I Am With You
Each painting is 24" x 48"
acrylic and mixed media on canvas
These two paintings show the progression of COVID before I even knew what the virus looked like. I began these two paintings in July 2019, but did not finish them until March 2021! That's a long time even in my history of painting.
In July 2019, I hung the two unfinished paintings in my den to remind me that they weren't finished, but I had no idea what I was going to do with them. By March 2020, the country had shut down because of the pandemic. I was afraid for my daughter so I began making masks for her and her coworkers at a cancer treatment center. Around August 2020, I quit making masks as they were finally readily available to everyone.
In late August 2020, my friend Kay walked into my den and proclaimed, "So, you are now painting the COVID virus?" I laughed, but it wasn't until that moment that I realized that I had painted something that resembled the COVID virus in 2019 without ever even seeing it or knowing it even existed! I also didn't want to have a painting hanging in my home representing that horrible virus that had held people captive in fear for over a year! So, I started praying about how to finish these two paintings.
In March 2021 after much thought and prayer, God finally gave me inspiration on how to finish the two paintings. I was excited about this project, but it would end up being more labor intensive than I could image. The plan was to use every part of the masks that I had been making to include in these two paintings to transform the ugliness of the virus into a beautiful flower, which was the original idea for the paintings in the first place. I still had the faint markings on the paintings from 2019 of flower petals! The progression took a lot longer than I had anticipated. As I worked through the creation process, every part of the paintings were constructed from the parts of the masks that I had cut out of fabric.
The center of the flower was the Covid virus, the stamen was part of the fabric pieces as well and the small black dots around the stamen are the tiny rolled up ear pieces made from stretched panty hose. When elastic was sold out in all of the stores and online, my daughter came up with the idea to use stretched black panty hose to make the ear pieces. Brilliant! The final twist on the flower was the stem. When I couldn't find wire for the nose pieces any longer, I found wire at the craft store that was used to make flower arrangements. These pieces of fabric-covered wire were inserted into the masks as the nose pieces. If you look at the painting, the green stem has little leaves protruding that represent the nose pieces. The stems on the paintings are actually fashioned by something intended to create a flower arrangement! I love that little detail.
The paintings were complete on March 22, 2021. The only two things left for their completion was a title and a scripture.
As I continued praying from March 22, on the morning of April 14, 2021, God gave me these two titles:
"Fear Not" and "I Am With You".
Little did I know that those are words from the Book of Isaiah Chapter 41:10.
"Fear not for I am with you. Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
I love these two paintings inspired by God from 2019 into 2021. Fear had swirled around everyone for far too long. A vaccine is now widely being distributed and I believe God has a message to send out to those who have been so afraid. He wants us to see something beautiful and peaceful that is now taking the place of something that was awful and fearful! Two flowers rising from the ashes.
I thank God for this magnificent journey through fear and victory.
Praise God as He shows us how to trust in Him without fear. "Fear not," He says throughout His scriptures, "for I am with you!"
Donna Ham, Child of God and an artist!
From start to finish!