(13 k), large version (61k)
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Art for "Dr. Blanke's First Command" by C.S.
Watercolor on paper
The story is about a young bookish naval doctor on his first voyage. Pathetic at his early
attempts at being a naval officer, a sympathetic old navy salt gives him a U.S. Naval
manual to read on the voyage to his first ship. Successful applying his medical school
habits, his memorization of the manual saves his life and the lives of the seamen in his
lifeboat when their ship is torpedoed en route.
I wanted to try and capture the nautical feeling of the book as well as the drama. The
rope was such a nice vehicle for this I couldn't resist it. In my mind the story was about
self-suffiency and saving one's own life through directed effort. I thought the hands
pulling on the rope were a nice visual way to suggest this. The guys at the local hardware
store thought I was some kind of blockhead buying just TWO FEET of 1" diameter rope;
you can barely bend the ends together.
Another one of the traditionally popular pieces in my
portfolio, this painting has since been used for "labor" illustrations among
Check out the large version of this one, it's worth the