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A four-year-old living alone on the streets.

I cannot begin to imagine a child so young having to fend for himself. A year after finding shelter at an orphanage, he still screams and flails anytime a man tries to come close. It is not hard to connect the dots... what this child experienced on the streets... the picture isn't pretty. It is a picture I wish I could re-paint.

Twice a year, a close friend of mine travels to Guatemala to assist at Casa Bernabé—an orphanage that cares for orphaned, abandoned and abused children. This collection of paintings is drawn from her experiences there. Many layers of story accompany each painting; they are stories that are both heartbreaking and hopeful; they are stories that, I feel, should be shared.

Puddle Quest copyright 2011 by Kelly Dycavinu

Donated rain boots delight the children in the toddler house. A full week passes without rain before these girls could go in search of the perfect puddle.

This Little Piggy copyright 2011 by Kelly Dycavinu

Casa Bernabé raises its own pigs and has planted an extensive garden—a viable way to feed 160 children.

Knit Together copyright 2011 by Kelly Dycavinu

The colours in this painting are inspired by sweaters donated to the girls at Casa Bernabé.  But, ultimately, Knit Together is about being known and loved—which I also feel are basic necessities.

Lollipop copyright 2011 by Kelly Dycavinu

I couldn’t resist painting this portrait. It is my ‘prayer’ for a little more sweetness in the lives of these children.
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Embraced copyright 2011 by Kelly Dycavinu

A photo shows a young girl with her teacher’s arm around her—perhaps the reason she loves helping in the classroom so much. Beyond the provision of food, shelter and clothing, this portrait addresses another fundamental need—to be embraced.
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While the two portraits have significant flaws in technique, I offer them nonetheless. I appreciate these pieces for the stories they share, the secrets they keep, and for the things I learned in the process of their creation.
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© Kelly Dycavinu, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Kelly Dycavinu with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
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