My kids play soccer at the Bladium Sports Club located in an old airplane hangar at the former Alameda Naval Air Base. Sometimes after soccer we stop at the the beach across from the Port of Oakland to see if there's anything exciting going on. We are rarely disappointed. There's always at least one container ship being unloaded. And frequently later in the day we can see a container ship moving through the narrow channel, out towards the Pacific Ocean, or coming in with cargo to unload. It's surprising how quickly they move when you are right up next to them.
The container ship in this painting belongs to APL - American President Lines. Headed towards the Pacific, it reminds me of a Morandi still life with it's simple forms and shadows. Some kids are watching the ship from their perch on little piece of concrete jutting into the port. Beyond the port lies Treasure Island, the Bay Bridge, and eventually the Pacific. Beside the ship stand the insect-like loading cranes which always remind me of the Star Wars AT-AT walkers. (George Lucas has denied the urban myth that the cranes inspired his creation of the walkers.)
Some years ago I painted a Hanjin container ship entering the San Francisco Bay past Crissy Field. This painting is more fanciful, with Van Gogh style waves below the calm boat. This painting is now hanging now in the Hanjin headquarters in Seoul.