Sacred Ground

I knew for about a week that I needed to paint. To paint out my feelings onto the canvas. This color palette is not my usual color choices, it’s full of oranges and reds which are usually accent colors. The process and my thought process at the time is hard to describe but here are a few things I do remember, while painting out anxiety and anger.


I painted my palms in red paint and pressed them again and again on the canvas. 


For two weeks (not straight, mainly on weekends and half an hour here or there in the afternoons) I scribbled random marks and dripped alcohol ink, ink and fluid acrylics. 


The delicious golden color started bringing a bit more calm. About midway, I saw the profile of a face in the marks and brought that to the forefront. She speaks waterfalls of truth. An initial splash of muted violet became mountains on the horizon and much later the ocean appeared at its feet. 


I flung sprays of white paint at it (while listening to “White Women’s Toxic Tears”, Jen Hatmaker’s podcast interview with Lisa Harper, so yes, they are.) Oh and I covered the face, so she would be spared the “tears”.


For a time a bright band of teal blue cut across the bottom third but instead of bringing the desired for peace it seemed too divisive. I found a warmer blue color that brought a level of calm (a mix of teal and quinacridone magenta). 


I inscribed the word “hope” in the upper right. Once it was finished, a Jewish friend wondered if I’d written an abstract Hebrew chai (life) symbol at the bottom left. In the right hand corner slowly evolved two abstract figures in an embrace, two companions, and when that solidified, I had found a resolution to the painting. 



As a painting goes, it is very busy and chaotic but these are the times we live in. These are the “messages” I got from it:


There is wisdom if we but heed it. 


There is life. 


There is hope.



There is beloved community.


There is sacred ground. (The title of this painting.)


What messages do you receive?

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