After our recent storm making the most of a downed photinia branch in the studio today, and once again using one of its branches as a pen for the ink drawing.
And so after five years the story returns. Do you remember From Yardwork to Artwork:The Photinia Story Part One. from May 2016.
On today’s third anniversary of the horrific terrorist attack in Barcelona this recent painting of bark from the magnificent trees in the Pacific Spirit Park serves to re-introduce my post from three years ago entitled “From Spirit Park to Spirit Dark” in which my painting of the park that day became transformed into a memorial for all those so tragically lost, as we remember them once again on this sombre day.
From Spirit Park to Spirit Dark – August 18th, 2017
Spirit Dark after Guernica, in progress
The evolution of today’s post:
The Pacific Spirit Regional Park in Vancouver is a beautiful jewel in our city, a place of peace and tranquility that I have posted about many times, and as recently as this week’s Photo Challenge from The Daily Post. On our last visit there one of my photos inspired me…
…to set up a number of sheets of newsprint on the studio wall and see where it took me with charcoal, crayon and paint.
I was happy that the image was progressing well and was close to being finished…
…and then yesterday morning came the news from Spain of the horrific terrorist attack killing and injuring countless innocent men, women and children from all over the world, enjoying a summer’s evening in Las Ramblas in Barcelona. The images were heartbreaking, and one particularly was unforgettable, a baby’s stroller abandoned on the sidewalk and a child lying motionless in the street.
I shall never forget the first time I saw Picasso’s Guernica in New York in 1965. It has haunted me ever since, and those images from Barcelona immediately brought it back to me. It is perhaps one of the greatest works of protest art ever created, painted by Picasso after the attack on the city of Guernica in 1937.
Suddenly my Spirit Park in the studio seemed a million miles away from the reality of the carnage and horror happening across the sea, and images relating to another time in history started to appear amongst the trees together with that stroller and that beautiful innocent child.
As I send sympathy and condolences to all those suffering from yet another crime against humanity, Spirit Dark in some small way is my way of protesting these evil times.
One more photo from that morning in the park perhaps allows me to end with a ray of hope in our dark world.
Post Script 17.8.20
Two years ago in October 2018 visiting the Reina Sofia in Madrid was a special day on our memorable trip to Spain, the highlight of which was seeing Picasso’s Guernica for the second time in over fifty years having first seen it in New York in 1965. Once again, standing before the painting, it takes one’s breath away with its impact as an artistic statement against the horrors of war and of man’s inhumanity to man. Sadly so little seems to have changed in our present times as we see dictators and autocrats across the world continuing to demonstrate that same inhumanity as they terrorize their own people and attempt to prevent democracies from flourishing. To my American friends all I can say is VOTE.
The painting was finished this year.
Pacific Spirit Regional Park I – 25.5.20
Pacific Spirit Regional Park II – 25.5.20To celebrate this special anniversary for thechangingpalettte, yesterday and today in the studio I continued to create Art Works from our daily Park Walks in the beautiful Pacific Spirit Regional Park, which as you know I have featured regularly in the last few weeks since the pandemic started with photos and paintings.
Here’s a look back at the post that WordPress Discover featured for those of you who may not have seen it.
Photinia I 23.05.16
Today’s post is all about learning to find beauty and inspiration in the mundane chore of yard work on a holiday Monday.
Yesterday was Victoria Day here in Canada, the perfect time to prune the photinia and clean all of its dried leaves from the studio roof and gutter.
With the concrete cleaned and swept the afternoon was free for painting and photography in the studio with a rescued photinia branch making for the perfect subject…
and a few of the trimmed branches new tools for drawing with.
Now all I had to do was put the two together. What could be better than an ink drawing of the photinia created with one of its own branches?
Well, perhaps some additional watercolor to complete the picture…
and we’re almost there…
So ended a very satisfying day turning the hard work of yard work into art work.
to be continued…
Backdrop to a Life, December 14, 2016
Yesterday was one of those perfect days in Vancouver that needs to be shared.
The North Shore mountains, the West End skyline and the shadowed sands of Kitsilano Beach.
Looking out above the logs to English Bay and the snow-covered peaks beyond.
A perfect afternoon for bicycling through the park.
Who wouldn’t want to stroll in the afternoon sunshine on such a day?
