Adel Youakim


© 2012 Adel Youakim,

Egyptian-born, Canadian-American.

¨Santa Fe seriies #2¨

acrylic on canvas, 60″(inches) x 20″,(inches) completed in September 2010.

I first met this artist during a trip to Seattle in the late 1990’s.  His art made an impact on me then as it does now.

Adel indicated that he rarely names his work as he prefers to give the viewer the opportunity to respond to each work without being guided by a name that could suggest a style, location or interpretation. He indicated that this painting is an exception to his rule and is identified as ¨¨Santa Fe seriies #2¨¨. Capital of the U.S. State of New Mexico, Santa Fe is a city that attracts artists, especially those who want to capture on canvas the beauty of Santa Fe´s landscapes and exquisite sunsets.

When asked to provide a comment about this work Adel indicated that the inspiration for the painting was “the feel and the spirit of the desert of the Southwest of the U.S., in particular, New Mexico. The colours are those of the sky and the land …. The landscape is truly spectacular, especially in the soft light of early morning and early evening.”

When asked what art styles have contributed to his art work, Adel said that that this painting was  “inspired by the early Modernists/Abstractionists whose use of colour and shape is mesmerising.¨ He went on to say that the true muses for his art works are the Abstract Expressionists because their creations are unique and open to personal interpretation.  Adel presents this painting to you for your personal interpretation.


Give us your interpretation by leaving a comment:

Text © 2012 Charalee Graydon

Mozart Cafe


A Sonata of Sharing – Lola’s Gift to Mozart Cafe, Vinaros, Spain

My art experience was enriched during a recent vacation. This is a story of sharing with
particular Spanish flavour. In my travels there are few places that can match the manner
in which the Spanish share their friendship with one another. Despite their regional
differences their openness seems part of Spanish character.

Café Mozart had recently been renovated and redecorated. There were several new
paintings and photographs displayed in the café. Each day that I attended the café to
check my internet messages I saw the owner, Sergio, spending a considerable amount of
time admiring one painting. When I asked him why he was paying so much attention to
that painting, he explained that it was a gift that had been given to him by a client who
often stops by the café for coffee. He had taken it to his home but loved it so much that
he decided to bring it to the café. You could see his gratitude for the gift each time he
looked at it.

When speaking with the lady who had given the gift, I learned that she was originally
from Monovar, a city in the Alicante region of Spain. Monovar was her birthplace
and the painting was that of an artist, Felicita Gran, from that region. Lola is proud of
her birthplace and enjoys telling people about the foods of the region and its special
buildings and events. The painting is a landscape but what makes it special is the story
that unfolded about its new home at Café Mozart. Although it could have been a piece
of silent history, when I heard the story of the gift I thought it worthy of sharing with the
press in Vinaros and Alicante to show the interaction of people from the two regions of
Spain. It is a story that says something about the character of the Spanish that helps to
explain why Spain is a country so attractive to visitors. People are welcomed not only by
the sun and beautiful beaches but also by the people of Spain with their open and warm
character. Mozart café brings us a new sonata, the soft music of sharing.

La Sonata – Un Regalo de Lola al Café Mozart, Vinaros, España

Durante una de mis breves visitas a España, mi experiencia artistica se ha
enriquecido. Para mí, esta historia tiene un sabor particularmente español,
un regalo de amistad y el intercambio que a menudo puedes experimentar en
España. En mis viajes, son pocos los lugares en los que me encuentro con un
sentido de apertura y compartir. Sigo impresionada por la manera en la que
la gente española ofrece su amistad a los demás. A pesar de las diferencias
regionale esto forma parte del carácter español.

Café Mozart ha sido recientemente renovado y redecorado. Vi que Sergio, el
propietario, pasaba una cantidad considerable de tiempo admirando un cuadro
colgado en un rincón del restaurante. Le pregunté por qué miraba con tanta
atención la pequeña pintura y me explicó que era un regalo de un
cliente que a menudo se detiene en la cafetería para tomar un café. Dijo que le
encantaba la pintura, tanto que se decidió llevarlo a la cafetería. Puedo apreciar
la gratitud en su rostro cuando mira la pintura. Lola, el cliente, se siente
orgulloso de compartir un regalo de su tierra natal Monovar.

