Saturday, March 10, 2012

Destination Singapore

Luck would have it when I arrived in Portsmouth, NH this past Wednesday: a foreign owned bulk cargo ship was docked on the river.  It was being loaded with ton after ton of ferrous scrap.  While the scrap yard's construction vehicles, looking more like a child's Tonka toys in scale with the ship, were maneuvering around the wharf and continuously dumping scrap iron into piles, the ship's numerous massive cranes were lifting these deposits with huge claw grabbers and then releasing it into the ship's cargo bays below.   What noise!  What dust!  (Exception: there was extreme quiet on the docks at lunch time.)

I enjoyed working out the painting's design of complex, overlapping shapes as well as developing a color palette for the color play of blue and orange.  How does one begin to create this Transformer-like scene of dimension and complexity with mere paint on a 12"X16" canvas?  A challenge indeed.

Just a note:  U.S. container exports is dominated by junk.  Scrap metal is our most valuable export accordingly to Metal Management-Sim, an iron recycle company.  Today, China buys much of our paper waste and metal scraps.  The export/import cycle goes like this: after the container ships are off-loaded with new consumer products bound for Wal-Mart and Target, these cargo ship's empty cargo bays are then filled to capacity with our scraps and waste products which in turn will be made into new consumer goods bound once again for U.S. consumers.

The scene I painted is more than a canvas organized with overlapping shapes and colors. The dominate feature of my painting is a big global business selling our cast away, metal junk and waste.

Perhaps I should have painted this scene in the color of 'green'?