Fluid Power – Orca
(scroll down for description)
lithograph, 22 1/2” x 30”, 1991

When I think of the orca, I think of power -- it is one of the most powerful creatures of the sea. Orcas are often called 'killer whales'. Though this name has a pejorative implication, orcas are killers of fish and warm-blooded animals. They have been known to kill with great intelligence, ganging up on seals, chasing, teasing and tormenting them.

For some strange reason, orcas have never been known to kill a human being, and they would certainly be capable of doing it. As humans go about in small boats, orcas could attack and sink them with great ease. Some of the large orcas are as big as a bus -- with great big teeth -- and they are very, very bright animals. Scuba divers, with their wet suits and flippers, look very much like seals, yet for some unknown reason, orcas don't attack them. It gives me a great sense of collective guilt that orcas, who are often killed by fishermen with whom they compete for fish, treat humans with such respect. Orcas are totally unlike sharks who are like feeding machines; orcas are thinking hunters who choose not to harm us.

I decided to give this original print a big, bold, ominous feeling. If you were diving or in a small boat and you saw this orca rushing at you, you might wonder if you were going to be the first human in recorded history to be attacked. I wanted to show the big, black, bulbous, prow-like head of the orca and the towering dorsal fin, which can be taller than a man on the big, dominant bull orcas. I wanted to show the swirl of the water because he's moving quite quickly, and he's moving right toward you.