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Remembering 9-11 in a Painting

Updated on December 13, 2015
Remembering 9-11
Remembering 9-11 | Source

September 11 Anniversary: An Artist's Journey

It is hard to believe that it has been so many years since 9-11 happened. In 2011. I was inspired to do a painting in remembrance of that tragic day.

The following is the story of how this painting came about. My feelings are still just as strong today as they were at that time.

History of a Painting

As the nation was celebrating July 4th, 2011, I realized that another September 11th anniversary was coming up. At that time, it was the 10th anniversary of the tragedy that stuck our nation.

I was saddened by this thought and just wanted to get my feelings down on canvas. I wasn't sure what I was going to paint, but I had to let the sadness come out.

Today I look at this painting and pray for peace in the world. There is so much terrorism going on in every country, so much hatred and so many unnecessary deaths. Please look at this painting as a reminder and pray.


Initial Painting of the Canvas

The painting began with me laying down colors that were to represent the aurora borealis. The blue, magenta, yellow and white just blended together to create a calming effect on me. As I looked at the painting, though, I saw something else happening.

I had the feeling that there were spirits rising up toward the heavens and it reminded me of all those soles that September day in New York City and the two other sites where the tragedy took place.

It was then that I decided that there was a message for me to focus on an image that would conceptually represent 9-11

Twin Towers
Twin Towers | Source

Twin Towers

I was working in water-soluble oils, so I decided to take a cloth and wipe off two columns of the blue to create a ghost-like image of the Twin Towers.

I added more color to the background and highlights to the Towers to give them form. I continued to sense the spirits in growing numbers.

Twin  Towers
Twin Towers | Source

Grounding the Image

The ghost-like images of the Twin Towers were then attached to the ground by the metal skeletons that were the only remaining structures of these once mighty, dynamic buildings.

Remebering  9-11
Remebering 9-11 | Source

Smoldering Ashes

The pile of smoldering ashes raising up from the base of the remains completed the picture.

Completing this painting brought peace to my heart. 2001 is also the year when my husband passed away on Easter Sunday so this 13th anniversary holds many memories for me as well.

My heart goes out to all those who mourn for their loved ones during this time.

Prints of this painting are available for sale at

Reminder in the Present

I have this painting hanging in my home at all times to remind me of the horrors that can occur from some misguided people in the world. It is frightening to watch the news and see so much killing and destruction throughout the world and constant threats to our own homeland.

I pray everyday that this will all stop, but in reality, it probably won't. I just continue to pray that I never give up hope. I still do a lot of painting, but hope that I never have to do another one like this one.

My heart goes out to all those throughout the world who have lost so many loved ones with such horrendous torture as be-heading. I just can't even imagine such a thing.


Realistic Abstract Painting

I have been trying to do more works that are considered realistic abstract paintings, and the 9-11 painting is the first one I ever did. The emotional impact of beginning the painting and seeing it develop helped me accomplish this naturally.

Recently, I have been painting realistic abstracts using Corel Painter on the computer. I have written a Hub that demonstrates how other paintings have developed. You can read it at Digital-Painting-Tutorial.

My butterfly is an example of a less emotional abstract painting than the one I did for 9-11. It is interesting that the butterfly is symbolic of a new beginning, so perhaps realistic abstract will be a new beginning in my painting career.


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    • Judy Filarecki profile imageAUTHOR

      Judy Filarecki 

      4 years ago from SW Arizona and Northern New York

      Thank you White Fox. It was created with unexpected emotions. Definitely came from the heart.

    • Writer Fox profile image

      Writer Fox 

      4 years ago from the wadi near the little river

      Your painting is poetic and generates an immediate emotional response. You are quite talented. Voted up and Awesome!

    • skperdon profile image


      4 years ago from Canada

      Out of the minds of Artists! You are truly gifted!

    • goldenrulecomics profile image


      5 years ago from New Jersey

      Thanks for sharing.

    • floppypoppygift1 profile image


      6 years ago

      Simply wonderful. Cheers~cb

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Awesome lens, nicely done! Squidlike!

    • aurora7 profile image


      6 years ago

      Wonderful paintings. This is a great way to remember 9-11.

    • Judy Filarecki profile imageAUTHOR

      Judy Filarecki 

      6 years ago from SW Arizona and Northern New York

      @pawpaw911: Thanks. I never will either.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Well done. I will never forget that day.

    • Judy Filarecki profile imageAUTHOR

      Judy Filarecki 

      7 years ago from SW Arizona and Northern New York

      @indigoj: Thanks so much for your kind comment. The day was a very sad day and close to my heart so I was impelled to produce something that brought my feelings out so completely.

    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 

      7 years ago from UK

      Interesting to see the creative process in a step-by-step. You created a beautiful piece with which to remember those lost on that dreadful day.


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