Lola ha adquirido recientemente la pintura de paisajes del artista, Gran Felicita,
de Monovar se encuentra en la región de Alicante. La pintura es un paisaje pero
lo que hace que esta pintura especial es la historia que se desarrolla alrededor
de su lugar en Café Mozart. Ahora se ha convertido en parte de la historia de la
cafetería. A pesar de que podría haber sido otra pieza de la historia en silencio,
cuando me enteré de la historia que quería compartir con la prensa en Vinaros y
en la región de Alicante, así como a mis lectores en

Es una historia que ayuda a explicar por qué España es un país que atrae
a tantos visitantes. ¿Por qué la gente de todo el mundo sabe que será bien
recibido, no sólo por el sol y las playas hermosas, sino también por la gente
de España y su carácter abierto y cariñoso. Café Mozart y el paisaje poco nos
trae una nueva pieza de música, una sonata de calidez y amistad que se ven a
menudo en España.

Text © 2012 Charalee Graydon

Trees and our Environmental World Day 2012


© 2012 Kamal / 


© 2012 Kamal / 

Trees and  Environmental World Day 2012

The photographic works of Kamal are more than works of art?  They make

a strong statement about the importance of life, trees and the protection of the
earth´s resources?  These photographs cause us to pause to reflect on the
importance of trees to the health and beauty of our environment.

This post is dedicated to my parents.

Text © 2012 Charalee Graydon


© 2012 Kamal / 


© 2012 Kamal / 

KEEKO – Travel Recollections

© 2012 Photo Daniel Miralles /

Story Daniel Miralles and Charalee Graydon

I woke up at midnight. My sleep was interrupted by a strange sound from
some animal. It wasn’t a terrifying sound but it was very loud and best
described as the sound ¨KEEKO¨. It was repeated at regular intervals and
seemed to be coming from my door

I confess that I had not slept well before I had been awakened by the sound.
I was far away from my home and family. I was alone on this island in a town
perhaps not far enough away from the mountain, Agung, a smoking volcano
that, although dormant, was waiting for the moment that it would once again
erupt. I worried that this moment might take place during my visit.

I thought of turning the light on in the room but quickly remembered that the
room did not have lights. The door locked from the outside with a padlock.
Once inside the room there was no way to lock it from entry. I could not hide
under the sheets as I had done when I was a child because there were no
sheets. I tried not to think of the huge black centipede that I had seen in the
corner of my room before I lay down to sleep. I tried to forget that the half
open door would allow entry of the abundant and variety of reptiles that I knew
lived in this area. I moved only enough to defend myself from the mosquitoes
that, with luck, would not bite me and transmit malaria.

For me the jungle had mystery and soul. Despite my fears the experience
reminded me of times that I had gone to the cinema to watch horror films. I
felt the same sense of excitement and anxiety. Yes, I was frightened but it is
the type of excitement that I enjoy. I remembered another voyage that I had
taken to Central America when I had heard the roars of the howling aulladore
monkeys in the forests. It was fright mixed with excitement. I had survived
that voyage and hoped that I would survive this voyage. I felt that I had
everything under control apart from the strange KEEKO sound. I wasn´t able
to sleep more. I could only lay still and wait for dawn.

With sunrise, I got up, grabbed my camera and prepared for the day ahead.
I was here to see the country and to learn from its people about their way of
life. At the time of my visit the country was composed of more that 15,000
islands and 240 million people. The poverty in rural areas was evident despite
the country’s rich and exhuberant soil. I saw that the rivers and sea provided
sufficient produce to ensure that no one would starve. I was a foreigner in
a new land and learning rapidly the different ways of life of my hosts. For
example, I was surprised to learn that this area had no banking establishments.
I found out that most people had no money to put in a bank. My observation
was that the political powers in the country were crushing the lives of the local

I remember speaking with a farmer in a rice field about his life and comparing
it to my life in Spain. He was amazed when I told him that I would soon
become the father of my second child and that the child would be a boy. He
asked me how I knew that it would be a boy. I explained but he had difficulty
understanding the existence of the technology of ultrasound. He did not even
know his own age. That was because most adults in this area were illiterate
and did not make note of the dates of birth of their childen. There was even
greater confusion because of the use of two different calendars; the country
used the traditional lunar calendar as well as the solar calendar brought to the
country in modern times.

During my conversation with the farmer, he received a telephone call on his
cellular phone. The phone was one of the latest models. How was it that his
man could have such a modern and up to date phone? It was not because he
was rich. It was because of the inexpensive cost of production of such items in
his country.

