Monday, March 20, 2017

Kicking the Tires, Lighting the Fires

I just read in the news recently that USS Bataan (LHD-5) is officially underway on her latest deployment to serve our nation in the Mediterranean Sea.

I was privileged to be on board her last September, as she prepared for this very deployment by undergoing PMINT training with the 24th MEU.

As it relates to the Bataan getting underway, I post here the beginnings of a painting which is in process on the easel this very day, and which depicts that very thing-- getting started. It's called, "Lighting the Boiler on USS Bataan," (oil on canvas, 27" x 24").

I was invited down to the Engineering spaces to see them light the boilers, which was a wonderful combination of Old and New, a modern amphibious assault ship still run by old-fashioned boiler steam!








 
 

Monday, February 27, 2017

Damage Control: Always Vigilant!

A US Navy ship is a highly-developed, powerful, fast and seaworthy thing. It is truly an engineering and craftsmanship wonder.

It is a giant conglomeration of parts-- thousands of tons of steel, miles of electric wires, fuel and water pipes, ventilation & heating & cooling ducts, and so on. Fill it up with people and countless other things-- many of which are flammable or can sink! There are so many things that can threaten the safety of the crew and the seaworthiness of the vessel.

Damage Control is critical to the survival of the ship, in war or in peacetime.
While on board the Harry S. Truman in September 2015, I got to witness a common but very important training event, conducted by the crew-- a GQ (General Quarters) Drill.

"General Quarters" is regularly sounded to keep the crew sharp, and on their toes, ready for any contingency. Every crewman has a duty station when this happens, and they all rush to their battle stations, put on their gear, and do drills. It's a very interesting thing to watch, and it makes you admire the efficiency and teamwork the Navy engages in with every sailor and section on board a naval vessel.

 Getting geared up fast for fire control...

"Fire Drill in Aft D.C." 2015, oil on canvas, 20" x 24" 
Here are some of the Fire Control related sketches I did while visiting the destroyer USS Carney (DDG-64):
 


 

Saturday, February 25, 2017

General Quarters-- Checking the Roster

The Muster Sheet is about as old a tradition as the Navy itself.  Accountability and readiness are key in maintaining a fighting ship's effectiveness, and the ships of the US Navy are no exception.

When I was visiting the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) back in September 2015, I got to see several General Quarters drills, and saw each section handle accountability during the drill.

Here, I've depicted two female sailors in charge of a group, checking the roster to make sure all are accounted for.

This is a small oil on canvas, where I used a toned ground and tried to maintain a deftness to the paint application, to keep the sketchy quality to the piece while also rendering realistically.

Refuel At Sea-- Quality Check

Greetings, Navy Art Aficionados and Lovers of All Things Sea-Going...

As you may know, I got the opportunity to go aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) as the ship went through pre-deployment training in September 2015.

One of the fun and exotic things I got to witness was a Replenishment At Sea, wherein the USNS Kanawha pulled up alongside, sent over hoses, and pumped fuel for the HST's aircraft.

I was given a float coat and cranial, and was allowed into Fuel Station 13, where I photographed the sailors working the lines between the ships to bring over the hoses. I also watched the ABF sailors (the Aviation Boatswains Mates - Fuels), a.k.a. "Grapes," test the fuel's clarity and color in a sort of "proof test" in a glass jar, before beginning the fuel transfer...

All the while, the sea is rushing by only a few feet below and between the ships as they maintain their close parallel track. It's something you just don't see every day.

Here is a painting based on that, called, "Refuel At Sea: Quality Check" (subtitle, "Proof Test").