Friends in Light

Posted in Uncategorized by bowsprite on 2020/04/26
This painting is called “Friends in Light”, it is currently up at VSOP gallery in a group show “As Far As The Eye Can See.”

Acrylic on panel, 24 x 48 inches

Ships:  I love ships
There is a convoy of military and merchant ships in the upper left corner. This image was inspired by a photo a friend in Singapore sent of cargo ships at anchor outside her home. The ships were there for days, “Contango” was the term, and those ships, in a conga line, tangoed around their anchors as the tides and currents would allow.
But it was not just cargo ships, but also Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs) and Ultra Large Crude Carriers (ULCCs) that were at anchor.
These are BIG ships, and 90 million barrels is a lot of crude oil to be held at sea. It was not just at Singapore, but also outside the ports of Rotterdam and Iran.   The International Energy Agency (IEA) guesses that there are not enough offloading facilities. Oil refineries are not lucrative businesses.  I watch ships because what happens with ships affects our land: soil, air and water.  The pipelines are not so far away. Nuclear plants are not very far away. We are a closed system, we here on the Mothership.
Mariners on ships are affected by lockdowns, unable to dock and release their weary crews. This is not an easy time for so many people.
The war plane: I like beautiful old planes.
The ghost image of a Hawker Hurricane in the foreground symbolizes to me the height of the human species’ period of productivity.  For WWII: it seemed everyone was involved, everyone was drawn in, almost everyone was affected.  Food, materials, and goods were rationed.  People grew produce in their plots. Communities made sacrifices and did without for their men at war–on all sides.
The war effort brought to life radar, sonar, proximity fuze.  Production of machine tools tripled, thousands of ships were built by shipyards that formed for the war effort.
Along with ships of all kinds, we built aircraft, tanks, artillery, vehicles, we brought the interstate highway system to a new level and into our national defense system.
Raw materials had to be extracted, transported, refined, combined. From this things were built, transported, maintained, and used against each other.  We were productive.
* Of special note: more inventions that came from WWII found on Pacific Paratrooper’s always interesting and lively posts here.*
Friends: we love friends.
The lights of the ships are on. There’s something about the decadent lovely yellow of incandescent light bulbs of old ships along the bulkheads, reflecting in the water. If enemy presence was detected, the lights would have been turned off.  They are on the same side — they are friends: this plane, capable of inflicting much harm and death, will not hurt these ships, and probably, would greatly have buoyed the crews’ spirits in wartime.
2020: I know light is here. One cannot see the source of illumination over the water, but there is light.  It was not an easy decision to go on with the show for Jonathan at VSOP, but I am glad he did.  The world feels upside down, inside out: try to focus on beauty, not fear.  Try to do more what makes you happy, try to be with what you love.