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Jun 06, 2020
The Tree of Change | ink, oil, and acrylic on canvas
Although I'd love this painting to speak for itself, by bringing you colorful light and joy during these heavy days, but now more than ever, I have to tell you the intentions behind this one. Before I go any further, my words are not intended to divide us - we must unite in our differences through love. My heart is full for humanity, and I can no longer be silent about the events that have been happening.
I have been restless. angry. sad. confused. yet, full of hope. It was a studio day for me two days ago, and I went into the day thinking no way would I be able to create. I sat behind my easel and bawled. I cried and screamed for George Floyd, for Minneapolis/St. Paul, for all.those.who.have.gone.before George Floyd from racism and the injustices of our systems. I cried for the LGBTQ communities, the BIPOC communities, every.single.person who has ever felt dehumanized in our country and our world. Maybe my tears were also out of my ignorance of history, as something has changed in me this last week - I'm ready to educate myself on racism and white privilege so I can be part of the change. And maybe, so much of my tears were because of how divided our nation has become. How power and money have come before humanity. How the simple task of loving our neighbors and doing to others as we would have them do to us still hasn't spread to the edges of the earth after thousands of years.
After staring at my easel, I was seconds from giving up on the idea of trying to create art to honor the lives we've lost from racism. But then! I looked over at my oil paints - and there was a container of ink titled "Black Magic". I have zero idea why this ink was there. I don't remember the last time I used ink in my art?! This could be from my complete lack of organization , but, I took it as a sign for sure. 🖤 With goosebumps, I knew I had to use the black ink and create art as a way of my own loving protest for Black Lives Matter and all people of color. This painting was created like nothing I've done before. I dripped the black ink onto the edges of the canvas, and then tilted and rotated the canvas - I let the ink drip down forming the branches. As painful as it felt, it was as though the black ink were tears streaming down the canvas, trying to connect the branches and links for true change.
While painting, it was thundering and the birds were singing all at the same time. 🙏 The energy was for sure flowing through the canvas.
As I was painting, I was listening to a sermon by Rob Bell. He was talking about the book of Isaiah. He says,
"It's interesting how many of the things that are happening now, the voices that are rising up, the things that are being said, you can trace right back to the Hebrew prophets. There is so much that right now appears radical & progressive and it's the leading edge of where culture has to go. My friends, you can find it in the Hebrew prophets. Their voices are like the originators. The original speaking the truth to power. Calling out the systems that oppress people to buttress their own sense of power and influence. Yeah - this stuff is fresh - it's as of the moment as ever, and it's 1000s of years old."
And so, I created this painting "The Tree of Change". May it spread hope and peace for equality and justice. May it bring about awareness to look within and ask the big question - who am I? And somehow, may it whisper back - you are divine and loved. You are a piece of God, here to BE love for everyone and to rise up and be the peaceful voice of change for equality for our oppressed brothers and sisters. (I still believe this was one of Jesus' most important messages.)
May it be so.
I have a lot of homework to do, so I can be part of this change. Here are two messages I'll share that were great starting points for me:
1. Austin Channing Brown preaches on Justice
2. Lisa Sharon Harper on Race & Faith
3. Luckily my dear friends have provided a large handful of books and steps we can take. If you're interested in this list, please let me know!
Peace & Love ☮️🖤🙏
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