I remember two places I have been in my life... 1) where I was the day in 1969 when Americans landed on the moon 2) where I was on the day of September 11, 2001.
I was a "Patriot" of my country before 911. After 911, all of America were Patriots. It was so good to see the nation in unity, by race, by political views, by religion... we were a united country. We had to be to make it through this horrific time.
I was asked by the committee in Ontario to be their official artist for the Police and Fire Games. They wanted me to do an artpiece that depicted our hearts and our loss. Amita Patel, a brilliant lady, and I worked on this artpiece together. She saw the vision for a simpler rendering, and by her input, this was born.
911 WE WILL NEVER FORGET IMAGES, FREE SHIPPING
Being a Patriotic Artist, I love my country and I love this flag. I love the fact that I share this heart of mine with most Americans... The FireFighters, the Police, the Sheriff's, the Military (they deserve to be capitalized)...
"I, we" still carry the cross for 911.
That also led me to paint this painting.
This is Bill Spade, F.D.N.Y., retired, Rescue Co. 5
I met Bill at The Ontario Convention Center, California for the Police and Fire Games.
Bill was called to the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001, driving the truck of Tactical Support 2.
Bill's squad had been detained briefly on a previous call, so Bill drove his smaller rig alone to the Twin Towers.
He remembers this day as if it was yesterday, as his eyes well up with tears while he tells of the heroics
of all the Firefighters, Port Authority and Police that day.
Bill arrived at the Twin Towers just as the second plane had hit the buildings.
He rushes in to help lead people to safety. Bill tells the story of the towers falling, total blackness,
digging out of the debris and the day he will never forget. Over half of "his" Rescue 5 are missing, never to be seen again.
As I listen to Bill tell his story, I see his face and feel his broken heart.
He will never be the same man he was before 911.
I understand more now, the family that firemen are to each other... and understand
that if Bill had gone to the Twin Towers with his crew... he would not be here talking with us today.
They are family... they live together... they die together!
God bless you Bill and all who so heroically saved thousands that day... and those who gave the greatest sacrifice...
When I asked Bill Spade if I could give him this artwork... his eyes told me more than yes.
Fire Truck 79 that I painted in the painting was a truck from Staten Island... where Bill came from.
He quietly looked over the Firefighter on the pole raising another flag... the Fireman walking slowly holding onto another flag
to be placed strategically where it would inspire others searching to remember... "We Are Americans!"
To me... the whole story can be found in the eyes of the search dog...
I wish to share this actual photo and others with you from that day... "WE WILL NEVER FORGET!"
His eyes say it all... America NEVER FORGET!
BRAVERY everywhere you turn...
Can you imagine anything or anyone going into "such an unknown" ?
WE STAND BY FAITH...
WE ARE A CHRISTIAN NATION!
In the face of destruction...
In the face of war...
Our FLAG flies because...
WE ARE AMERICANS!
WE DID OUR BEST... WE GAVE OUR ALL...
WE GAVE THE BLOOD OF THE INNOCENT,
BETRAYED BY EVIL...
THE TWIN TOWERS... THE PENTAGON... FLIGHT 93... WARS... MILITARY...
POLICE... SHERIFFS... FIREFIGHTERS... PORT AUTHORITY...PRIVATE CITIZENS...
OUR FLAG STILL FLIES...
PLEASE AMERICANS... PLEASE NEVER FORGET...
MAKE A DIFFERENCE
PUT YOUR HEART INTO IT!
GOD BLESS THE U.S.A... Let Freedom Ring!
This is my signature artwork on which I base everything else I do. It is my heart and soul... and my love for God.
I think that people in America forget what God has done to make our nation free.
It was our Founding Fathers that risked their lives and futures to break off from Britain to come to a land where
they could be free. They drafted our Constitution, Our Declaration of Independence to bring to The United States of America
and a government that had never been done before.
It was truly God inspired and from God's Word.
I believe that America forgets and takes for granted the freedom that this country has.
The young people don't realize the blood that has been given to allow them to be free.
I remember my classmates going to Viet Nam. I remember my father telling me about WWII and being a
gunner in the Army Air Corps. I was raised with a value system that had respect for people, the Police and
wanted to thank them for helping and serving. I still wave to Police and Sheriff's because of my upbringing.
This painting is my heart and my tears the first time I heard... "God Bless The U.S.A." by Lee Greenwood.
I prayed, "God, will you please give me a painting that depicts your heart for our land... and my heart in how
I feel for my country?" God did His job... and I painted! I actually heard His voice telling me what to do next.
