September Eleventh 2001

9-11.jpgSeptember Eleventh 2001
[Les Roses Cachees Dans Le Feu]*
20" x 30" Oil on Canvas
On Loan, New York
Copyright 2001
www. Janai-Ami. net > Imagery > 3047 Series (9/11 Series)

I began painting in response to 9/11.

I had to stop in Pasadena at the photographer in order to get the painting photographed for reproduction. On my return trip, I stopped in to see Sandy, my auto insurance agent and a friend. I brought the painting in from the car and eighty degree weather and propped it up on a chair in her office while we sat talking.

Sandy had read one of the many articles published in local southern California papers about this painting and was anxious to see if she could make out any of the images people were claiming to see in it. Of course, she knew that I had not intended there to be any images. It was just a floral, like the rest of the 9/11 series of paintings. But on one day, while watching the T.V. while painting in my garage in Hermosa Beach, the news was not good from Ground Zero. It was so disturbing in fact, that I took a spatular and "scratched out" the red, yellow and orange flowers. The unintentional result was the appearance of flames. I sat down and cried at the latest news. And then I stood up in defiance and determined to put those flowers back in there where they belonged. I added delicate pale pink flowers that could be seen among the red and orange and yellow. That was all that was there. And I named it Les Roses Cachees Dans Le Feu. But others saw faces. And they saw the head of a German Shepherd search dog. Once I had had them pointed out to me, I saw them too. It was eerie, and I removed the painting from my wall and put it out of sight for a long while. But I had it with me today, and Sandy stared at it for awhile before turning her attention to my policy.

Then the UPS guy arrived at her office with a package, and as if on cue, turned to the painting and did what so many before him had done when he exclaimed, "OMG. September Eleventh. I see the fireman!"

"What?" Sandy and I looked at each other. This was something I had not heard before, and we both jumped up to see what he was seeing. "Where?"

"There. In the center of the painting. In the middle. And I see the crying woman on the right. Oh - and there's the head of a German Shepherd searching, right there, next to the shovel."

When I got home, I placed the painting in a box and shipped it to New York. And that is where it remains today. I also had to rename it based on what everyone who saw it was calling it.

It's new title became September Eleventh 2001.

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