Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Watson and the Shark

Meet Watson. He's having a bad day. A really bad day. Luckily Watson was saved. The orphan boy went on the become a wealthy merchant and even Lord Mayor of London. That's right, this painting is a depiction of true events and was owned by Watson himself.

I first saw Watson and the Shark when I was about eight or nine years old. It had a profound effect on me. I absolutely love this type of painting. Never had I seen subject matter this intriguing, this was a shark attack! My young mind was entranced, not only was the subject matter so amazing, would he live or die? But technically the painting is truly amazing. I'm no art genius, but even back then I obsessed over technical details in paintings, in particular shading. (Check out the horse's butt on Napoleon Crossing the Alps).

So what does this have to do with anything? It's a little window into how my mind works. This painting appeals to me on so many levels. The amazing execution, the griping emotion, the story of triumph over death, and sharks! It appeals to my irrational fear and strange fascination of sharks. Which I blame on watching Jaws at an early age. So gaze upon Watson and realize that no matter what life throws at you, you can move on and do great things, shark bite or not!

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