It is only a matter of time

Dear Readers,

It was only a matter of time before we started seeing increasing racist, bigoted, hateful and aggressive behavior and violence at Trump rallies as his hate speech has always seemed to me that he was  inciting to violence. Comparisons to the rise of Hitler and Nazi Germany have been inevitable.

Last night, an escalation. Brave people in Chicago shut down a Trump rally. On display, exposed for all to see was racism and hatred but also a large number of protesters who put their bodies and lives on the line to oppose and protest Trump and everything he stands for.

At the beginning of March, a peaceful student from the University of Louisville, Shiya Nwanguma, was assaulted by a terrifying crowd filled with racist haters. It could have been a scene from long ago. I found this photo on Shaun King’s Facebook page; a side by side image that speaks volumes. On one side, a student walking through a crowd during attempts to integrate a school in Little Rock, AK, and on the right, an image from the Trump rally. As if time stood still.

Found on Shaun King's Facebook page. Credit to Shaun King and any associated copyrights
Found on Shaun King’s Facebook page. Credit to Shaun King and any associated copyrights

You can read all about this here via Shaun King.

I was deeply disturbed watching the footage of this young women as she made her way through this crowd, pushed, poked, verbally and physically assaulted because of the color of her skin. I was so angry and sad, I couldn’t find the words. Instead, I sat down to draw and paint.

The man in the red hat is Matthew Heimbach who participated in the assault (you can see him quite clearly on camera).  He’s a leader of the Traditionalist Worker Party and is a known white supremacist. The woman at the center is University of Louisville student, Shiya Nwanguma.

Trump has been quoted as saying, “Get them out of here.”

It is long past time to get him out of here.

This is my protest:

"Amerikkka" by Elana Halberstadt 2016
“Amerikkka” by Elana Halberstadt 2016

With love and peace,

Elana

So I painted flowers

Dear Readers,

This bunch of flowers

flowers

Inspired this painting:

paintedflowers

I think I was also thinking of this stamp from 1977.

peacestamp77

But didn’t realize until after  I made this:

paintflowers

Nothing changes, everything changes, and we still want to believe.

Peace for one. Peace for all.

With much love,

Elana

A Painting of a Bird

Dear Readers,

A few weeks ago, Max came into my office/studio and said, “I’m bored.”
I offered him a few options. One was to paint. He said, “Yes!”

I asked if he wanted paper or canvas. He chose the canvas board, then picked out
a few of my brushes and I helped him set up his workspace on the dining room table.
He didn’t want an easel, saying, “Painting flat is better for me.”
I helped him put out colors (he wanted the acrylics), water, some rags and paper towel.

He was clear on which colors he wanted to start with (blues) and what he wanted to paint (a bird).

While painting, he called me over and asked:
“What do you think of this color?”

I replied,”What do YOU think?”
Then I continued, “Max, I love your color choices. But its your painting. You get to decide if you like it, if you want to change it, if the colors are the ones you want. Really, all that matters here is if YOU like it. If you’re happy with  it.”

He carried on. M used a lot of water and realized that if he tilts the painting, that very watery paint will run.  Instead of it potentially being a “oh, no, my painting is ruined” moment, we used this discovery for good.  M took it in stride. I showed him how he could dab off extra water if he wanted, and explained that even if it ran, that he could choose to keep it as part of the painting.

Then he said, “I’m really interested in making a realistic eye for the bird. All my pieces have some realism in them.”  He spent a lot of time on the eye and he talked more about how important it was for him to do.

M said it was a painting of a Robin and also of a Flamingo, but didn’t want to title the painting too specifically.

So, here it is, “A Painting of a Bird” by Max  Halberstadt Turits, August 2015,  11″x 14″ acrylic on canvas board.

A Painting of a Bird by Max 2015
A Painting of a Bird by Max 2015

Love and peace,

Elana

“Hands up, don’t shoot”

Dear Readers,

It is the one year anniversary of the killing of Michael Brown, age 18, in Ferguson, MO.

I made this shortly after I learned about the incident and posted about it here.

Don't Shoot!
Don’t Shoot!

And there have been so many horrific deaths since.

It feels never ending.

Sending love.

Elana

In colors and light to sparkle and shine

Dear Readers,

There is too much going on to write about.

Does that make sense?

Is it a cop out? I don’t know.

I have this:

Last week we had another snowstorm here and there was a snow day. From the safe, warm inside the house, I took these first thing in the morning.

IMG_0779

I thought of my grandmother, Luba (z”l), who had a gorgeous glass collection in her home by the sea.

I was four when she died  way too young, and my memories of her are fuzzy, contained in pictures and in stories from others, but I remember her soft touch on my skin and her closet, dressing up, and being happy with her; the way she brushed my hair.  I remember that the bottles and glass pieces were lined up on little shelves built into the window that looked out on the little bay. I could never possibly recreate that, such a dream spot, peaceful, with the water always there, the grasses waving and shells I gathered.  The pink rose bushes and monarch butterflies and the paved walk way and that breeze coming off the water on a warm day.

IMG_0780

I have spent my life trying to capture color in my own bottles, hanging things, in art, in scarves and clothing and shoes.  In the light. Always searching for and finding color and marveling at the way the light hits glass, even in a snowstorm, even when it is cold, even when all is swirling, such as snow or wars outside, or ideas in my head, or good or bad things that happen. And how one responds–to the good or the bad.

IMG_0781

I choose color and sometimes black and white.  Always, always, searching for the way the light hits. Waiting for the sparkle and shine. Letting tears fall and then laughing.

Much love & peace,

Elana