Using the Heart Symbol in your Art

I’ve always loved the heart symbol, though as a grown up I started to despise it a little. I thought of it as a childish symbol drawn by little girls who dream about Mr Charming… Not very profound. Not a symbol for the woman I want to be seen as either.

Pink heart

Now a bit older I have to reconsider the symbol of love – again. I do think it is a beautiful shape and symbol. When colored in reds and pinks it speaks volumes about passion, devotion, understanding and sharing both pain and happiness… It is truly a symbol of something that has great meaning to me because I do believe in love, in many ways even though it is sometimes hard!

Valentine Postcard 2008

And I do love to use the heart symbol in my art, especially after reading about the Swedish artist Gunilla Skyttla who uses the heart in her art a lot. She has embroidered the heart in many different ways. Because she is an artist that I admire I feel that I too can be allowed to use the heart as a symbol in my art. Have you ever experienced this? That you need someone already prove to aid your choices?

That I need someone to guide me like that isn’t very strange to me, because I have no art education and I’m not very confident when I call myself artist. I always feel very surprised when others call me that too. Do they think so by looking at what I’ve done or because I’ve proclaimed myself an artist? I do not know.

Valentine Postcard 2008

When I work with collage I feel like an artist. I never hesitate about what will look good or bad, I just do art. When I use the heart-shape it feels good inside, like the love is spreading inside of me. This I know. Therefor I encourage you to explore the heart-shape of your childhood once again. Let it shine with amore, color, glitter glue and passion. It’s a symbol of your love, not only towards others but for yourself and your art.

Ways to incorporate the Heart in your Art today:

  • Bring out the child in yourself and draw big bold and tiny small hearts with crayons in your art journal – fill a whole page! Doodle on!
  • Cut out two pieces of fabric and sew them together and stuff that, then decorate your heart with beads, buttons, lace etc. Like this.
  • Make a couple of those fabric hearts and put them on a string for your wall or mirror like a love garland!
  • Draw a big heart in your art journal and fill it with paint or text about what you love
  • Look around your home or outside in signs and nature – then take photos of the hearts you see, they are everywhere!
  • blog-communityFree write about what love you have and what love you want to experience – what does the heart symbolizes for you?
  • Support a blogger – I love my blog community and hope you do to? Support a blogger by sharing some love with the blogs you like. Great concept!
  • Read and print this beautifully designed manifesto [also via Shai]
  • Print Lisa’s Valentine Countdown images and glue them in your calendar or diary – cover the love month of February!
  • Pick some round rocks and paint them to look like valentine love bugs! So cute!
  • Search for the word “heart” in your own flickr-stream and see if you’ve noticed this symbol before, then make a mosaic like this one;

My heart - love mosaic by iHanna
Love mosaic by iHanna. Isn’t it cool? Love it!
The last one is made with the new flickrtoy Love that creates a heart with all your flickr contacts names in it! A tribute to photographic friends all over the world.

Two other heart favorites that I’ve taken:

The window of an outdoor toilet in the Finnish archipelago that I took two summers ago sitting inside looking out. What a lovely view!

Red heart diary lock

A heart shaped diary lock that I thrifted once. Very girlish, but that is cool too once you’ve let the heart be profound again, don’t you think?

If you decide to write about HEARTS and what they mean to you in your blog, with journal pages, photos, mosaic etc – please let me know and post your links below! I want to see into your Heart and feel the love spread around the universe. Thanks!

Metta to all of you!

24 Responses

  1. I agree. The heart in art is wonderful! I love the lock!

    And on being an artist: it’s not something you have to proclaim. You just are. Everyone can see that, with or without you being willing to accept that being an artist is nothing more than being creative and embracing that.
    It’s like Picasso said:

    “My mother said to me, “If you become a soldier, you’ll be a general; if you become a monk, you’ll end up as the Pope.” Instead, I became a painter and wound up as Picasso.”

