Dedicated to the memory of Samuel Paty
Once again the Place de la République in Paris today became the “capital of the world” to use the words of Francois Hollande after thousands gathered there and throughout France to protest and remember those lost after the Charlie Hebdo attack over five years ago.
Today they gathered in Paris and across the country to remember Samuel Paty the teacher so cruelly murdered in an horrific terrorist act on October 16th. The words I wrote on my post after the Charlie Hebdo attack on January 15th 2015
were very much in my thoughts today:
In the studio today my thoughts are very much with all the citizens of this great city as they walk in their millions for remembrance, for freedom, for tolerance, for love, for mankind, for the future.
Je suis enseignant
Je suis prof
Je suis Samuel
Looking again at my post from five years ago…
…plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose
May Samuel Paty rest in peace.
Three years ago today the horrific massacre that took place in Las Vegas shook us all. Today I am reposting my post from the following day to remember all those who lost their lives and send condolences to those who continue to grieve each and every day.
a day without color – October 2nd 2017
I think you know me well enough by now to know where my thoughts are today. Our memorable visit to family in Las Vegas in April 2015 included a visit to the magnificent Red Rock Canyon only a forty minute drive from Downtown and which I featured on Day 115 of my 365 day challenge that year. On returning home it led to a painting of the Canyon featured on Day 134 together with its accompanying colorful palette. Today’s image is that same palette in monochrome, a way for me to express without words my feelings of sorrow, heartache and sympathy for all those lost and suffering from the tragic events that have taken place in a city that is always so full of life, color and excitement.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, born March 15, 1933 died today September 18th, 2020.
“Fight for the things you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.” RBG
“She represented the best of the American tradition…it is a loss for the nation,” historian Jon Meacham. In her posthumous statement she hoped that a new president will be installed before she is replaced.
The letters for this quote from Virgil displayed in the Memorial Hall of the September 11 Memorial and Museum in New York were forged from remnant World Trade Center steel by blacksmith Tom Joyce.
Seeing the crushed remains of Ladder 3 on our moving visit to the museum in 2015 the sacrifice and bravery of those 343 firefighters of the New York City Fire Department who were lost that day together with an additional 68 emergency workers and the 2566 innocent lives they were trying to save has been a lasting memory.
On this 19th anniversary of that terrible day as we remember them all together with those lost at the Pentagon and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, we now have too many other lives to remember and mourn, and for whom those words of Virgil could also have been written.
Six months ago today on March 11th The Director General of the WHO declared that, “COVID-19 can be characterized as a pandemic.” On that day there were more than 118,000 cases in 114 countries, and 4,291 people who had lost their lives. Today, September 11th 2020, there are 28,412,026 reported cases and 915,088 deaths worldwide.
The First Responder Heroes of 9/11 and those heroes on United Flight 93, together with the Frontline Heroes and Healthcare Workers of today who have also lost and continue to lose their lives saving their fellow citizens are all in our thoughts on this solemn day.
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 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.
Twin rays of sunshine bringing hope in the Pacific Spirit Park today to celebrate the Biden/Harris winning ticket on a day that we remember Heather Heyer murdered on the streets of Charlottesville three years ago today by a white supremacist. In her own final words posted on Facebook “If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention”. I’ve been outraged and paying attention ever since.
I took this photo at the Canadian National Vimy Memorial dedicated to the Canadian soldiers who fell at the battle of Vimy Ridge in 1917. Today I would like to dedicate it to a fallen colleague who was murdered on a modern day frontline in his walk-in clinic in Red Deer, Alberta. I did not know Dr. Walter Reynolds but I have no doubt he was as much a hero to his patients as the soldiers who gave their lives in Northern France all those years ago. I send my deepest sympathy and heartfelt condolences to his family, patients, colleagues and friends. I know we are all grieving with them. Dr. Reynolds and his family were very much in our thoughts as we walked today in the Pacific Spirit Park here in Vancouver.
The former Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall was ground zero when the A-bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6th, 1945 and is now the Hiroshima Peace Memorial, a UNESCO World Heritage Site also known as the A-Bomb Dome. On August 9th a second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. As we commemorate this 75th Anniversary and the horrific loss of civilian life and suffering that ensued our thoughts and condolences are also with all those suffering loss and devastation in Beirut today, where a modern-day ground zero has resulted in images so reminiscent of those seen in Hiroshima seventy five years ago.
Seeing the body of the late John Lewis crossing this bridge for the last time yesterday was a moment that seemed to capture a nation at a crossroads, with the hope that the bridge will be renamed after him, a true national hero and the conscience not only of the Congress but of the whole country.
Dedicated to his memory.