred Tuesday night space.  If you walk with me I will give you a peek behind the curtains into the intention of how and why I design what to some looks like fluid chaos of glitter bombs, oops drops of paint and children voices many decibels louder then the librarian would allow.


“The Mayor’s Path”

The very first project designed was a series of wooden crosses.  A powerful symbol in it’s own right a cross can mean many things to many people.  For this project the design of a cross was to me like arrows launching in every direction.  The strong wood structure, inspired by the guardians creating the space for the young artist to reveal,  would be the medium to capture the child artist expression.  Giving them options of broken, old, reclaimed objects to symbolize material can be found in the less obvious parts of our life if we are willing to see the possibility in any object.  I use Art as a metaphor for life.  A way to speak to the ego and gain the clearance to co-create an experience where together we can expand.

As the weeks have added up so to has the development of the artist child.  Every week I build on the previous week answering a series of questions that reveal.   Each child has their own unique expression which is built by their unique life story filled with the obstacles and distractions that keep them from knowing their greatest work.  They come in with different moods and attitudes about themselves and life. Slipping in and out of their work, they want to be stimulated.  They get bored,  negative emotions pop out and sometimes just need to unplug from whatever internal dialogue is running them.  These young artist are living in a world and facing stresses of an adult world in their young minds.  Like a master fisherman my wish to hook each child into a project where their inspiration takes them away, pulls them into themselves in a powerful way as their perception of life starts to bend and they start to feel their own power to manifest their dreams.

I’ve seen these children grow in such a short time.  Instinctual they have a knowingness once they feel safe with the platform to express they become dynamic dreamers.  In the last couple weeks I’ve watched them move from pre designed projects into asking, really demanding the blank canvas for their own design.  Going from needing a guiding hand to becoming a beacon of light for themselves and those their life touches.

“Keep Calm And Look Pretty”

This isn’t just tossing paint around.  These children have worked through emotional road blocks to create what you now see.  At first blobbing out their expression wanting to be done quickly for immediate gratification and a check mark of a completed project.  I started sending them back to do more and another week goes by when I ask for them to go deeper and add another detail.  The energetic foot stomping as I push back and invite them to stay longer in the dialogue of each pieces.  The frustration when the piece doesn’t represent it self like in the child’s minds eye.   As they want to toss it aside or destroy it and start again but then accept the proposal to stay with it and work through the dark, blocked and uninspired part of the process to find what ends up being their favorite work.  The adults in the room take on the role as servant leaders open to be whatever they need to be in any moment to see each child continue to unfold.  Words of encouragement turn into act of labor as sometimes just adding to the detail work takes off the edge of frustration when the child realizes they aren’t on their own.  They have a community of believers believing in their dreams.  Believers willing to add resources to see their imagination birthed into the world.  Weeks have come and gone as these young artist have been given assignments at different levels of sophistication sometimes navigating through multiple projects at a time as individual artist and also partnering up and being a collaborative artist.  Learning that feedback is neutral and other’s opinions are just that..others.  They’ve gotten so used to the artist lifestyle they don’t realize how they speak more open and free about themselves, eye contact and the intimacy of their words has grown to reveal they feel safe to share a little more of themselves to the world.  As they share what inspired them to create such work they are telling their own story and chapters once never read by the public.

See I have a dream that if I can be the Regent Artist today and hold a space where anyone


Sponsored by Regent Services

can come to align their artist energy with mine. Then they can go out into the world and be a dynamic dreamer, intentional thinker and manifest their imagination into reality.  I dream that by becoming an artist with me, even for a moment, they will see they have the tools to be whatever they can dream.   My dream isn’t about paint and canvas those are just part of the tools I use for the labor of artistic expression shows us the way.  So now that I’ve see all these individual pieces of wood that were arranged in the symbol of a cross which got filled with the expression of these young artist children I reflect on one of my favorite craftsman Jesus and the wisdom of his story has been to my life.   My dream is about using my work to inspire others to own something that we all came into this world to be… A Creator!



brandi warhol

Brandi C. Art & Playing with Paint is committed to create individual and group experiences where art is used as a conduit to grow the participant in one moment of action. Brandi has worked with groups from 2 years of age to 500+ participants spanning 5 continents. See more collaboration pieces at

Everyday I make connections with individuals and organization’s with a desire to add Right Thinking into their lives and practices. If you would like to see this work grow and be used as a powerful tool in our public schools, mental health programs, VETs, Recovery programs and more decide to add your mark and be a sponsor to see this work grow into all aspects of our communities. Donate Here its not about the amount its about the choosing it was Right thinking used to take 5 fish and feed 5000.








About brandicottingham

I'm a self taught artist, blogger, mom, bone collector, creative passionate soul with my life work to connect the collective consciousness to a lifestyle of "Right Thinking" meaning allowing the right brain creativity and imagination to flow through all aspects of life!
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6 Responses to Cross My Heart And Hope To Fly

  1. Barbara Ahlquist says:

    blockquote, div.yahoo_quoted { margin-left: 0 !important; border-left:1px #715FFA solid !important; padding-left:1ex !important; background-color:white !important; } Sounds like an amazing project .  I love Iit !!!!

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone


  2. Andrew says:

    Powerful stuff! Social change through the creator!



    Love it!!


  4. Jerry says:

    Love this idea. There is a lot of talk about bringing communities together, especially police and the people they protect. This is a great way to build a long term connection. Pop up where there is strife, let folks express their joys, fears, frustrations and hopefully peace and understanding is the byproduct. Expressing ourselves through art would seem to be a much better way of working through these tough issues folks have to deal with. Give people an avenue other than taking to the streets in violence. Do a “Pop-up protest” instead of the more come protest that leads to more strife! Keep pushing these ideas, that’s what we need today, new ideas to tackle hard problems.


  5. paula mcmillen says:

    Very cool!

    Sent from my iPhone



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