The photo shows the very, very early steps of the painting process known as Artifact. What you see in the photo is the beginning of a step called coding.
To code a canvas is to make marks. Anything from “random” scribbles to symbols to words to your dog’s foot prints could be coding. (Assuming, of course, that your dog is a lot smaller than mine are!) And, as you probably guessed, “random” also suggests “non-conscious” which comes from so deep inside it might feel random, but really isn’t.
(And, just in case there’s a voice inside you whispering, I could do that, you’re right! You could!!!)
It’s a go-with-the-flow kind of thing. And, in this case, a big thing. To give you a sense, the photo shows marks toward the top, kind of in the center, of a 36×48″ canvas, which, in the places I hang out, is kind of medium-sized!
It was my left shoulder, with its deeply irritated rotator cuff, that chose the canvas. It’s about all I can wrangle right now, if I want to get anything else done!
And, I do! You see, several things I’ve been pondering in a not-totally-conscious-imagination sort of way bumped into each other yesterday and I have answers for one of my all-time favorite questions:
What is the next right thing?
Part of the answer to that involves adding to the tech toys around here. This is NOT my favorite sort of hunting and gathering, as I don’t much speak the lingo, but I do have very smart help!
Shopping is, of course, a bit more challenging than usual these days, though summoning things electronically is preferable, at least in Georgia, to venturing out, all masked and anxious.
Thus, it is time for waiting. And coding. You can’t tell much from the photo, I know, but a whole lot of this particular medicine painting is about grandmothers. Me. Mine. You. Yours. Those of the Intentional Creativity® lineage. And those of the world.
The curved band, just to the right of the one with spirals, is one of the most important ones to me. It’s the Hebrew word for remember, which also means to remind. And the writing, being oriented vertically rather than right to left, and actually written around the curve, becomes an abstract-esque sort of design which carries deep meaning for me.
I was remembering Elsie, also known as my Farm Gramma, while I was alternately tech shopping and coding.
One of the stories I know about Elsie is the time she and Frank, the grandfather I never knew, packed up their truck with six kids, a wood stove, and a goose whose name, I’m pretty sure, was Oscar, and left the farm they lost in Illinois during the Great Depression to head off to a new farm in Indiana, purchased with money Elsie inherited when her Uncle Harry passed on.
That would have happened in about 1933, just 13 years after women were finally able to vote in the US which is pretty remarkable when you think about it.
It also feels hopeful, to me.
Hope, as you may have noticed, is a big thing around here. And it has a whole lot to do with that next right thing.
And, in my world, hope comes with prayer dots. You can’t see them yet, but they’re there. And there will be more.
Prayers for struggling friends. For safe kids. For courage. And, in this moment, for a woman named Carmen, whom I’ve never met. Carmen is one of my bonus Intentional Creativity lineage. A woman unrelated to me in a genetic sort of sense – though, as my understanding of that grows, I wouldn’t swear to it – but definitely part of my chosen family. And prayers for remembering.
I sometimes wonder what my girls will remember about me. One of the things I most hope they’ll remember is that I’m not afraid to try new things. Or, rather, that I try new things which feel important, even when they are scary.
For now, though, more dots. And yes, there’s voice in this story, too, for the voice in my painting is saying:
Comfort, comfort your people.
I’m pretty sure Isaiah (40:1) won’t mind my tiny smidge more editing after all these years.
And I suspect my painting has picked a title!
ps… When that next right thing is ready, somewhere other than in my head, you’ll be the first to know! And if you’re looking for some, well, finished art, there are some of my favorites waiting here to be adopted.