Even though the farmer didn´t know how to read or write, he spoke English
much better that I did. I also learned that he understood dignity and had
respect for other people. When he prayed, he gave thanks to the divinities that
had given him his existence without asking for anything in return. I realized
that I would like to learn those qualities.

That night, on another island, in another rainforest and in another grotty but
marvellous room, I again heard the sound KEEKO. This time my fear was
transformed to curiosity, ¨what type of animal can make that sound?”

On that island I met a young man on the beach. He was obviously trying to
attract the attention of tourists who were strolling on the sand. He was from
Sumatra and was teaching the techniques of surfing for just a few rupias. He
was working for the school of Surf. When I spoke with him he told me that
his wealthy foreign boss kept most of the money that he earned from the surf
lessons and that he took home only a small percentage of what was paid by the

I bought lunch for him that day. Lunch was Nasi Goreng fried rice in soya
sauce with eggs and a choice of chicken or fish. He told me that he lived with
his mother and that she had not been able to pay the rent for several months.
He confided that his job at Surf did not provide enough money for him to live
and that he wanted new work. Despite his financial woes, he finished our
conversation by boasting of his amorous pursuits with tourists from around the
world. It lightened the discussion as we parted.

My next experience was under water. I was wearing only flippers, a bathing suit
and goggles. The sea was full of life. I had never imagined anything like this.
The reef was only 150 meters from the beach and in it the best concerntration
of marine life that I had ever seen in my life. Coral in all forms and colours,

well conserved, hundreds of exotic fish of all types, a turtle eating at the sea
bottom while a globe fish revoved around him. It was not necessary to look
for barracudas because they are curious and look for you. To admire mantas
and inoffensive sharks it was better that you search for them. Marine life was
crowded together at the coral reef: the visibility was excellent, the temperature
of the Indian Ocean very agreeable all of which invited me to spend more time
in the water. The experience was invigorating. Like my KEEKO adventures, this
was an activity that was often repeated during my visit.

The major things that brought me to this country were the hours that I passed
in the sea, the exotic islands with their distinct sustoms, languages and
religions. One of the most memorable aspects of my trip was the kindness and
generosity of the people and my recognition of their values. It was the flowers,
trees, birds, lakes and volcanoes that were sacred and respected. I felt that
the people were living in tune with their surroundings. I had a sense that this
allowed them to live and breathe in harmony with nature. I had never before
seen people so poor with so many riches.

As my trip finished I took account of the parallels of my voyage and the KEEKO
mystery, the two unknowns. Once having discovered the place and the
people, I was able to give thanks for having travelled there. With KEEKO it was
the same. Some hours before my departure a fisherman explained to me that
the animal that cries KEEKO is a little dragon, not more than seven centimetres
in size and totally inoffensive. He also told me that I was very lucky to have
had a KEEKO at the door of my room. With a laugh the fisherman said that
KEEKO is a good friend to have. A KEEKO eats all of the mosquitoes that it can.
It is possible that a KEEKO may have saved my life.

Ah! Should I ever forget, I met KEEKO in Indonesia.


Daniel Miralles (Dani) was born and lives in Spain. He began taking photos in 2005
when travelling. This pass time has grown to become an important part of his life.
Dani photographs the ordinary in an extraordinary way. His photography expresses
emotion in a two dimensional form. Dani´s photography projects include: ¨Keeko¨.
Images from Indonesia, Portraits of People. You can see Dani’s photos at his web site
© 2012 Story Daniel Miralles and Charalee Graydon 

Eduardo Urbano Merino – Sculpture La Justica

A new icon for justice. Eduardo Urbano Merino’s sculpture, La Justicia is

a strong and sensitive rendering of justice. The power of law takes a new

form, one of strength, reality and warmth. This work invites us to return to the

19th century and Rodin´s ¨sculptures. Rodin’s works. The Age of Bronze, 1877

and his contemplative sculpture The Thinker, 1903[1], had moved away from

the academic method in portraying the human body to adopt an approach that

sought to reflect the wholeness of the subject.[2] Eduardo adopts a similar style

in his realistic and painterly approach to the rendering of form in La Justicia.

