Connecting the dots, when I was young, was a fun exercise in discovering the picture already determined by the artist. The dots were numbered so it was easy to know where to start, with number one. I would enthusiastically connect one, with two, then two with three and by the time I connected the last dot, I magically had an image develop right before my eyes!
There was a predetermined, linear value assigned to the page. I was the follower, successfully connecting one dot to the next in order to discover what was already there. Sometimes I wonder if life is more like that than I want to believe.
That grates against my creative, independent nature. Yet, when I am honest, there is comfort in knowing I am following a melody that has been expressly composed for me.
Originally, the painting titled Listen, was to be called Connect the Dots. I invited September’s First Friday guests to paint colored dots, anywhere on the canvas that they chose. I only asked that the dots be small. The goal was to create a painting, incorporating others’ touches into harmonious painting. Their dot represented their voice. In today’s fast paced world, there is a cacophony of voices out there and the sound can be nearly deafening. Even though there are distractions—good: oh, look, pretty!, or bad: duck!—there are certain voices, and often it is a single voice, I listen for.
Creatively I chose one unique color to represent a community of people that inspire me, encourage me, and who call me out of where I am, into the land of where I want to be. As I painted over and around—never intentionally painting out a single “note”—I added structure and order by utilizing color, composition, and movement. Yet no pathway of “connected dots” existed. It was the finale, the final movement in the composition in which I added the lyrical intonation of a flowing pathway of golden forms to bring meaning to the motif.
When I look at my finished work, I see colorful galaxies. Never was that my intent, but in my eyes, there they are. While discussing the piece with a friend, she mentioned the phrase “music of the spheres.” Immediately I had a sense of knowing that phrase from one of my favorite childhood songs, This is My Father’s World. Somehow, without knowing it beforehand, these lyrics fit my painting wondrously!
This is my Father's world, and to my listening ears, all nature sings, and round me rings the music of the spheres.
Whether the voices are pretty, pleasing, distracting, disorienting, discordant, helpful or hurtful, the voice I seek most is the Great Conductor’s, as He conducts and tames the cacophony of my life into a choice harmonic masterpiece.