The Whalers Original Mixed Media Painting

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The Whalers Original Mixed Media Painting

2,800.00

36x36 inches  |  ready to hang
acrylic, watercolor, watercolor paper on stained birch panel

The Jobs of Yesteryear series combines history and surrealism to tell the stories of obsolete jobs. A contemporary glimpse into the past, these mixed media paintings serve as a reminder of time and stories long forgotten.

This particular Job of Yesteryear mixed media painting features whalers. Whaling is the hunting of whales for their meat, oil, and blubber and has been an occupation of man for at least 5,000 years(!). Whaling was an incredibly dangerous job as these mighty creatures could throw the small vessels 25’ in the air with a flip of their tail. Interestingly, most whalers couldn’t swim and would drown from such an incident. To ready accounts about hunting the planet’s largest living creatures is enthralling and this industry is rife with amazing history. The harpoon depicted, for example, was invented by a freed slave and blacksmith named Lewis Temple. He had greatly improved on a previous design, allowing the harpoon to stay lodged in the flesh of the whale more consistently. His design, which feature a toggling head kept in place by a wooden peg, was adopted the world over but he failed to patent it and died unrecognized and in debt. Industrial whaling organized in the 1600s and continued to harvest millions of whales until the International Whaling Commission banned commercial whaling in 1986 basically because there were barely any whales left. Whaling continues but is highly regulated and for good cause. At its peak in the 19th century, whaling primarily existed to supply the growing worldly demand for whale oil, which was used to illuminate the world using oil lamps. The petroleum industry largely replaced whales as a source for oil to burn, and the sale of whale oil has practically ceased in modern times.

The Whalers was created using subdued tones of acrylic and watercolor paint. Overall, it has the feel of a vintage photograph steeped in history. The long-limbed characters were crafted using watercolor paper and pasted on the wood panel. See an illustrated guide of my process here.

The Jobs of Yesteryear are thought-provoking conversation pieces that will bring an air of history and whimsy to any room.

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