Add life to your business!
Call Now: 770-213-7095

Artist Profile: Eileen Sirica Cardillo

Joy to the Word Art

By Heike Hellmann-Brown

The power of the written word combined with the artistry of calligraphy has always fascinated Eileen Sirica Cardillo. In a world filled with negative messages, scripture, quotes, or inspirational sayings can lift our spirits and encourage and motivate us, she says.

Cardillo grew up in Washington, D.C.s political circle and attended a Catholic girls school. She studied graphic design at the American University, but when computer-generated images took over the market, her knowledge was considered antiquated. She turned to painting childrens murals and used her interest in typography and calligraphy to design custom invitations.

In 2012, Cardillo merged her artistic talents. After a challenging personal year, I woke up one day with the phrase, Joy to the Word, stuck in my mind, Cardillo explains. She bought canvases and paint and got to work. It was a true gift from God, a blessing that not only turned my life around at age 50 but also has enabled me to impact others.

From a simple inspirational word to a Bible quote, Cardillo decorates canvases in up to 12 layers to create unique inscriptions for various occasions. The fact that my art is touching a persons life is a privilege and a blessing. Her Whimsy Collection for a Cure supports CURE Childhood Cancer for continued awareness and research in eradicating childhood cancer, about which Cardillo is particularly passionate.

Inspired by the impact of her calligraphic art, she founded Caring Canvases in 2013 with the goal of painting it forward. Through her ministry, Cardillo organizes painting parties where the inscribed pieces are donated to a cause. Recipients include nonprofits, assisted living facilities, ministries, schools and charities. Now I can involve more people, and more people can benefit from our canvas messages. In the year since inception, we have donated 500 canvases yet its not the quantity that counts, but the number of hearts we have touched, she says. And while I cannot cure diseases, I am very grateful that my work may bring some measure of comfort or joy to an individual in need.

Caring Canvases first anniversary celebration was dedicated to honoring Cardillos father. My father was a man of great faith, character and integrity. Having come from humble means, through education and hard work he rose above poverty and became a federal judge, Cardillo explains. In this spirit we donated our canvases to Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School, which provides an excellent education for students of limited means in hopes to encourage those teenagers to pursue their dreams.

In addition to her late father, Eileen Sirica Cardillo cites a late friend as an ongoing inspiration for her endeavors. Even in her last days my dear friend showed grace and strength, always caring about others first. One of my most popular canvases is paying a quiet, ongoing tribute to her with her favorite quote: You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.