Marty - I guess it is
a process, but really "Processing" is a scripting language that is capable of some really powerful graphic work. www.processing.org
It's kind of a scripting front end for Java because at the end you (can) wind up with an executable Java app. Or you can wind up with a vector or bitmap file if it's not intended to be an animation or interactive.
It has been embraced by some of my generative art heros (bit-101, flight404, jared tarbell...) and yes the parallels with Flash are there - these guys all started in Flash so I gather Processing is a big step up. One of these days I'm going to get my feet wet in it!