SKETCHBOOK

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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.”

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