Today, faced with news that Isaac Sparks Hurricane Katrina Memories, I pray for the people of New Orleans. Thinking about the wild, ferocious forces of nature, I am reminded of two small details in two of my canvases: Katrina and Earthquake, both of which took months of work, during which I was in awe learning about the survivors.
I painted both of them on large canvases (36"x60") which force you to step back to view them, as befits the awe these subjects inspire in me. In both, I composed groupings of figures, captured at the moment of meeting their fate, meeting disaster. Most of them are completely oblivious to you, the observer, as they focus on trying to escape death, and helping others.
But in each one of these paintings, one figure--a child--turns a penetrating look directly at you, as if to cry out--Help! Can't you do something? Pull me out of here!
Detail from Katrina
Detail from Earthquake
It gives me pause today, knowing that the boy in second painting is inspired by my thoughts going back to the biblical story of the binding of Isaac. There he is, carrying a bundle of wood, which is meant to build the altar for his own sacrifice.
Let us pray for New Orleans, and for people everywhere, because we are all being tested by fate.