Revelation 19:11-16

Christ on a White Horse

11 Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness, He judges and makes war. 12 His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had[a] a name written that no one knew except Himself. 13 He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean,[b] followed Him on white horses. 15 Now out of His mouth goes a sharp[c] sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written:  KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

I used Koine Greek on the Bridle and saddle attachment because that was the language that the author, John of Patmos wrote in.  The symbol on the sword to symbolize the last chapter in the book of revelations.  I wanted the horse to look like a horse of war in complete opposite to when he rode on a donkey described for Palm Sunday.  Here is Christ returning to do battle and claim his inheritance.

Graham Toms

Action between USS Constitution and HMS Guerriere, 19 August 1812

July102014 036
July102014 086
July102014 025
July102014 087
americanmem5 078
previous arrow
next arrow

As a Maritime Memorial Museum, I thought it fitting to paint this because it was this naval engagement that gave recognition to a then small, but formidable U.S. Navy, a turning point in U.S. Naval history. Up till this point in history it was assumed the British Navy and it’s vastly superior numbers in Men-o-war would dominate the Eastern Seaboard and great lakes. What turned out was the reverse. American Naval engagements even engaged British naval vessels as far as the Coast of the North of Ireland in Carrick Fergus. Also it had the advantage of attacking British shipping lanes with almost impunity in the Caribbean’s. It was difficult to anticipate U.S. attacks owing to the vast extent of British merchant shipping lanes and trading that occurred through its vast empire. For the rest of the 19th Century, long after the War of 1812 was over, America’s Navy was credited with an effectiveness that went well beyond its usually modest size. Today, the U.S.S. Constitution is docked in the harbor where it originally set sale in 1812, Boston Harbor.

Graham Toms

0000 043
Americanm4 071
americanmemorial4 046
americanmemorial4 043
Memorial3 065
previous arrow
next arrow

USS Tunny SS 282 –WWII and Vietnam

First war patrol (12 January – 20 February 1943)

The USS Tunny (SS/SSG/APSS/LPSS-282) was a Gato-class submarine which saw service in World War II and in the Vietnam War. Tunny received nine battle stars and two Presidential Unit Citations for her World War II service and five battle stars for her operations during the Vietnam War.

Tunny was the first submarine of the United States Navy to be named for the Tunny, any of several oceanic fishes resembling the mackerel, and her keel was laid down on 10 November 1941 at Vallejo, California, by the Mare Island Navy Yard. She was launched on 30 June 1942 sponsored by Mrs. Frederick G. Crisp, and commissioned on 1 September 1942 with Lieutenant Commander Elton Watters Grenfell in command.

USS Tunny SSN 682 – Cold War


USS TUNNY (682) is a STURGEON-Class submarine designed for a length overall of 300 feet; extreme beam of 31 feet; a surfaced displacement of 4,630 tons; and accommodations for 12 officers and 110 men. A deep diving submarine of vast range, she is adept in offensive operations against hostile submersibles. She is particularly suited as a “killer submarine” for joint operations with units of the antisubmarine warfare forces. The submarine also has the capabilities as a minelayer, supporter of underwater demolition team operations, and as a weather reference station. She may perform many types of reconnaissance and intercept missions; land and recover raiding parties; or provide lifeguard services. Vast range and great striking power are the hallmark of the nuclear-powered attack submarines.

TUNNY was launched on June 10, 1972 in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

TUNNY completed initial sea trials November 11, 1973, and was home ported in Charleston, South Carolina. After commissioning, the crew visited Subase New London for two weeks of training before shakedown in West Indies and along the East coast.

TUNNY has completed several significant deployments since commissioning. She has made two deployments with the Mediterranean-based United States Sixth Fleet; spring and summer 1975, for which she was awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation; and fall and winter 1976, capturing the Sixth Fleet’s “Hook ‘Em” award for Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) performance. During the first Med Cruise, the ship moored alongside a tender at Santo Stefano, Sardinia for upkeep. During the second, the boat made a port called to Lisbon, Portugal and Naples, Italy.

In the February 1978, TUNNY deployed in support of Atlantic Fleet operations in the North Atlantic.

 July of 1978 saw TUNNY commence a transit to Pacific waters, as her homeport was changed from Charleston, South Carolina, to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. TUNNY arrived in Pearl Harbor August 19, 1978.

