Trapped" Inspired by the... by Reyhana Farooqi (Sister of...

Trapped" Inspired by the story/film "Big Miracle

24 X 36 in. Oil on canvas

I'm taking a break from Global Warming for a bit because I was inspired by a heart-warming sea story that just came in my way. I love doing paintings after stories.

Yes, I was inspired by a (whale of a tail)story made into a movie that just came out this year. The movie "Big Miracle." I love whales and think they are beautiful, gentle, peaceful, and the most magnificent creatures on this planet. This story is about Gray Whales. Gray whales are extremely peaceful and friendly animals. They are very much like us. They are very social and family oriented. They care for their family members, especially for their babies. They will not leave a family member if they are in danger or hurt, or sick. The are also curious. I've heard that they come up to you and want to check you out. Whales are truly the Gentle giants of the sea. Gray whales grow close to 50 feet ( 12-14 meters) and weigh up to 35 tons. Grays travel one of the longest migrations of any animal every year. They swim 12, 400 miles (20,000 km) from their feeding grounds in the Bering Sea to the lagoons of Mexico's Baja California. Timing is extremely important to them, they must leave their feeding grounds fast or the sea ice can trap them near the coastal waters. It is a natural thing that sometimes broken pieces of ice forms around the whales where they become "trapped" (surrounded by ice)in the center of the ice. The pieces stick together again and freeze, locking the whales within. Most of the time, whales die this way. You see, whales are just like humans in this way that when we are under water, we must come up to the surface for air. Whales have a "blow hole/blowholes" on the tops of their heads. These are nostrals actually. Toothed whales (like dolphins, Orcas or Killer whales, Sperm whales, Balugas, etc.) have a single blow hole. Whales without teeth (such as these Gray Whales, Humpbacks, Blue Whales, Fin Whales, Right whales, etc.) but have baleen (a type of natural seive or filter)have two blowholes. Just like humans, all whales and dolphins must come up to the surface to breath using their blowholes.

In October 1988, three Gray Whales, a mother, father, and their calf became trapped off the coast of Barrow, Alaska on their annual journey. Since they were so far from the open ocean, this whale family had no way to travel under the ice so far. There was no place to come up to breath. Local Inupiat (eskimos)hunters (whale hunters)who do have a respect and love for whales had second thoughts to try and save these beautiful whales instead of eating them which is their ancient way of survival. Usually these people hunt "Right Whales," Grays are an exception. The Inupiat hunters cut a pathway of "breathing holes" in the ice using chainsaws that led all the way to the open ocean. These people worked so hard, cutting the holes days and nights through temps below freezing. Because of the freezing temperatures, the previous holes kept freezing over again so a company was sent over with a device to keep circulating the water preventing it from freezing. Luckily, the devices noise actually attracted the whales which helped lure them to the next breathing hole ahead. This event brought the Soviet Union and the United States together in cooperation to save the whales. The Soviets used an Ice breaker to cut a miles-long path to make it easier for the whales. The people then helped the whales by guiding them the easiest way possible through the jumbled pieces of ice left behind by the ice breakers. Then the whales could continue on their journey.

Unfortunately, despite all the long, tedious process, one of the whales didn't make it to the open ocean. Only two of them survived. The movie shows that the calf died, but in real life, it only mentions one of them died-it doesn't say which one. Naturally, we would think the baby, since babies are a little weaker and depend on their parents for everything just like human babies. Throughout this rescue effort, somehow the whales seemed to know that man was helping them.

I saw the movie, which was pretty good. I do feel that the events in real life must have been much more exciting and dramatic.