No surprise to those of you who follow The Changing Palette that I would choose this special place to write about in response to this week’s Discover Challenge from the Daily Post: Finding Your Place, in which we are asked by Cheri to bring a place alive that means something to us. But more than that, Cheri writes, “the heart of this challenge is to go further and show how or why this place is particularly special”.I have shared so many photos from Kitsilano Beach and English Bay over my nearly four years of blogging that the “how” is really self evident. But what about the “why”? Well, here is my answer. In 1975, on our first wedding anniversary, my wife and I came to Vancouver from England. We moved into a one bedroom apartment in Kitsilano just a few hundred yards from Kitsilano Beach Park. The following March, on one of our regular walks along the path you see in all of the photos, my wife went into labor and a few hours later our beautiful daughter was born. The beach was the perfect place to walk with the pram or stroller whatever the time of year, and soon a little brother joined our daughter on those same walks. It soon became a place to stomp in puddles, to take training wheels off bicycles, to bury dad in the sand, to laugh on the swings and slides, to walk with my wonderful late parents whenever they visited, to enjoy the four seasons with the changing colours of autumn, the few days of frost and snow in winter to be followed by the warmth of spring and the heat of summer filled with magnificent skies and those unforgettable sunsets creating silhouettes of lovers sitting on logs or people playing beach volley ball in the dying light. I could go on and on but I’m beginning to sound like Dylan Thomas. I think you can understand why this place is so special, so meaningful to me, as it has been and continues to be, the beautiful backdrop to our lives over these past forty years.
The Marked Man – a repurposed drawing from 1971.
Writing for Quartz on January 31st Jenny Anderson wrote an article entitled The psychology of why 94 deaths from terrorism are scarier than 301,797 deaths from guns. In it she references a paper by Linda Qui writing for Politifact in 2015 entitled Fact-checking a comparison of gun deaths and terrorism deaths in which Ms Qui quotes figures gleaned from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Vital Statistics System. Looking at all deaths on US soil between 2005 and 2015, 71 were due to extremists attacks and the majority of 301,797 due to home grown gun violence.
The President of the United States wishes to make America safe by instituting an immigration process that will require extreme vetting for those seeking refuge for lives that have been shattered and broken by war and terror.
Looking at the figures quoted in the papers by Ms. Anderson and Ms. Qui one can only conclude that the only place for extreme vetting to make America safe is to vet those seeking to obtain weapons for their own personal use and which end up killing their fellow citizens in numbers that are simply staggering.
The President should be welcoming refugees to his country in the spirit so clearly spelled out in the words on the Statue of Liberty, and as a priority look to solve those home grown crimes of violence that are clearly due to a failure of gun control and for which he is now responsible.
The Holocaust Memorial, Berlin.
Conventional wisdom would think that we might learn something from the past but today, Holocaust Memorial Day, the President of the United States signed an executive order that will stem the flow of refugees into his country, refugees fleeing a modern day holocaust.“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” we read on the Statue of Liberty, “the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” Lets hope that the lamp will be lifted again very soon as we pause to remember the millions lost and “tempest-tossed” both yesterday and today.
The image of the Holocaust Memorial has been repurposed from my post Lost and Found in September 2014
For this last Discover Challenge of the year from The Daily Post we have been asked “to pull all the strands of your 2016 together before diving into the new year.” So here is a look back at thechangingpalette in 2016 with some favourites of both yours and mine. You will find two from each month in the drawers of the Calendar, but remember you must open them in order.
Happy New Year to everyone. I look forward to seeing you in 2017, as much as I look forward to drinking David’s delicious teas. They are simply the best.
The Vancouver postmark on the envelope began with a vintage 1932 image I found online.
With a little Photoshop Elements magic I rearranged the numbers for 2016,
and with a little more magic superimposed the Vancouver skyline stamp…et voila.
You may remember the bouquet I chose taken from The Gift of the Four Treasures: Part Two
Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year, and as I wrote at the end of the WordPress Discover post, “I look forward to enjoying the fruits of your own blogging resolutions in 2017.”
You can read the contributions of my fellow participants here in Part I .
Wishing that your day be as full of Hope and Love as ours is today.
Yesterday’s winter wonderland here in Vancouver.The title to today’s post is explained in backdrop to a life, which I submitted to this week’s Discover Challenge: Finding Your Place. I hadn’t planned on a Part 2 but after those crisp, clear blue skies last week the weather changed and it was snow, snow, snow, creating a whole new beauty to magical Kitsilano Beach where it felt yesterday as if I had stepped into a Lowry painting.
This final image seems to be the perfect way to wish everyone Happy Holidays