The Despairing Child by L. Martel

The Despairing Child is a 20″ x 24″ oil on canvas painted  sometime in the 1980’s. When I saw the little boy from Aleppo, Oman Daqneesh, sitting in that chair wiping the blood from his face it brought this painting to mind. It is always the children who suffer.

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Kool Man by swo8 Blues Jazz from the album Osaka Time in iTunes

The weather is glorious and at the moment we’re having a wonderful visit from “Kool Man”. It’s been a busy summer but we are working on several new projects. One very exciting project is a collaboration with the great Indian Photographer, poet and writer, Rajiv Chopra. Another is a project about that amazing country of Greece. Meanwhile, we hope you’ll enjoy the moves of Kool Man. Don’t forget to listen to the music. 3:12 min. 2MB

The Rose of Black is Sacred by swo8 Blues Jazz Lyrics by Shelby Courtland from the album Unfinished Business in iTunes

A special thanks to sepultura13 for bringing this to my attention. On Wednesday, August 17th 2016 a police officer shot and killed a black man in Kelso, Washington. It was only Monday when I last posted this song.This happens far too often.                                                              One piece of good news in that I heard an add on Bounce TV – was organizing to have special retraining for police in deescalation techniques. This shoot to kill with impunity has to stop.

Mon Pay C’est L’Hiver by L. Martel

There is a great French Canadian artist who wrote the song “Mon Pay” (“My Country” in French). His lyrics stuck in my mind when I painted this picture. “Mon pays, ce n’est pas un pays, c’est l’hiver” (My country isn’t a country it is the winter). In Canada our winters can be long, cold and hard to endure. But in that cold our resolve is tempered like steel is with heat.  This is a 16″ x 12″ oil on canvas board painted in 1976.


The Rose of Black is Sacred by swo8 Blues Jazz lyrics by Shelby Courtland from the album Unfinished business in iTunes

It is always with heavy heart that I present this collaborative work of music. The lyrics are by the great American poet Shelby Courtland and are meant to make us search our souls. On the evening of Saturday, August 13, 2016 a 23 year old man, Sylville Smith, was shot by police in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In a country where the rule of law exists, we are all equal before the law. In a police state the police become the judge, jury and executioner. You tell me what is happening here. Please feel free to share. 4:18 min. 2 MB.

Manaus Where Two Rivers Meet from the album Manaus Where Two Rivers Meet in iTunes

The Olympics are on, at the moment, and this brings Brazil into the highlight. There is much more to Brazil than Rio de Janeiro. When we were in Brazil, Luz Ignacio (Lula) da Silva was President and the country was in a powerful growth spirt. Lula, coming from humble origins and of little education, knew what the people needed. In 1978 he became President of the Steel Worker’s Union. In the 1970’s Brazil was under military rule and Lula, a true activist, organized many union activities including major strikes.  He was President of Brazil for two terms  – January 2003 until January 2011. He was diagnosed with throat cancer and was forced to retire for cancer treatment. As President he instigated many social programs such as “Bolsa Familia” family allowance and “Fome Zero” zero hungry. In his parting speech he said “If I failed, it would be the worker’s class which would be failing; it would be this country’s poor who would be proving they did not have what it takes to rule”.                                                                                                                                During our stay the people were happy and upbeat. It was a country on the ascendance. It was a country full of history and promise. Manaus is a city deep in the heart of the Amazon. In this video you will hear about some of our experiences there. 3:50 mins. 2MB.

Deep Woods on Mount Martin by L. Martel

This is a 16″ x 20″ oil on canvas board painted in 1977. On the Ottawa River there is a small mountain called Mount Martin. In the summertime we would cross the river to the Quebec side and spend many an hour on the beach. The water was so fresh you could drink it right out of the river. On occasion we would climb Mount Martin. On our way up we would often encounter brown bears, deer and moose. The wild blueberries were the draw. Mid-way to the top there was a level area deep in the woods. The sun hardly penetrated through the bush. There was certain quiet in this spot and it felt like a sanctuary.SDC17499

The Doors of Uruguay Door # 3 by L. Martel

This is a 8″x 10″ oil on canvas painted in 2007. Looking at these paintings now I reflect on our short visit to this lovely country. Uruguay was caught in a time warp. The streets were clean and well maintained. Unwanted items were put at the curb and within a short period of time they were retrieved by man with cart and horse. By chance we wandered into the stock exchange at Montevideo. It was situated in a small bungalow. Dimly lit, there was a centre portion of the room that was gated off. A few chairs were in this area. Around the sides was a small gallery where we sat. It was mid afternoon and nothing in particular was happening. Shortly after we had taken our seats several middle-aged men entered the inner sanctum laughing and talking quietly. They looked over at us in curiosity. We looked back and smiled. They took their seats and continued their discussion ignoring us.