Three Wise Men: Peace on Earth or We Three Kings of Orient Oar

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Three Wise Men: Peace on Earth
Paul Gavin, Oil on canvas, 30" x 15", 2010

Original oil on canvas, 30" x15". Contact the artist.

The Three Wise Men

Three stand up paddleboard surfers glide peacefully towards the glowing setting sun, their relaxed figures silhouetted against the clear bright sky and the glassy brilliantly colored ocean reflecting the beautiful evening oranges and magentas of this crisp winter sunset.

These three wise men are paddling off San Clemente. In the upper right they observe the prominent evening star shining just above the horizon. This peaceful and meditative modern scene of stand up paddle board surfing is also reminiscent of the three kings or three wise men found in many historic art, music and literature sources for over 2000 years, hence the fitting update to the very well known Christmas song: "We Three Kings."

In fact the idea came from thinking how to do a California Christmas image without having it be passé immediately after the Holidays. Seeing three standup paddleboard surfers off the San Clemente Pier one day reminded me of the Three Kings on camels in the desert with the star above. The painting was born. In fact the original and whole title of the painting is: "Three Wise Men: Peace on Earth or We Three Kings of Orient Oar" — the word "Oar" being the obvious descriptive pun. Another local reference is to the legendary "Three Wise Men" of San Onofre Surf Beach