Thar She Blows!

   by Cindy Michaud and Carmen Beecher for Re-Invent a Work of Art (2013)

Inspiration Piece: Moby Dick, or The Whale (the novel)

Inspiration Artist: Herman Melville, author

As avid readers we were drawn to the challenge of depicting the classic art of Melville's novel Moby Dick. Imaginations run wild when led by words on a page but rendering such in 3D would take creativity. Action, violence, churning water, and perspective would all be necessary for the final battle of Captain Ahab and the white whale. Turning the shipping box into a book we then sized our whale with a removable balloon for newsprint paper mâché. Each character was sculpted in polymer, painted and placed ( some flew with the help of wire), while the canvas and cut up instructions became the rolling ocean propped on wood blocks. The veneers became whaleboats and the Pequod was shaped by cardboard mâché over a wire form with dowels forming the mainsail. The haunting symbol of the seahawk was modeled from chavant clay and perched ominously over the entire scene. For painters whose tools are usually limited to "liquids" and a brush, it was a joy to imagine, design, experiment and craft our re-interpretation of "Thar She Blows!"