Rogue Wave and the Stolt Surf, 2008 Oil on linen 28 × 42 inches
Rogue Wave and the Stolt Surf, 2008
Oil on linen 28 × 42 inches

This painting was from a show entitled "Good Leaders, Endangered Species, Ships at Sea," an installation of paintings created in the spring before the election that Obama first won, where in the Bush years, I felt we need "Good Leaders" as they were like "Endangered Species" in a world that was like a "ship at sea." Juxtaposed in a deliberate sequence to create a poetic allegory of images, paintings of positive iconic figures from popular and political cultural history were exhibited along with images of animals that are truly endangered in our fragile ecology, next to pictures of vessels striving to overcome seemingly insurmountable storms, symbolizing an optimistic outlook that we can healthily triumph through the chaotic crises of our time. If even conservatives can hopefully understand why it is important to have whales and tigers roaming free on our Earth, hopefully they can agree that we need to take care of ourselves and our planet in order to survive!

Rogue Wave and the Stolt Surf , is a painting from a photo taken by a sailor Karsten Peterson of Denmark who describes himself as Sailor/Photographer/World Traveler/Adventurer on his website called "The Storm: Stolt Surf in the North Pacific, 1977." The site tells the story onboard the Chemical Tanker "Stolt Surf " that was voyaging across the Pacific Ocean from Singapore to Portland, Oregon of U.S. in October, 1977 and encountered a hurricane like storm. While in the midst of the height of the storm, as he tells it as: "The howling wind tears off the top of the waves, and sends it as a horizontal spray across the ocean covering everything in a white mist." Importantly, like the other maritime paintings that are included in the show, the boat survived the storm, as we as a nation have survived the recessions and recent atrocities like 9-11. Personally, as I was painting this at our cabin in Riverside California, I was thinking of my husband and I surviving the perils of our own lives, and achieving the successes of life and career that we have and being thankful for our own strength and endurance. I love the maritime genre of ships at sea, and of course Winslow Homer and especially Turner, and hope to be able to do something new in this great world of art—by working by way of allegory, and a contemporary scene of a chemical tanker that was at peril but arrived home safe, I could infuse into the life of the work all the meditation of what it means to me personally and politically to give it a life of its own.