I Shall Return


MacArthur_landing120Cm X 120Cm. Oil on primed board. Phillip Carrero.

Gen. MacArthur And Personal Staff On The Philippines Landing.

Reasonably large, my biggest painting by that time. Gun holsters, uniforms, Philippines MP’s, cartographer and personal secretary. Landing craft and marines. All depictions faithful to original.

I don’t recall painting better than these, but that’s up to the beholder, they say.
Water splashing up the pants and uniforms didn’t happen realistically at first. Sheer frustration and all fingers dragged the paint from the water level to where it should be, or so I thought. Then, as I turned around resolved to fix the mess another day, a glimpse of the dragged paint caught my eye… and to my surprise, it looked good! So that day I learned to paint with my fingers and it never left me. The wet reached up the legs literally, and the effect was amazingly real.

Second achievement to my eyes, was the space between the viewer and the marines having a “smoko” on the gunwales of the landing craft. They don’t look as having taken as long to paint as they did, but they look relaxed, and natural. I love the result as much as the rest of the people there. So with the sky

My back-thought in this work was the overwhelming drive of General MacArthur. His authority and his personality as depicted in history were all too evident to me. I had no trouble seeing soldiers jump at his mere word, not unlike the centurion in Matthew 8:8, used to his will being done, no matter how far. Or so I thought, until I was told he was actually worse than General Patton, of the allied forces in Europe. He actually practiced this landing three times and photographed the scene many times over, until it looked right for the newspapers. The two of them were famous for not letting anything go to print before it was personally edited.

I still build castles in the air, but listen to experienced personal accounts too. One thing is for sure, he was a great man regardless.