BIG MIRACLE, Feb. 2012...now in theaters.
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53 comments
Your words are inspiring, to read that when we know there is a group of animals in trouble, the human animal...tries to help all they can, i have watched a documentary, where there was a whale that had been caught up in a fishermans net...and was discovered, at great peril to the people that helped cut it loose, it was rescued and thanked them with a lovely leap from the water, and a flick of its tail....and then it swam away. It too, many hours to do this, and the whale almost drowned, as it was so twisted up in the net that it was almost submerged and could not move in the water. It brought tears to my eyes as these men worked thru the long hours...cutting, and one got in the water to cut from underneath, to free it. It had gotten carried in on an undercurrent, too close to where the fishermen lay their nets out, and the effort was wonderful to rescue it. I love reading these stories as it had a baby that was close by as well..so baby and mom swam back out to sea. Your story is inspiring, and i enjoyed it so much, and your painting is awesome...love the authenticity of your paintings. The markings, the colors, the details...the water you can feel this painting, the coolness the enjoyment the whales are experiencing, as they are free and for the moment safe. Well Done!
over 2 years ago
Wow! Brenda! Thank you so much for the HUGE compliments and comments!!! It means a lot to me. I have never seen or heard of that story you described, but I have heard stories similar to it. It feels so good to hear/see these wonderful rescue stories, but it must feel amazing to actually be the one to save the life of these magnificent creatures. Thank you so much for sharing that heartfelt story! And glad you love my painting! Thank you!
over 2 years
Your little baby whale is so sweet, i love the way it is cuddling close to momma, or perhaps its dad, and the markings and details, the colors, i am so enchanted with your amazing gift, your art and talent for expressing the exquisite color, the detail, the amazing details! I just had to comment once again...for your paintings are emotionally portrayed thru your eyes and heart of love, and you bring awareness to our fragile world..just lovely!
over 2 years
Oh, Brenda! How sweet of you! Thank you so much...you are too kind. By the way, in the movie, the baby was a bit older looking. Like a small child. But in the real story, it may have been younger. I wanted to make my interpretation more dramatic. I thought if I show a small baby whale(which are in reality very adorable) than I can gain more attention. I can tug at peoples heart strings, and feel more love and emotions for these animals. Also, I wanted to show what baby whales really look like. They don't have all the crusted barnacles on their backs yet since they haven't lived long enough. They get that later in life. They have a little bit smoother skin and can be darker in color than the adults. Thank you again Brenda. I really appreciate your comments!
over 2 years
Stunning piece. i love it
over 2 years
Thank you!
over 2 years
Another wonderful piece of your beautiful & teaching art!!! I love the movement you've shown & the wonderful detail. You really do lovely art!!!
Hugs & Love My Friend,
Annie
over 2 years
I sure do love art, and marine life-whales/dolphins especially. I combine my two loves into one with my art. Thank you again Annie! God bless.
over 2 years
Hi, I'm the administrator for the group The cruelty of life, and I'd love you to add this picture to the group.


