Eagle Stavanger | 16×20 | Oil on Linen Panel

Inspiration for Eagle Stavanger

When cloudy, glowering days arrive in Pensacola, I’m usually on the lookout for ships in port like the Eagle Stavanger. Overcast skies seem to pair well with the industrial feeling of these large tanker ships. This giant in particular just about dwarfed our little port here in Pensacola!  As is typical with these scenes, I desired to convey the bulk and heaviness of the ship through the painting. In comparison with the hull and superstructure, little details like handrails, tires, cranes, ropes, and lifeboats seem almost comically miniature. Accustomed as we are to these everyday objects and their relative sizes, the contrasting steel bulwark of the ship itself looms a towering edifice!

The Panamanian-Japanese Vessel

Although it flies the flag of Panama, the Eagle Stavanger was built by Sumitomo Heavy Industries, Ltd. of Yokosuka, Japan. It’s intriguing to me how these vessels find their ways around the entire globe. Even at my little home city’s port, we’ve had ships from all over; sometimes from places I’ve never heard of! A couple years back I painted a 24×48″ piece entitled Texas of the South Pacific that hails from the Republic of Vanuatu in the Pacific Ocean. (As a side-note, it looks like a total island paradise. I want to visit. :-D)


Eagle Stavanger’s Riot of Color

Another thing that I love about this type of subject matter is the variety of color. I frequently say about nature scenes that the hues are almost limitless. Honestly, it’s no less true for an architectural scene. When a viewer, in person, stands on the dock and carefully observes this scene, all the colors of the rainbow subtly colors leap out at him or her. The sky reflecting off the red hull creates a “purpley” tone. The water reflecting on the dark brown part of the hull has a greenish tint. The underside of the superstructure glows orange where the lifeboat reflects into it. For the artist (or at least for me), capturing this colorful reflected light brings joyous challenge to the painting process!