Inspired in the studio this afternoon by the sights and sounds of the Pacific Spirit Park from this morning’s walk: the music of the wind swaying the trees above and the rustling of myriads of falling leaves in the rain alighting on the trails and woodland floor below.
 

I couldn’t help but be inspired by the privilege of experiencing such precious moments as these.

215 leaves


 
One year ago I began my drawing of the 546 leaves I had collected that day from the Pacific Spirit Park after learning about the children who had been so cruelly separated from their parents at the US border. In the following few weeks we learnt, as my daily drawings continued, how many more separated children there were. Sadly, as of today too many of these children have yet to be reunited with their parents.
 
In May of this year the remains of 215 children were discovered in unmarked graves in the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Reservation School, children who were never given any opportunity of being reunited with their parents and families. And so began the discovery of generations of children buried in unmarked graves of Indian Reservation Schools across the country in this sad chapter of Canadian history, a chapter that continues today through the vital and heartbreaking process of Truth and Reconciliation.
 
My 215 leaves today are in memory of all the beautiful children who are being grieved and remembered by their families and communities everywhere. They were very much in our thoughts yesterday as we walked in the Pacific Spirit Park on a rainy Friday with so many beautiful fallen leaves carpeting the trails and woods around us.
 

for the love of ballet


 
For World Ballet Day today I thought I would share these photos that I took fifty years ago during rehearsal at the Royal Opera House, Covenant Garden. Happily the negatives are as pristine today as they were all those years ago when I took the film from my trusty Pentax Spotmatic SLR and headed for the dark room.
 
    
 

I posted the first photo in 2015 under the title Peeping Beauty.

vpl


 
We visited the Vancouver Public Library downtown today for the first time in many years and had forgotten how breathtakingly beautiful it is. What a jewel in our city and how lucky we are to have such a world class resource for us all.
 

 


 
On this 1st National Day for Truth and Reconciliation our thoughts all day have been of the generations of children who died alone, away from their families whilst attending Indian Reservation Schools here in BC and across the country, together with thoughts of their families, those who survived, and all the communities still grieving this unbearable legacy every day.
 

 
We began the day walking the trails of the Pacific Spirit Park, the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ speaking xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) people. The orange shirts we wore were designed by the Tsimshian artist Morgan Asoyuf. Thank you Morgan.
 

 
From the trails we joined so many others at the Vancouver Art Gallery and were moved by the powerful and heartbreaking display on the Gallery steps together with the sight of 6,128 orange ribbons placed in the gardens opposite by the Haida artist Tamara Bell to honour and remember the lives of all the children lost at the residential schools. We then joined many hundreds of others in the Gallery Square and hope the love and support shown by us all will help in the healing and ease so much of the pain we witnessed today.
 

From the Gallery  to the studio and a painting to honor this special day.
 

 

labor day 2021


On this Labor Day our healthcare and frontline heroes deserve our everlasting gratitude not the hate, vitriol and ignorance of this miserable rabble of unworthy citizenry. Free speech is one thing but protesting our precious healthcare workers outside their places of work is simply unacceptable. These heartbreaking words from one of our nurse heroes say it all.