As you may know, I am hoping to raise awareness (and money!) for the beautiful children who are so deserving of a better life than what they have as refugees in Lebanon and Palestine. With the generous assistance of ANERA (American Near East Refugee Assistance) in Washington, DC, I am able to paint the portraits of some of the children in what I am calling "The Innocents Project." This young man captured my heart with his smile and spunk, as he made his way into several of their photos. In this case, he is smiling because he has received a gift. Unlike most gifts children his age would receive----- a new Star Wars toy or sporting good, it is a supply of lice kits for the people in his tent camp in Bekaa in eastern Lebanon.
I would like to refer you to an article that really touched me, written by Niki Erickson, ANERA's manager of operations in Washington on December 30, 2015 entitled "Syrian Refugees: The Children Deserve Better." http://www.anera.org/stories/syrian-refugees-the-children-deserve-better/
I had not read this article until today as I was preparing to write this message, but it is very timely that I did.
In her article, Ms. Erickson wrote that as she arrived at this refugee camp, the children swarmed around her, all wanting to hold her hand. One little boy "with several fresh scars and a smile on his face was tossing rocks at my back. It wasn't out of anger or hatred, but rather out of desperation to be noticed." I am going to take a guess that this painting is of that young boy. As I look closely at his photo, I DO see scars. I am pretty sure the scars on the outside are nothing compared to the experiences of being a child living in a refugee camp.
In other news, it has been three years today since I painted my first painting for Daily Paintworks. On my first day, deciding what to paint, painting it, naming it, photographing it, posting to the blog, then to Daily Paintworks took me literally from morning till night. I remember thinking, "this has to get better." Indeed it did. I learned to do all of the above much faster. In those three years, I have painted almost 800 daily paintings in addition to many large paintings. It's not 1096 like some Daily Painters who never miss a day, but I am very proud of it. I painted nearly every day during those three years, perhaps not finishing a small painting, but working on a larger painting. It has been a joy.
I have cut down on the small paintings and I have decided my time is better spent painting large(r). Many of those small paintings became studies for large paintings or to find my "voice," style, favorite color palette or technique.
As I have said repeatedly, technology is either your best friend or your worst enemy. I recently learned the hard way that my Mac-created web site went kaput with the installation of my Mac's updated operating system, El Capitan. I must now rebuild. Ugh. (Enter procrastination)
So to all of you who have taken the time to comment on my paintings or to share my blog or Facebook page, and certainly to those who have purchased a little piece of "me" via my work, I sincerely thank you for your kindness. I love this "job" and hardly call it work.
"794 Attention Getter"
acrylic - 12x12 in