GOD BLESS THE U.S.A... Let Freedom Ring!
AMERICA NEVER FORGET!
WE ARE AMERICANS!
POLICE AND FIRE OLYMPICS -
HONORING THE FIRST RESPONDERS OF NYPD AND 911
When asked to create the poster art for this special event, I was not only honored, but overwhelmed. I didn't feel that I could
put into the artwork the depth that my heart felt for 911, even tho' it had been some time since it happened. I understood,
that I had prayed not only for a Patriot's heart, but saw first hand, God answering that prayer, when HE supernaturally, had
my Grand Marquis painted as an American Flag, after it had been wrecked, without my asking for the American Flag Car.
It took me some time to grow into my car, but when I did, I realized God had answered my prayer in a mighty way. I also
realized that it was a GREAT responsibility to have such a heart, and knew it would be broken many times more.
Meeting Bill Spade further gave me the confidence to reach out further because the love for my country and what others had
given, life and death for the freedom that they fought and died for.
The Police and Fire Olympics were held at the Ontario Convention Center in Southern California.
Bill Spade, NYPD, became a wonderful friend, as he told the story of being trapped in the Twin Towers and the tears as he spoke were not only words but spoke volumes into my life.
God did a wonderful thing as the First Responders were encouraged by my Patriotic Artwork that was displayed.
The Patriotic Art was also joined by my western artwork and granite engravings. The surprise for us all, is when the Convention Center asked also for my car to be a physical Patriotic part of this event.
The picture I am standing by is Jimmy Stewart from Winchester '73... One of my favorite westerns. This is engraved in black absolute granite. It won first place in a very special art show I was in a few years back. It meant alot to me... people liking my work... so the blue ribbon is still on the granite engraving. My specialty is engraving in granite and doing monuments for police, sheriff and firefighters... and I am hoping to do a War Memorial in black granite covering all the wars that our men and women fought in to keep us safe and keep us free!... Free-r than any other nation in the world!
The right hand photo is my signature artwork and the piece I love the most. God Bless The USA... Let Freedom Ring! Taken from the song... God bless the USA by Lee Greenwood. I love that song and it made me cry when I heard it and I asked God to give me an image that would depict my heart and how I feel about my country! Just below you will see in granite a copy of Jake Kuredjian that died in Stevenson Ranch. He was answering a call for a robbery, when he was killed that day. To the left of Jake is Red Rock... engraved in Red Rock granite. You can view the granite up close by clicking here.. (Granite Engraving)
Well... across the aisle from where I was painting... I was given the opportunity to display "my cowboys". Being a cowgirl ALL my life... they are very close to my heart. I paint most of the cowboys that were on television during my era... the 60's... The Lone Ranger, The Duke, Roy Rogers, Hoppy, Jimmy Stewart... most of them I know or have known... so for me to paint them is a very personal thing. I paint what I know... and who I know. This show was my debut for my "COWBOYS ON GRAIN"... this, an accidental happening turning into a grand time for me... the painting on the far left, the Gypsy horse was painted for a friend that was having a booth at the Horse Expo... I painted this for Fran from Thrifty Horse so she could put it on top of her booth to attract people. I loved painting on this wood and using the grain to come through and use it for effect. Being a cowgirl... I like natural things more than man-made and the more natural... the better !
I painted Jeff Bridges for The Cowboys that shoot at Rauuhauges for SASS. It was to give them the flavor of the TRUE GRIT! COWBOYS are supposed to have TRUE GRIT! The one I am working on now is Quigley Down Under... Tom Selleck as Matthew Quigley... then it will be Gary Cooper from HIGH NOON! Then a long awaited painting of someone really special... Audie Murphy. I have waited a long time to paint Audie because it has to be REALLY right! My good friend Ben Cooper made many movies with Audie. Audie was a very intense... a man very focused. After talking with Ben... and hearing his stories, it gives me insight on how AUDIE was the most decorated soldier in WWII.
For more to come click here on "Cowboys ON The Grain" .
This is my booth... and just to the right I am sitting at an 8 foot table painting RODEO! The day before, I was giving art lessons to children... My FLAG car is in the background... as I sit comfortably doing what I love most... painting... meeting new people... with my car right next to me.
The Convention Center had many new Toyotas... see the blue car next to mine. Mr. Brown, pulled out a new Toyota so I could put my American Flag car inside.
Thank you Mr. Brown!
BTW... I am painting Clyde Frost on Rocking Chair... Lane Frost's father and champion Bronc Rider...