This week’s piece is something a little different. My friend Dena Crowder, a fabulous business and lifestyle coach, asked me to do this painting for her office. She has also given me permission to share it with you. She had seen an exhibit on Cleopatra a couple of years ago and had a replica of a stone relief portrait of Cleopatra.
At the exhibit there was also a papyrus document with what was believed to be a signed approval by Cleopatra herself. It was the ancient Greek word “Ginesthoi,” which means “make it so” (or “make it happen”)
Dena’s requirements in her request to me was to incorporate the image of the portrait, Dena’s own handwriting of the word “Ginesthoi,” and the words “Make it so.”
Other than that, I had complete creative freedom. Dena has really interesting and beautiful handwriting, and at first, I thought I might need to trace or use some sort of transfer of the image of her writing. What I ended up doing was simply to paint it by looking at it.
Kind of like treating the symbols as if they were a portrait, and re-creating them on canvas by looking at the relationships between key “landmarks” in the letters. (this is a kind of ‘painter-speak’ for one way of painting from reality).
In other words, the letters in the word “Ginesthoi” which runs up the side of the painting were painted freehand with a brush, like the rest of the painting.
As for the word “Ginesthoi” itself, what an interesting, and powerful way for the Queen of Ancient Egypt to put her approval on an official document. The word’s connotation is that of magic and conjuring.
As the last great pharoah of Egypt, Cleopatra is an enigma in history and is considered an aspect of the Divine Feminine/Goddess. Even during her time as Queen, she was considered the embodiment of the Egyptian Goddess Isis, who was worshiped as the ideal of motherhood and domestic care as well as the patroness of nature and magic.
I am honored to have had the opportunity to paint this divine queen of antiquity, and her magical words, for my friend to hang in her office. I definitely felt magic in the air as I painted and I am inspired by having been in the company of Queen Cleopatra.
Remember her words when you are dreaming of things to be: Make it so!
Have a magical week!