1998 by George Rodrigue
Acrylic on canvas
48 x 60 inches
Published references: George Rodrigue, foreword by Tom Brokaw, Blue Dog Man, Stewart, Tabor & Chang, New York. 1999. p. 62-63
The swirl or spiral is perhaps one of the most ancient symbols found within art, and its use is near-infinite. Like many artists before him, George Rodrigue embraced the swirl as a motif that he revisited in many forms throughout his career. It first appeared in his early landscapes as a distant light symbolizing hope of his Cajun people, and later, it developed into abstract twists of color before reaching its most literal interpretation within his body of work known as the Hurricanes Series.
Blue Storm Rising can be considered a precursor to this Hurricanes series which began in 2002, after Rodrigue witnessed the storm Lili take down a colossal 150-year old oak in his own front yard. Viewing the strength and power of these storms and the devastation that accompanied them, he said this:
I had forgotten what these hurricanes do. I just really felt…this energy and…all of what happened to us during these hurricanes. So, I decided I’m going to paint hurricanes — I’m going to paint the feeling of a hurricane. I’m going to paint all the emotion…and do it an an abstract way…like, things are torn up and it’s like a radar screen. And, it’s very colorful. — George Rodrigue.