Sam’s Freighter

Click to enlarge.

Allow me a moment of paternal pride in the presentation of my son Sam’s "Freighter" painting and stats

They were created as part of a class project studying "the harbor." The "harbor project" involved building a room-sized harbor out of wooden blocks, which each child building his or her own model boat — ferries, freighters, tugboats, fishing boats, pleasure craft, ocean liners — and then operating that boat within the "real world" of harbor commerce — for instance, Sam would collect money from exporters to haul cargo to Hawaii, and would pay a fee to the tugboat who took him out of the harbor and into the ocean, and also to the child who operated the dock in Hawaii, and so forth. It was pretty freakin’ awesome (each child also built their own fully-functioning lighthouse), but for me his evocative, vivid, carefully rendered painting of the freighter disaster was the high point of the show. Where most of the kids were content to present their subjects in a straightforward, "documentary" way ("I am a buoy, I keep the ships from running aground," etc) Sam both placed his subject into a narrative, and further, decided to make the narrative a disaster story, in the tradition of the disaster songs of the early 20th century, such as "The Ship Titanic" ("it was sad when the great ship went down").


20 Responses to “Sam’s Freighter”
  1. I really love both the painting and the poem. That whole class project reminds me of one we had when I was in elementary school. It was either when the Mars rover was landing or just being launched or something (I can’t remember- it was the early 90s), and we made a model surface of Mars and a rover-robot with a camera on it that could be controlled over the internet by kids from other schools (it sure was laggy, though). I wish we had been asked to make art and poems about Mars.

  2. sailortweek says:

    That is wonderful ^_^ Your son reminds me a lot of my brother.

  3. amara_anon says:

    That’s amazing. Your son is very talented. It’s a beautiful painting and well done poem.

  4. Anonymous says:

    tell yer son the interweb is proud of him, nice job!


  5. igorxa says:

    he doesn’t want to sell the original or prints, does he? that painting is brilliant.

  6. r_sikoryak says:

    The painting is especially great at full size.

    How does he do it?

    • Todd says:

      At full size you can see details like the helicopter extending its rope ladder and the unfortunate drowning guy.

      I have no idea how he does it. I don’t remember using paint that way at his age.

  7. Does anyone know where the love of God goes when the waves turn the minutes to hours ?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Sam’s art, both painting and poem, are truly extraordinary!

  9. monica_black says:

    For your son being so young, that’s a great painting. The poem is also great.

  10. Proof once again that you have the coolest son in the world. I just hope that one day, I have a kid who is even half as great as yours.

  11. Wow, I think that’s better than I can paint NOW. And that sounds like a fantastic project he got to do in school. Don’t think we had anything like that in my day.

  12. teamwak says:

    Haha Thats so cool 🙂

    Good job, Sam!

  13. the bottom of the..
    husbands and wives
    little children lost their lives
    it was sad
    when the great ship went down
    to the bottom of the sea!

    Sounds like you went to that great North American tradition, summer camp, Todd!!!!!

    PS Two thumbs up to the son’s verse!!

  14. Anonymous says:

    I know you will/are, Todd, but pls, always nurture this fantastic talent.

  15. Anonymous says:

    That painting is fantastic.

    It would make a great album cover.