The Painting & Poetry Project 2021

Week 1: New Beginnings

Year 2021. What does it mean to you? To Addie and I, it is full of hope and promise. It is a turning point. The beginning of the end of a pandemic. The end of a volatile presidency and a return to sensible governance. The end of quarantines, isolation, and social distancing and a return to physical human interaction. We will once again congregate, gather with those we love, see them up close, touch and feel again … not in an impersonal virtual space, but in the very real and beautiful world.

We want to celebrate 2021 with an outpouring of creativity and optimism!

Each week, we’ll choose a theme upon which to write and paint. We have many exciting topics to explore, and we are excited to share our work.

So, without further ado, let’s begin the adventure of this new year!


The first theme, perhaps unsurprisingly, for 2021 is new beginnings.

Awaken your spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm,
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.

John O’Donohue


The Beginning
Addie Hirschten


Phoenix Come

On glinting wing, I come foretold,
all the way from the smoke and sand of Arabia.
A cocoon of myrrh is my soul entombed—
gift to the Temple of the Newborn Sun.

My heart a peerless blue, deep and long and wide.
My plumes a fiery red and gold fill the cloudless sky.

Yesterday’s ashes infuse my blood and steer my course.
My life so full it overflows gifts of love,

ripe and for the picking.
My wicker basket swings in the great green orchard, broad and unseen,
as I gather up the fruit for tomorrow’s sacrifice.

Mother morning come!
I knew you from the first and see you at the last.

Will you fill a moment beyond my own with my last and dying breath?

I burn like a diamond, the last of a string of gems—
a crowning jewel of a golden diadem.


Brad & Addie

We’ve selected 52 themes (one theme per week for the year), and each week for 2021, I will write a poem and Addie will paint a painting inspired by that theme.

Expect an outpouring of creative energy! This is the sort of big project that artists live for … where we can say what we yearn to say.  Big picture stuff. Heart wrenching stuff. Expect surprises, love, and a passion for life.

Check Out Addie’s Instagram Account:

Check out Addie’s art studio — Studio Alchemy:

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