Despite its solid existence, the sculpture brings us a sense of reflection and


Like Rodin, Eduardo Urbano Merino, knows that sculpture is a medium by

which the artist can provide a clear message to the people. In this 21st century

of instantaneous and rapidly changing methods of communication, important

messages require impact and longevity. World events show us the incertitude

of justice and morality in many societies and the quest by people in those

societies to reshape their justice system and to determine ¨what is the right

thing to do¨ in shaping that system. [3] This is a good time for the creation of

a new justice icon for the people; this is an icon that shows the importance of

justice as well as the human face of justice. It is also important that the creation

of justice be transparent. Eduardo´s videos exemplify this. He provides a video

of the creation of La Justicia, a film showing hard work, humour and a sense

of reality during the time that he and his colleagues created the sculpture. His

work breaks barriers that we often associate with law and art. It opens doors

not only to the process but to the promotion of art work. La Justicia was made

by the people for the people. Societies that are now demanding transparency

in the law and to be given a role in its creation and implementation[4] have

adopted similar approaches to open the doors to the legal process. Eduardo´s

message is a message for the 21st century, as Rodin´s message of liberty and

freedom of artistic expression was for the 19th century.

You are invited to look at the videos that the artist has used to share his

art work with the global community. I provide two links to You Tube videos

that he created. [5] This experience mirrors that of the 19th century and

the rapport that was taking place at that time between photography and

sculpture. Photographers such as Daguerre, William Henry Fox Talbot

and Niepce found that statuettes in people´s homes provided ideal photographic

subjects.[6] Today, Eduardo Urbano Merino´s sculpture La Justicia can be

shared with people throughout the world by Internet technology and modern

photographic and film making techniques.

La Justicia exhibits the power of the law with her scales and sword but also

shows us the human face of justice, something that can easily be forgotten in

the philosophical and political discourse of defining justice. Like Rodin´s

sculptures, Eduardo Urbano Merino´s lady of justice leaves us with a sense

of the real, a result of his anatomical precision and his ability to capture

the human spirit. The sculpted image recognises that justice relates to

people and how they live. The image provides an aura of respect but is not

static.  La Justicia looks forward. Her task remains the same in the 21st century

as it was in past decades. She is seeking to achieve the proper balance of

justice for society. She works in a modern context to provide responses to

human activities that take place at specific times and in specific social, political

and economic circumstances. Eduardo Urbano Merino presents La Justicia to

you as an icon for the creation of a fair justice system for the 21st century.[7]

Translation Espanol: Gracias a Claudia Moreno Ruiz por corregir mi traducción.

Eduardo Urbano Merino – Sculpture La Justica

Un nuevo icono para la justicia, la escultura de Eduardo Urbano Merino,  La

Justicia es una representación fuerte y sensible de la misma. El poder de la

se muestra en una nueva forma, con fuerza, realidad y calor. Este trabajo

nos invita a volver al siglo XIX, la de Rodin. Las esculturas de Rodin,  La Edad

de Bronze, 1877 y su escultura contemplativa El Pensador, 1903, con la cual

Rodin renovó el sentido académico al retratar el cuerpo humano enfocado en la

totalidad del ser. Eduardo adopta una visión similar en su enfoque realista y

pictórica de la representación de La Justicia. A pesar de su existencia sólida,

escultura nos lleva a un momento de reflexión y realidad.

Al igual que Rodin, Eduardo Urbano Merino, sabe que la escultura es un medio

por el cual el artista puede ofrecer un mensaje claro y duradero a la gente, sin

importar lo cambiante de las formas de comunicación en este siglo XXI. Los

acontecimientos mundiales nos muestran la incertidumbre de la justicia, la

moralidad en muchas sociedades y la búsqueda de personas en esas

sociedades para reformar su sistema de justicia para determinar “qué es lo

que hay que hacer ¨ en la configuración de ese sistema. Este es un buen

momento para la creación de un nuevo icono de la justicia para el pueblo, un

icono que muestra la importancia de la justicia, así como el rostro humano de

la misma. Es importante también que la creación de la justicia sea

transparente. Los vídeos de Eduardo ofrecen esa claridad, como en el video de

la creación de La Justicia, una película que muestra el trabajo duro, el humor y

un sentido de la realidad durante el tiempo que él y los maestros fundidores

crearon la escultura. Su obra rompe las barreras que a menudo se asocian con

la ley y el arte. Abre las puertas no sólo al proceso sino a la promoción de la

obra. La Justicia se hizo por el pueblo para el pueblo. Las sociedades que

ahora están exigiendo transparencia en la ley y que deben tomar un papel en

su creación y puesta en práctica adoptando enfoques similares para abrir las

puertas al proceso legal. El mensaje de Eduardo para el siglo XXI, es el mismo

de Rodin en el siglo XIX; libertad en cualquiera de sus expresiones.

