I painted “R” this morning posing with a shovel. The furnace, a fire, was all mine, an attempt to counter the cold weather outside the studio.
As I worked through, developing the painting, I started thinking of him as a stoker shoveling coal, keeping the fires going to heat the mansion above, or maybe a steam ship working its way across the Atlantic. He is down in the bowels of a basement, or an engine room on a ship, sweating his life away with a couple dozen others sharing a form of hell they were most likely born into, without a chance of much better, as the pampered people above, lounge in comfort, oblivious to what is moving them through the water, or keeping them warm.
18”x 24” watercolor on cold press.