June 18, 2024
Annapolis, US 79 F

New Book by USNA Graduate Explores Midshipman Experience Through Paintings, Prose 

Inspired by her experience at the United States Naval Academy (USNA), fine artist Kristin Cronic wrote and illustrated A Midshipman’s Journey: Plebe to Officer at the United States Naval Academy Through a Graduate’s Eyes and Painter’s Brush. This beautifully illustrated coffee table book takes readers through the USNA process through impressionistic paintings and honest prose.

When Cronic accepted her appointment to the United States Naval Academy in 2007, she wasn’t sure what to expect. During her senior year of high school, she found solace in a series of photographs by Pete Souza documenting plebe summer, which inspired her to work on this project.

“As I began the process as a plebe [freshman] in 2007, I promised myself I, too, would one day tell the story in hopes it could help someone else. After I left active duty service in 2017, I found the opportunity to finally start painting moments in a way that could be understood by anyone,” Cronic said.

With a focus on the human moments of an institutional process, A Midshipman’s Journey reflects the essence of the transformation from plebe to officer, showing readers and art lovers that pushing beyond personal discomfort to meet the demands of the mission leads to significant growth.

“Scattered throughout the book are artist notes regarding the process, revealing insights behind specific painting decisions as well as the realities of a multi-year painting project,” Cronic said.

The USNA graduate believes that the midshipman experience is relatable for anyone. Regardless of their background, readers will find parallels within their own life-changing stories — military-related or not.

“To be a human is to experience journeys of transformation. We explore, embark upon adventures, take risks, and try new things. A Midshipman’s Journey is my story, but it’s also yours. It’s the journey of accepting the call, stepping past the threshold of the unknown, and arriving through the other side a different person, yet somehow still the same,” Cronic said.

Holding a BS in Naval Architecture, Cronic was commissioned as a Surface Warfare Officer in 2011. She served as a naval officer until 2017, deploying twice on ships. While Cronic painted the impressionist art found in this book under the alias “Easel on Stribling,” she is a multi-passionate artist who also creates original oil paintings, fine art prints, and live wedding paintings.

A Midshipman’s Journey is the only comprehensive body of artwork that tells timeless USNA stories by someone who chopped the halls with artsy eyes as a midshipman. It is available for purchase on amidshipmansjourney.com and everywhere books are sold.

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