On a day of celebration of the rescue of the Thai boy’s soccer team and their coach this little watercolor sketch of France’s only goal against Belgium today is dedicated to the memory of Samarn Kunan, the Thai navy Seal who lost his life, together with thanks to the brave and dedicated international team that saved them all.
With the red, white and blue in my painting of Glen Canyon, Arizona, I send best wishes for a Happy 4th of July to my family, friends and followers in the States, although I feel sure like me your thoughts today as you celebrate are for those over two thousand babies and children separated from their mothers and fathers and for whom there is little to celebrate.
The unbearable agony of a mother about to have her baby torn from her arms in this detail from the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua. The image has haunted me ever since I saw it on our visit to the chapel nearly twenty years ago. It was painted by Giotto di Bondone and is as relevant today as when he painted it over seven hundred years ago.
“Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose” -Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr, 1849
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.
August 11th and 12th, 2017 will be forever remembered as two days of infamy that brought terror, shame, evil and murder to the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia. I send my condolences to the family and friends of Heather Heyer, murdered as she bravely stood up against bigotry and hatred, and whose words on her Facebook read “If you are not outraged, you are not paying attention.”
I also send condolences to the families and friends of Lt. H. Jay Cullen, Trooper Berke M.M. Bates, who also died as a result of the evil that visited their city.
May they all rest in peace and may Liberty’s flame act as beacon of hope.
I have a treat for you today. Come and join me on my morning walk yesterday and escape for a few minutes from the hate, the anger, the despair, and the noise that we are all being pummelled with each and every day. I don’t know about you but my troubled soul needed a little healing and when the sun rose yesterday on freshly fallen snow with the mountains stark against the bluest of skies, I knew all I had to do was dress warmly, put on my boots and venture out into the crisp air and morning sunshine. I’m happy to say it worked.It didn’t take long to enjoy every magical moment with everyone else who was out and about.
This gallery, which I have also made into a slide show, I hope will help sooth your soul too.
This next photo is for Cheri and her Weekly Photo Challenge: ShadowAs I came closer to the trees in Vanier Park I was greeted by a symphony of sound that made me stop in my tracks and listen for several minutes, joined by others who were equally as enthralled. Here is a short excerpt from my post entitled Birdsong for today’s Daily Prompt: Heard. If you feel like pausing for a minute or two and hearing more visit the post and listen to it all.
I hope this has made your day as much as it did mine.
I have been struggling how best to respond to this week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge from Cheri in which she asks, “what quest means to you.”
Initially I thought, somewhat philosophically, that I would explore trying to represent the quest we all have had at some point in our lives for “the meaning of life,” but this week watching the horror and tragedy in Aleppo becoming more desperate each day, and seeing the heartbreaking images of little children, the same age as my beautiful granddaughter who is fifteen months old today, being pulled from the rubble of their homes, it is clear that the meaning of life had ended for them before it had even had a chance to begin.
Watching on my laptop one of Jeremy Bowen’s reports from Syria, one image stood out as a metaphor for all the White Helmet volunteer relief workers, first responders and medics who have lost their lives in the name of peace and humanity trying to save these children and families. This ambulance had been pulverized in targeted bombing and on its side are the words HAS YOUR HEART DIED, and hidden behind the pillar I believe the words read ALONG WITH YOUR CHILDREN?
How else to express both outrage and sadness but with pen and brush, ink and paper, as I have done too many times before:
And so you ask what is my answer to Cheri’s question,”What does quest mean to you?”It is simply that one day those responsible for these war crimes will be held accountable and brought to justice.
Here is the link to Jeremy Bowen’s report from September 14th:
Dedicated to five-year-old Rawan Alowsh who was pulled alive by her pony tail from the rubble last Friday and sadly to the memory of her three sisters and one brother, who were all killed in the airstrike together with their father, Mohammad Alowsh, 28, and mother, 30-year-old Kefaeh.