I began this series while on a yoga retreat four years ago. In preparation to head off to the monastery I decided to add a compass and ruler to my usual art supplies. Usually my inclination is to paint saints, angels, more representational pieces. But what developed on this occasion was a series of 15 simple abstract pieces. I found myself meditating on various prayer situations, trying to see how they might be envisioned in color, circle, and line.
The completed paintings were very small - 2 1/2" by 3", and I had left no border for framing them. Over the past four years I've given some away, thought about how I might rework them, add to them. I've even made some into larger water colors or acrylic paintings. When I took a painting course at Omega with Jeanne Carbonetti in May, I showed them to her and she encouraged me to mat and frame them. For the past six weeks I've been redoing the original ones in a 4" size, and have come up with nine more. The originals were rectangular; the new ones are square. They are matted in 8" by 8" black frames.
I'll post a few at a time. I find myself thinking of other prayers to add - some come with an image, some, like "Love", I need more time to envision. If you have prayers that you would like to see in this format, let me know, and I'll see what I can do.
The first one is Community. I chose mostly bright colors, circles that intersect in all kinds of ways, big ones, little ones. There are small areas of discordant color - as there are in all relationships.
The second one is Solitude. We each have various needs for community and solitude. It is in solitude where we find the quiet and space to figure out who we are, what we bring to the community. For myself, I need a lot of solitude. I find I get lost without it. And yet I love to be in full community, too - to rejoin those wild wonderful, sometimes messy circles.
May you know yourself and honor yourself to find the balance you need for community and solitude.