In February 1979, TUNNY commenced a four month Western Pacific deployment. From August 1979 to December 1980, TUNNY underwent a regular overhaul in Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard during which the Navy’s most advanced sonar, ESM, and fire control systems were installed.

After conducting an eastern Pacific deployment and standard post overhaul tests and inspections, TUNNY made five Western Pacific deployments. The first was from December 1981 until June 1982, for which TUNNY received a Meritorious Unit Commendation. The second was from January to April 1983 and included participation in the highly successful FLEETEX ’83. TUNNY’s third “WestPac” lasted six months, from January 1984 to July 1984 and included a show of the flag in Western Australia.

On the fourth WestPac, USS TUNNY deployed from April to August 1985. For this deployment USS TUNNY received the Navy Unit Commendation. The fifth WestPac was from May to November 1986 and included port calls to Sasebo, Japan and White Beach, Okinawa.

 In May 1987, TUNNY deployed to the Northern Pacific including the first submarine upkeep in Adak, Alaska since World War II. In December 1987, TUNNY again deployed to the Northern Pacific earning the ASW “A” for excellence in submarine operations.

In March, 1988, TUNNY changed homeport to Bremerton, Washington and conducted a 24 month refueling overhaul in Puget Sound Naval Shipyard during which she received the Navy’s latest combat systems including advanced sonar, ESM and fire control systems.

In April 1990, the refueling overhaul was complete – it had lasted 22 months and was completed on time. In June 1990, TUNNY returned to her homeport of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

The Sixth WestPac began in August 1990, lasting until Feb 1991. This deployment included port calls to Hong Kong, Guam, Japan, Korea and the Philippine Islands.

The ship returned from a six month Western Pacific cruise on 7 April 1992, and deployed for an eighth WestPac in Oct 1993.

TUNNY received the Commander Submarine Squadron One Battle Efficiency “E” award for 1992, 1994 and 1995. She received a Meritorious Unit Commendation during the 1995 WestPac deployment, her ninth.

TUNNY’s final WestPac was completed in March 1997. The boat was decommissioned on September 2, 1997 in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. She is currently at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, Washington.

I decided for this painting to be more ambitious as regards the composition with a 3-D effect. I built computer models of both submarines prior to painting to allow me to get accurate visual dimensions. In the center is the “coveted” submarine DOLPHIN badge. 

Each submarine offers a glimpse or a reminder of a defining era in the history of this nation. Each submarine era played a pivotal role in defining the world history.

Graham Toms

Battle of the Alamo

February 23 – March 6, 1836 was a pivotal event in the Texas Revolution. Following a 13-day siege, Mexican troops under President General Antonio López de Santa Anna launched an assault on the Alamo Mission near San Antonio de Béxar (modern-day San Antonio, Texas, United States), killing all of the Texian defenders. Santa Anna’s cruelty during the battle inspired many Texians—both Texas settlers and adventurers from the United States—to join the Texian Army. Buoyed by a desire for revenge, the Texians defeated the Mexican Army at the Battle of San Jacinto, on April 21, 1836, ending the revolution.

I based the painting on the movie poster from the Alamo Film starring John Wayne in 1960. I used a similar approach in terms of story as was expressed by John Wayne when interviewed about the film. I will try my best to summarize; He felt the essence of the film wasn’t to accurately portray a historical event but to encapsulate the essence of what the battle symbolizes to the American patriot and Texan. A portrayal of individualism regardless of what the odds are against that individual. The 1960’s portrayal, more so than the Disney portrayal established internationally a persona of American individualism and where Texas was on the map. If you travel anywhere else in America and mention San Antonio, fellowAmericans will say, ” ah…the Alamo”. Travel outside American borders and mention you live in Texas, most people will mention, “ah…the Alamo”. The power of film to stamp a reference on our consciousness on what continues in popular culture should never be underestimated. Most people will reference the film, not the details of the actual historical event or the context as to why there was a Texas revolution.

I used an American flag and the current Texas flag realizing that flag would not have been present in 1836 and that Texas wasn’t even a part of the union, hence I have both flags in the sky. It’s to herald things to come.

Graham Toms

Our commissioned painting inspired by the 1960 motion picture Alamo’s promotional poster.

Scroll to Top