crimes against humanity

21st century massacre of the innocents


 
This morning it was reported that 353 beautiful, innocent Ukrainian children have been killed by merciless Russian troops under the direction of a despicable war criminal in the Kremlin, and more than 662 children injured since the war began on February 24th. I painted these sunflowers in the studio today in their memory just as I had painted sixteen sunflowers on February 27th when we then learned that 16 children had been killed in the first three days of the war. We continue to grieve with their families as these crimes against humanity continue and hope that the brave people of Ukraine know that they are always in our thoughts and will be each and every day until this twenty first century “massacre of the innocents” is over. 💙💛

bereft


 
As we remember all those brave Canadian soldiers who fought and died in 1917 on this day, a day that commemorates the battle of Vimy Ridge, this statue entitled Canada Bereft from the Vimy Ridge Memorial in Northern France seems to express how we are all feeling today and could perhaps even be thought of as Ukraine Bereft as our thoughts every day are of all those who are dying in yet another senseless and cruel war in which the victims are not just brave Ukrainian soldiers but innocent, defenseless children, women, and the elderly all dying together from torture, starvation and murder at the hands of the ruthless Russian army, all war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Wanted


 
Wanted for crimes against humanity, the criminal now known as the butcher of Russia, for his merciless massacre of innocent Ukrainian children, men and women, grandparents and parents. Today we learn that many of the over 300 killed in the Mariupol Theatre attack were children and pregnant women sheltering after they had escaped the bombing of the Mariupol Maternity and Children’s Hospital.
 

 
This ongoing “Massacre of the Innocents” breaks all of our hearts as it continues unabated, with the fresco by Giotto di Bondoni in the Arena Chapel in Padua as meaningful today as it was when he painted it over nine hundred years ago.
 

💙💛

war crimes

As the relentless bombing continues today, the war crimes against the people of Ukraine, especially the children, by Putin and his nazified Russian army will never be forgotten. Judgement day for him must come soon, whether from the people of Russia who do not support him, or from the newly proposed Nurenberg-style international tribunal. He has joined the ranks of every evil despot in history becoming a modern-day Hitler with crimes against humanity that have no regard for human life, however young, those beautiful innocent children who are always in my thoughts as I know they are in yours.

💙💛

“They died by a bridge…”


 
This beautiful family killed so cruelly by a Russian mortar in Mariupol from my post two days ago for International Women’s Day are anonymous no longer thanks to an article in yesterday’s New York Times. The photographs of Tetiana Perebyinis and her two children Mykyta, 18 and Alisa, 9 are being carried by their grieving husband and father Serhiy to whom we send our truly heartfelt condolences on his unbearable loss. Please read Andrew Kramer’article, “They died by a bridge in Ukraine. This is their story” so that the lives of the Perebyinis family can never be forgotten and are made as real for you as they now are for me, a heartbreaking story that becomes symbolic of countless thousands of others that sadly we may never know. 💙💛

crime against humanity


 
From Giotto to Picasso, from Guernica to Mariupol, another Massacre of the Innocents today with the bombing of the Maternity and Children’s Hospital of Mariupol, a crime against humanity that is a despicable atrocity that needs us to bear witness to in any way we know how. My drawing today, which will become a painting in due course, is born from a profound sense of helplessness and heartache that I know is felt by us all. 💙💛

sixteen sunflowers

 
Sixteen beautiful children have been killed in Ukraine according to the Ukraine Minister of Health with heartbreaking images that are hard to see. These sixteen sunflowers painted today are in their memory as we grieve the loss of their young lives together with all those who have lost their lives in these senseless crimes against humanity.
 

#StandWithUkraine

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.

666 – a graphite journey of tears


 
Today on day thirty of my graphite journey of tears I am taking a moment to reflect on the six hundred and sixty six children separated from their parents and who are represented by my drawings of leaves from the Pacific Spirit Park in Vancouver; children who are as beautiful and unique as each one of these leaves is; children who have been tortured by a policy of state sanctioned child abuse by the Government of the United States; children for whom the locations of their parents remain unknown; children who are suffering unimaginable mental anguish for which we recently learnt they were being denied mental health care services by that same soulless government; children suffering from crimes that will be remembered as some of the most heinous of the 21st century, crimes that are reminiscent of those of Nazi Germany in which children were also separated from their parents and suffered similarly unimaginable mental and physical agony that was only short-lived for many because they were gassed.
 
Today we thank those who are working every day to reunite the children with their parents and seeking justice to ensure the criminals responsible for this despicable crime will be held accountable, as they must and will be with the help of a new administration.
 

Thank you for reading.
 

My journey of tears for the children will continue tomorrow.