“The Sea” is a painting of one of the figures who grace the shaft of the fountain situated in the middle of Dupont Circle in Washington, D.C. The sculptor, Daniel Chester French, invented three classical figures to represent aspects of sailing: The Sea, The Stars, and The Wind. My father was a sailor, and often used to tell me as a child, “Red sky at night, sailors delight; red sky in morning, sailors take warning.”
French’s figures are classically beautiful; what I wanted to do with this painting was add a dimension of life and a dramatic tension exclusively through a bold color contrast rather than depicting the figure “in the flesh.” Here, I’ve imagined that she is a guardian of the sea, and as she stands over it, she is painted in blue light by the full moon’s reflection over the waves. The sky is cadmium orange…whether it is morning or evening, and cause for celebration or impending disaster, I don’t know.