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The bomb was hungry

The atomic bombs we exploded in the Pacific in 1946 were incredibly powerful. Yet we kept doing more tests … stronger and stronger bombs. It was as though the bomb itself was hungry for expression: Hungry I.

Hungry I

Hungry I        Acrylic        9×12        $600

This is the bomb speaking: Hungry I.


I tried to capture the Maelstrom at the center of the atomic tests in the Pacific in 1946.  Its sheer power was overwhelming: even as the mushroom cloud at the top was starting to collapse, the center column was still rising … though starting to fall around the outside edges. Awesomely beautiful and horrible at the same time.


Maelstrom       Acrylic on Yupo       11×14       $725



Explosion: same theme slightly different approach

Okay, so I’m still fixated on the atomic bomb tests in the Pacific in 1946, now I’m working with Acrylic on Yupo (that plastic paper, like painting on a plastic dinner plate, only rectangular).   Explosion: same theme slightly different approach.

Acrylic behaves differently on Yupo:  it slides around, thins in the center when you press hard with the wedge, thickens around the edges.

I started with blue and black, with a little raw sienna mixed with white.


Explosion      14×11      Acrylic on Yupo      $725

Frank O’Cain said it was really two paintings: top and bottom, so I integrated them.  And then I decided to try just painting the top.

Explosion II

Explosion II      14 x 11      Acrylic on Yupo      $725

I made the raw sienna and white come down over the top of the blue to try and convey the way the mushroom cloud started to collapse (even though the center column was still rising). And, of course, the blue represented the beautiful blue sky and the suddenly churning ocean.

Explosion III

Explosion III       14×11       Acrylic on Yupo       $725

By adding red instead of blue in Explosion III, I tried to convey the fiery power of the blast.

Not sure which one I like the most or, more importantly, think is the most successful.