acrylic painting

War Child

In the early hours of the 16th of May six-year-old Suzy Eshkuntana was buried alive for seven hours in the rubble of her family home in Gaza after it was hit by an Israeli rocket that killed her mother and four of her siblings. Just a few days later I began this painting of her rescue, based on a photograph by the Reuters photographer Mohammed Salem, which as I wrote in my post The Rescue would “celebrate her young life being saved, and in memory of the family she has lost.”

The painting is now finished after almost three and a half months but over these past many weeks it began to take on a new meaning for me with so many stories of the loss, pain and suffering of children being reported every day: the discovery of the unmarked graves of children from Indian Reservation Schools across Canada; the 9-year-old boy injured and orphaned in an Islamophobic attack on his family in London, Ontario; children killed and maimed in the bombing of their schools in Northern Syria; children dying of starvation as a result of the war in Yemen; and of course the never-ending loss of life and suffering of the children and their families in Afghanistan for whom all of our hearts are breaking at the moment.

I have chosen War Child as the title of my painting in recognition of the work of War Child Canada, a charity which is dedicated to “protecting childhood in war-affected areas through education, opportunity and justice.” War Child was founded first in the UK in 1994 and in the Netherlands in 1995, and then in 1999 it was founded here in Canada by the dedicated and inspiring humanitarian physician Dr.Samantha Nutt who in July 2011 was appointed to the Order of Canada for her contributions to improving the plight of young people in the world’s worst conflict zones.

If you have been moved by Suzy’s story as I have been, together with the stories of all the innocent children who have been lost or who are suffering from the iniquities of war each and every day, I invite you to join me in supporting Dr. Nutt and the vital work of her charity here at War Child Canada.

War Child – 2021 Acrylic on canvas 72″ x 52″

“Every Child Matters” has never been more meaningful. Hug your children and grandchildren tighter every day for we are the lucky ones in this troubled world of ours.

For Suzy and for all the heroes who rescued her.

spirit found spirits lost


 
Today’s painting from the studio this afternoon is from the Nature Trail in the Pacific Spirit Park, which we enjoyed on our walk this morning. After I left the studio I learned that while I was painting another mass shooting was taking place in Boulder Colorado, which is why I am dedicating my painting of this special place to those who lost their lives in another senseless crime that has left more loved ones grieving once again who are all in our thoughts tonight.

from pencil to paint


 
From days of pencilling a return to painting in the studio this afternoon with this Pacific Spirit Park study – acrylic on paper.

VJ Day


 

Pacific Spirit Park – 15.8.20 – acrylic on canvas

Painted today to honour the 75th Anniversary of VJ Day, which marks the end of the war in the Pacific and the Second World War. Lest we forget.

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The Last 100 Days

Our world has changed so much over the past three months. This mini retrospective of some of my drawings and paintings, attempting to reflect the tumultuous times we have been living through, show moments of gratitude, heroism, loss, remembrance, inspiration, and protest. Let us hope that at the end of the next 100 days we can all be looking forward to the change that is so desperately needed, as we remember John Lewis and Rev. CT Vivian, two icons of the Civil Rights movement who died on 17th July.

Five years ago today I posted a similar retrospective of the then previous 100 days in the studio. My paintings reflected a very different world for me as you will see if you visit Studio 365: Day 200

here comes the sun

Today’s painting was inspired by seeing those close up images of the sun released today by NASA captured by the agency’s Solar Orbiter.