An Artist’s Prayer

There has been discussion recently about what pieces of artwork I would not sell. This is one of the few. It evolved over several years. It began as an 18″ square, my response to a class assignment to work in a monochromatic color scheme. I loved the unfinished results for several years; I remained unwilling to take a next step.

Then came the day when it was in hand and I was in courage zone. I put it on the cutting mat and divided it into 16 even pieces. Eventually the pieces were arranged with smaller squares of window screening on a background of embroidered and tucked cotton batiste, then corralled in a red metal frame.

Today this piece hangs in my kitchen, right over the counter where I pour my morning coffee, chop vegetables, and paint fabric. When I see it, Psalm 51 floods through me. Create in me a clean heart, oh God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of your salvation and uphold me with your free spirit. I call these verses my artist’s prayer. It was my favorite section of the liturgy I sang as a young person. It always seems a good place to come to before beginning a creative endeavor.

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