  2. Very nice. I’ve got to put your link on my blog so I can get back here easily. Are you an artist because you say so or because you create art? I’d say because you create. You can create with words, paint, fabric, flowers and so many others but I think to be an artist you have TO CREATE something. It doesn’t matter if others agree with you, you just have to CREATE SOMETHING and you are an artist. Maybe not famous but still, an artist.

    Thanks for reminding me to download Lisa’s valentine stuff. And I am going to draw a heart in my journal tonight and see where it goes.

  3. Hello,
    I love hearts ! Actually it’s funny because I just began a block of the month in quilting in our blog about hearts !!!
    Love your mosaic, need to make one.

    By the way, I’m currently reading your book, I love it !

    Cecile, in France

  4. I love the heart symbol. Oddly enough the journal page I just posted on my blog has a heart in a hand. Love all the sewn hearts and the mosiac.

  5. Jag tyckte om bilden d?r hj?rtat var som en f?nster man kunde se ut ur till naturen. Visst kan det vara s? att man kan se k?rleken som ett f?nster att tolka sitt liv igenom. Ibland ?r utsikten klar och solig, ibland molning och regning. Ibland ?r f?nstret ?ppet, ibland st?ngt. Ibland immigt.

  6. i’m so glad you wrote about this… i’ve always loved to draw and paint hearts, but in the last couple of years thought (something like) “really, lynne. you *should* move on!”. ha!! silly! so, like you being inspired by gunilla gkyttla, i’m inspired by both you and gunilla to keep drawing hearts.

    i’ve often thought about how we seem to need to have our thoughts/ideas ‘verified’ or made okay by others before we feel we can proceed. what IS that about? whatever it is i’m working to move beyond it…

    thank you for your blog… thank you for sharing your heart!



  7. I?m a great fan of Gunilla Skyttla & Raine Navin! My mum gave me their book “En Livslevende Bok” for my birthday 4 years ago – after a summer holiday in Sweden. Now you remind me, I?ll go and find it somewhere at my shelves. It?s a wonderful book!

  8. I’m also rediscovering the HEART symbol lately. Such as in my Daily Art Cards. Maybe if I embrace that symbol and what it represents, love will come into my life more easily.

    My dear, you are an artist because you create FROM THE HEART.


  9. Hi Hanna!

    You just posted to my blog that you wished you had mini composition books in Sweden…I can send you one if you want to email me your mailing address.

    Please email me!

    Smiles! Jo Anne

  10. Hanna, What a wonderful post. There are so many great ideas here. And of course you are an artist! You don’t need an education to call yourself one:)
    Happy V-Day!

  11. Linked you with my blog “Wednesday’s Child” and made little heart cards. They came out SO CUTE. Thank you for the tutorial and the idea. My Valentines are going to love getting some art in the mail.

  12. I love all your hearts! the door one is my favourite. I have to say I unashamedly adore hearts and put them everywhere. I used to want to be (my idea of) pale and interesting and profound and cool but now I use bright colours without restraint and hearts and spirals!

  13. Jag hittade inte s? mycket hj?rtan hemma…
    Undrar om det skulle g?ra n?gon skillnad i hur jag m?r om jag lade till flera… i alla fall s? h?r dags om ?ret :-)
    Det ?r sk?nt n?r v?ren kommer… ljuset idag i S?dert?lje var underbar, som p? en sommardag… Tyv?rr bl?ste det och var KALLT!!! FRRYYYYYYSS!!!!

  14. Loved looking at all your heart shapes…I used to have a heart shaped tattoo on my right forearm; it was homemade and the second one I got. It’s covered up now, and I miss it still.

  15. Hi, I’m glad you put a link to this older post, which I haven’t read yet.
    Funny – in fall I was invited to Stockholm from my best friends for their 25th wedding anniversary. As a gift I gave them the project “25 hearts” – 25 heartyly presents. I finished 5 so far, there is no hurry. So far I haven’t posted it, because of a lack of photos. During our walks and boat ride in Stockhom I forgot! Me, who is always taking photos.
    I’ll let you know when I put something on my blog.

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