Susan Sternau on Easter Island.
Surrounded by thousands of kilometers of ocean in all directions, Easter Island—known to its Polynesian inhabitants as Rapa Nui—is one of the remotest islands on the planet, with a rich and unique cultural heritage born of more than a millennium of isolation. It is most famous for the colossal stone statues called moai, hundreds of which dot the windswept landscape. Quarried from volcanic rock, they were carved to represent deified ancestors before being moved to ceremonial platforms along the coast using rollers or sledges hewn from the palm forests that once covered the Chilean island. California artist Susan Sternau painted this moai silhouetted against a tropical sunset during a recent visit. That trip resulted in her publishing her paintings in Easter Island Sketchbook: An Artist’s Journey to the Mysterious Land of Giant Stone Statues (available online at susansternau.com). “I used a watercolor and ink technique that I have perfected over years of travel to create this image of a glowing sunset framing the distinctive profile of one of these ancient statues. Mysterious and eternal, they are a fitting icon for this remarkable island.”