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.
Five years ago today we visited Antelope Canyon in Arizona. My paintings and photographs from that never-to-be-forgotten visit have taken on new meaning today, as we continue to grieve for Nova Scotia.
Here is the original post from 5 years ago. Enjoy our visit to Owl Canyon
and learn about the feather on my studio wall.
A treasure in Owl Canyon
Who would have thought it could get any better, but today was another magical day with unforgettable visits to Owl, Rattlesnake and Upper Antelope Canyons. Here are a selection of more amazing images to share with you, and many thanks for all your comments and visits.
The feather from a great horned owl from our visit to Owl Canyon will indeed be the treasure of the trip. It will take pride of place in the studio back home and I can’t wait to use it for more pen and ink drawings. I did ask our Navajo guide Kim, from Adventurous Antelope Canyon Tours, if I could keep the feather and she very graciously gave her permission. Thank you Kim for a day we will never forget.
On to Bryce Canyon tomorrow.
Nova Scotia Strong
Salute to a hero 17.4.20
Captain Tom Moore completed his goal of walking the 82-foot length of his garden back and forth 100 times before his 100th birthday on April 30th and in the process raised $23 million for Britain’s NHS. Soldiers from the Yorkshire Regiment formed a guard of honor and saluted him as he crossed the finishing line. Can there be a more uplifting moment for us all to be inspired by?
Inspired by the memory of Vincent yesterday I spent the afternoon in my studio painting alone and thinking of all those struggling in isolation in hospitals around the world without their loved ones beside them. They are always in my thoughts. “What would life be” Vincent wrote, “if we had no courage to attempt anything.” The courage, sacrifice and love of so many will be the lasting inspiration and memory of our time. With this bouquet I thank and honour them all.
Inspired by those quarantined in their apartments in Italy who have been singing and playing instruments to each other from their balconies, and being the complete Italophile that I am, I selected some of my favorite paintings today that followed various memorable Italian holidays to share in solidarity with this inspiring Italian community musical support.
Thank you also to two great Symphony Orchestras who are broadcasting tonight and tomorrow to let their music bring us together in these difficult times. To quote first from the Seattle Symphony: “Seattle Symphony will continue to share our music through free video rebroadcasts and live-streams to help provide strength, comfort and joy to our community here in Seattle and around the world.”
And secondly from The Vancouver Symphony who will broadcast live tomorrow afternoon Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony: “Music and the arts are the heart of our community. We are facing unprecedented times and we need music now more than ever. In the last few days we have seen a global philosophical ‘coming together’ in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19. Ironically, it’s precisely in times of crisis that the human spirit is compelled to come together. The word Symphony in fact means coming together. As such, tomorrow afternoon Maestro Tausk and the musicians of the VSO invite you to come together with us in a virtual finale to BeethovenFest. At 2:00 pm we will livestream Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony “Pastorale” direct from the Orpheum. This is our gift of gratitude to you during this challenging time.”
Details can be found on their web pages.
I hope this will uplift your spirits as much as it has mine.
The Winter Olympics in Vancouver took place 10 years ago last month with the lighting of the Olympic Cauldron on February 12th 2010. Over the past three weeks I have been celebrating all the amazing athletes and events in the studio bringing back so many great memories. Here is a selection of some of those moments and remarkable athletic achievements.
I posted my painting of Notre Dame in November 2015 under the title Je Suis Paris in response to the terrorist attacks that had taken place in Paris on the 13th of November that year.
Today, seeing the sorrowful scenes from Paris of this iconic, majestic landmark engulfed in flames, a landmark that means so much to so many not only in Paris and France but around the world, Je Suis Paris once again.