Every so often, I return to view the art of Lawrence Beall-Smith, hosted online at the Naval Historical Center. I made a similar post in 2007, extolling Beall-Smith’s virtues of bringing color to a mind conditioned to look for nuance within a black and white frame.
The picture I wish to discuss now is linked here.
The framing of this picture pulls me in a few different directions.
1) I’m immediately drawn into the brown and white, where the officers are observing the landings off scene.
2) The sky and deck tend to balance all the other action.
3) There is much going on here, and it is all done with competing “blues:” the ocean, the aircraft, the Naval personnel on deck.
4) The one thing that looked odd to me is the stacking of planes in the upper left. It appears as if a few are on top of each other.
5) What I love about the painting is the action it conveyes. A spinning propeller? Beall-Smith, you are skilled.
There are 14 works by Beall-Smith in the Navy’s collection. See them all with the artist’s captions here.