Usted está invitado a ver los videos que el artista ha utilizado para compartir su

obra de arte con la comunidad global. Me ofrecen dos enlaces a los videos de

Youtube que él creó. Esta experiencia refleja la relación que se estaba llevando

a cabo en el siglo XIX entre la fotografía y la escultura.

Fotógrafos como Daguerre, William Henry Fox Talbot y Niepce descubrieron

que las estatuillas en los hogares de la gente, eran ideales para fotografiar.

Hoy en día, la escultura de Eduardo Urbano Merino La Justicia puede ser

compartida con personas de todo el mundo gracias al Internet, a la moderna

fotografía, y a la realización de películas técnicas.

El artista exhibe el poder de la ley con su balanza y la espada, pero también

nos muestra la cara humana de la justicia, algo que puede ser fácilmente

olvidado en el discurso filosófico y político de la definición de la justicia. Como

dama de esculturas de Rodin, Eduardo Urbano Merino con su escultura La

Justicia nos deja con un sentido de lo real, resultado de su precisión anatómica

y su capacidad de capturar el espíritu humano. La imagen esculpida reconoce

que la justicia se refiere a las personas, y cómo viven. Proporciona un aura

de respeto, pero no es estática. La Justicia espera. Su tarea sigue siendo la

misma que del siglo XIX como lo ha sido en las últimas décadas. Ella está

tratando de lograr un mayor equilibrio de la justicia para la sociedad. Ella

trabaja en el contexto moderno para dar respuestas a las actividades humanas

que tienen lugar en momentos específicos y en determinadas circunstancias

sociales, políticas y económicas. Eduardo Urbano Merino presenta La

Justicia a usted como un icono para la creación de un sistema judicial justo

para el siglo XXI.


[2] Ibid.

[3] Sandel, Michael J, Justice: What´s The Right Thing To Do?2009, Farrar,

Straus and Gieroux

[4] Ibid, online debate to Michael Sandel´s book.

watch’v=JNDEL.6x Ww0

[6] The Status and Use of Photography in the 19th Century.

[7] Information from Website of Eduardo Urbano
La Justicia
280kg – 617.2 pounds

 Text © 2012  Charalee Graydon

A Work Of Art


Photo © 2012 Ron Hall


Photo © 2012 Ron Hall

A Work Of Art

“What strikes me is the fact that in our society, art has become something which is related
only to objects and not to individuals, or to life. That art is something which is specialized
or which is done by experts who are artists. But couldn’t everyone’s life become a work of
art? Why should the lamp or the house be an art object, but not our life?”
― Michel Foucault

For your Friendship/La Amistad

A man, a philosopher, a leader of educational pursuits at Laurentian University
and the University of Lethbridge in Canada, a photographer and a good friend.

© 2012 Charalee Graydon


By Diego Lopez Martinez

La amistad

es un sentimiento

que si esta ahí….

puede llenar

nuestro mundo

de felicidad.


La amistad

es uno,

de los mejores regalos

que nos da

la vida,..

por que,

un amigo

es alguien

que cree en ti

es alguien

que te acepta,

tal como eres

con tus virtudes

y tus defectos.


La amistad

es aquello

que se demuestra

con hechos

y no solo

con palabras,

cuando sientes

que has perdido

el camino,

el estará ahí…

para compartir

tus lagrimas

es el primero

que se preocupa

por ti,

es la sombra

de tu luz

es el que te ayuda

cuando te caes

es el que llena

tu vida,

y el que te ayuda

a curar tus heridas

a buscar contigo

la solución

a tus problemas

es el que te hace grande

e importante

incluso en la distancia

te dice

de corazón

sabes que estoy aquí

para lo que necesites.


Gracias amigo

por estar ahí…


The photos of my friend, Ron Hall:

Artist Argentinian and Spanish

This gallery contains 2 photos.

© 2012 © 2012 Continuing my story of meeting European artists, this is the lady from Spain and Argentine that I met while travelling on the train. My eight hour journey was happily interrupted by discussions about my work as a journalist and her work as an artist.  She was able to show me… Read more.