In my portfolio, View from the Doggy Beach shows beautiful blue ocean minus the huge container ships that are usually lying off the coast - a dozen or more.  Every day, white sailboats flit past these behemoths, as do low but long rowing boats, windsurfers, sea planes, tug boats - it is always party time on the waters off Vancouver.  My painting was more about the place where the dogs play in Kitsilano than it was about industry and the economic health of the Vancouver port.
Yet I did paint Westward Under the Lion's Gate, showing the orange and blue of a huge container ship leaving our country, and I was somewhat resolved that the setting sun reflecting off that ship had its own kind of beauty.  My most recent piece, After the Storm, shows those same ships which seem to be guarding the entrance to the city as the final sun showers move off the coast. (a February photo shown above).    
I respect that many artists paint the urban landscape with magnificent towers and that some relish the rust on old boxcars and Model T Fords.  It is fun to paint that rusty stuff sometimes.
But I believe that my personal theme is more connected to trying to capture the light, trying to make it shine through my paint, trying to find where that life-giving light is glowing.
This week, we watched Captain Phillips and marvelled at the drama that played out on such a big ship.  I don't believe I will ever see another container ship without remembering that terror at sea.  I wonder if I will paint many more of these big metal creatures.
What is your favourite subject for a painting?
 


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