Monday, January 14, 2013

C17 Elephant Walk

"C17 Elephant Walk" original watercolor on 260lb Arches by Carrie Waller
Hi Everyone,

I'm tired this Monday!!!!  I stayed up almost all night last night painting my newest painting, which I'm keeping a secret a bit longer, actually I have posted some wip pics on fb so please join me there to see as I go  I'd love it if you would like my page, it makes me feel special:))

Since I'm still in wip mode on my current painting I'm sharing a painting I did as a Christmas painting for my husband.  These are the C17aircraft he worked with at Charleston, AFB in South Carolina. They were doing an elephant walk.

"Elephant walk" is a uniquely Air Force term that grew out of World War II and became institutional memory in the new Air Force. The Army Air Forces had the luxury of large amounts of bombers by 1944, and would regularly generate attacks in excess of 1,000 aircraft from its Numbered Air Forces. Observers commented that the nose-to-tail, single-file taxi movements of the heavily-laden bombers paralleled the nose-to-tail trail of lumbering elephants on their way to the next watering hole. The term stuck and was even used to define maximum sortie surge operations in Air Force regulations.

In modern times, the "elephant walk" came to mean a maximum sortie generation in Strategic Air Command. Elephant walks also became a part of Inspector General Exercises, and sometimes were only a taxi exercise without actual departures and landings. It was a terrific way to inspect all aspects of a wing's readiness to meet its wartime mission. Every flyable, tasked aircraft and crew was required to meet its war plan departure window.

It's pretty amazing to see in person so I decided to capture it in watercolor as well.  He loved it and it's now proudly displayed in his office:) 
Brian and his painting Christmas morning



  1. Wow!!! I love the Elephant Walk and love this painting. Such a great gift for your husband. It is beautifully executed. I don't know how you do it...but I love. You have changed my perception of water colors forever.

  2. Have been away from blogger for a while...just catching up...want to thank you for sharing your painting and the interesting story...great piece, as is all of your work.

  3. I seriously thought this was a photograph! I zoomed in just to see for sure! It is amazing! What a fantastic gift for Brian - He must have been so proud :0)
    I've seen the WIP on FB. There's no doubt another masterpiece is on the way :0)

  4. This is fabulous!! Your watercolors are sooo good...and what a great gift, I bet he will treasure it!!!

  5. That is SO fantastic Carrie!! What a wonderful gift for him! :)) I really admire your technical skills here. Just awesome. :D

  6. This "elephat" is really amazing, I love this watercolor.

  7. Carrie, this piece is beautiful and I thought I was looking at a photograph. I too was in the Air Force as was my daughters' dad. Brings back memories indeed. I just love your work and am so glad to have found your blog. I'm not on Facebook but I'm a fan in blog world.

  8. This is an amazing piece, Carrie! A very special gift that your hubby will treasure forever!!! Congratulations!

  9. Oh my, that is wonderful Carrie. And I know how painstakingly you painted every square inch to get it exactly right. Love it! Looks like hubby loves it too. :)