The reason for inviting this to this group is because of what happened. Please add as many as you like, there's no limit.
Hugs & Love,
Annie (accepted)
over 2 years
Thank you Annie! I have a few paintings with stories that would be perfect for this group! I will certainly submit them.
over 2 years
Oh My God how I love this painting Sis!!!! The heart warming story is wonderful and it is a statement that mankind can be a good wildlife and planet steward!!!! I love this work of yours... I think it's my favorite!! The colors are beautiful and the whales are fantastic!! And that baby!!! What a heart string tugger he is! Beautiful painting Sis!!!!!!!
over 2 years
What a compliment Laura, Wow! Thank you! So glad you love my painting! This is also one of my favorites...I can't believe myself the fantastic job I did! I can't believe I painted it. Baby whales are very cute. Who could not save such a cute little creature, and these gentle giants of course! Thank you again!
over 2 years
Another masterpiece Sister
beautiful stunning work as usual
so love this and the whales of course.
xx
over 2 years
Thank you VERY much George!
over 2 years
I was very moved by this story as well. Such wonderful beings!
over 2 years
Same with me...Thank you!
over 2 years
very inspiring and moving.such empathy and impact.gorgeous colours..i love a piece with a story behind it!! kindy Karina xx
over 2 years
I love to write stories about my paintings, and also give my thoughts about why I painted it, or what made me paint them. I also love to educate with my work. I also love to hear stories...some of them make wonderful works of art! Thank you Karina! So glad you like it!
over 2 years
So stunning and just love the colour. regards susie
over 2 years
Thank you Susie! Glad you like it!
over 2 years
Beautiful work.
over 2 years
Thank you Speedline!
over 2 years
An excellent painting with alot of meaning. 5***** for you and Well done Regards Kerry
over 2 years
Thank you again Kerry! So glad you like it!
over 2 years
Beautiful painting as always. When I saw the trailer for that movie I instantly thought of you.
over 2 years
Thank you...it's so nice to know I'm thought of.
over 2 years
Jo said she thought of you when she seen the trailer for the movie. Well me too! I knew you would paint the whales and knew you would do a wonderful job as well. Keep up the fight Rehanna.
over 2 years
Thank you Carol, Same as I've mentioned to Jo above, it's so nice to be thought of. Of course I will definately keep up the fight. So glad you love my painting! Thank you again!
over 2 years
Beautiful detail here! I love this.
over 2 years
Thank you Caroline!
over 2 years
Love that you have a family here.
over 2 years
Thank you!
over 2 years
ANOTHER BEAUTIFUL Inspiring Pieace!I LOVE ALL you Wonderful Art Pieces you do!!You are Fantastic at doing Water Scenes and Sea Creatures,A true Mermaid you are:)BEAUTIFUL this is and Love the story to:)HUGGLES!
over 2 years
Thanks again and again Julieann...you always leave such nice compliments on all my work. The oceans and it's creatures are so important to the whole eco-system, and can't speak up for themselves...so we must speak up for them. I am the mermaid that lives to speak up for them through my art. Glad you love my paintings! God bless.
over 2 years
You picture is beautifully done as ever and the story behind the picture is very moving
over 2 years
Thank you..it is a true story. Glad you like my painting!
over 2 years
Dear Sister of the Sea, Thank you for request. A beautiful painting. However, in the Blue & Green group I want the dominant colors to be blue and green. In this painting there is no explicit green.

Don’t hesitate to come back if you have a painting that shows mainly blue as well as green.

Best regards, Ruby
over 2 years
Oh, I did add a touch of green in the lighter shades of the water, and some green is mixed into the gray of the whales..I know it's hard to tell. But that's ok. I understand. Thank you!
over 2 years
''fantastic''...
over 2 years
Thank you!
over 2 years
Excellent! Love the colors, the composition, and especially the emotions that you conveyed in this piece by describing the story of those amazing gray whales! I am definitely planning to see the movie! Cheers! Line :)
over 2 years
Thank you Line...the movie is very moving. Glad you like my own interpretation of the story. Thank you!
over 2 years
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Artist Statement
for Reyhana Farooqi (Sister of the Sea)
Reyhana Farooqi (Sister of the Sea)Hello all!

Member of the Ocean Artists Society
http://www.oceanartistssociety.org/

I'm born in Chicago but belong near the sea, or in it. I'm a mermaid that can't swim. A very close friend of mine came up with the name for me, "Sister of the Sea." But you can call me whatever you like, alright? I'm mostly self taught, born with a natural talent. When I was little my Uncle inspired me with the sea and marine life. For many years, he's lived close to the ocean. Since then I've been attracted to, or "in love" with the sea. I feel somewhat connected to it. Like I'm a part of it. Our blue planet is badly damaged by human hands. I paint the ocean world to promote awareness of the need to protect and preserve it so it remains a beautiful,...
Do you always get perfect likeness when doing portraiture and if not do you start all over again or make the most of it as it is?
This is a lovely painting in its own right. Short answer to your question, NO, for me, it can take a lot of tweaking and sometimes I will just leave it and... view answer
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