MARITIME LIFE
American Art Collector|June 2020
Growing up on the south shore of Boston, my brother and I developed a love for all things nautical from the lobster boats, dories and pleasure craft of our own time to the thriving shipbuilding hub of the 17th to 19th centuries.
JOHN O'HERN

The North River winds for 12 miles through several south shore towns and was the home to 24 shipyards that built over 1,000 ships during that period.

We took a dingy with an outboard up the river to discover the remains of the site where the ship Columbia was built in 1773. The Columbia was the first American ship to circumnavigate the globe and its name was given to the Columbia River in the Pacific Northwest. A historical marker is the only reminder on the bank of the river among the peaceful salt marshes.

Donald Demers merges a similar past and present on the north shore of Boston in his painting The Old Essex. He comments, “The Essex River in Essex, Massachusetts, is the setting for this quiet, nostalgic and contemplative painting. The storied Essex River was the birthplace of many legendary Gloucester fishing schooners where they were built and launched from the yards of A.D. Story, Harold Burnham and the like. What was once a vibrant commercial shipbuilding center frenzied with the sounds and smells of wood, oakum, tar and such is now a serene and gentle backwater. As I painted the picture, I ruminated over the area’s previous character and role in maritime history.” The painting is in the traveling 18th National Exhibition of the American Society of Marine Artists (ASMA) of which he is a fellow.

Demers grew up in central Massachusetts and summered on the coast in Boothbay Harbor, Maine, where he learned to sail. He eventually became a crew member on sailing vessels that plied the Atlantic, the Pacific and the Caribbean. His familiarity with the sea and his early career as an illustrator combine in strong compositions of the many atmospheric moods of the coast.

C.W. Mundy is also a fellow of ASMA who began his career in illustration, which he left in 1994 to explore painting in plein air. He went to France the following year and immersed himself in the techniques of the impressionists and their fascination with light.

The schooners that sailed out of Maine carried cargo along the coast. The lumber for my family home arrived at the lumber yard on the harbor aboard a schooner from Maine. Many of the sturdy vessels have been restored and now sail as pleasure craft from ports such as Camden. The windjammer Angelique is rendered in thick impasto and brushstrokes that portray not only the substantial form of the vessel but also its ephemeral reflections in the water.

In the pages of this special section dedicated to marine art, collectors will find a breadth of vessels, docks and shores that define this treasured genre. There are also insights and techniques described by the artists and galleries, providing a bigger picture to how a painting comes alive.

Anton Uhl has been a professional artist for the past 51 years. A former set designer for opera, TV and movies, his works include commissions in glass, bronze, paintings and murals in the collections of celebrities around the world. Among his subjects are beach scenes and surfers. “I have always loved the magic of art and its power to move and inspire, to give us vision and help us transcend the bonds of the day to day,” he says.

Didi Menendez of PoetsArtsits has assembled a number of artists who participate in the maritime genre, including Jan Anders Nelson and Yvonne Melchers.

“Growing up in Haarlem, The Netherlands, and spending considerable time at the North Sea coast and later living in Spain and in Italy, my paintings tend to alternate between manifestations of the cool light of the Low Countries and the warm light of the Mediterranean,” says Melchers.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM AMERICAN ART COLLECTORView All

Awe and Wonder

As a child living in central Illinois, Bruce Cascia was given a Brownie camera by his father. The simple cameras were barely more than a box with a lens and a shutter release. They held film—“Two and-quarter by two-and-a-quarter,” Cascia recalls—but there was little room for bells and whistles.

2 mins read
American Art Collector
September 2021

Enhanced Memories

Throughout her three-decade career artist, Carrie Pearce has become recognized for painting odd objects or out-of-the-ordinary scenarios that have a touch of whimsy and sentimentality.

4 mins read
American Art Collector
September 2021

Blending Spaces

John Tarahteeff’s paintings take you somewhere new, yet familiar. You don’t entirely know where it is, but it feels like you’ve been there before.

2 mins read
American Art Collector
September 2021

Colorado Beauty

The Eagle Valley Land Trust, located in Eagle County, Colorado, is dedicated to preserving 2,000 acres of land every year.

2 mins read
American Art Collector
September 2021

Artistic EVOLUTION

Daniel Bilmes’ first New York solo exhibition opens September 18 at Arcadia Contemporary with new work that shows his growth and development.

4 mins read
American Art Collector
September 2021

Human Potential

Beginning September 10, Erin Currier of Santa Fe, New Mexico, will be showcasing a large collection of new works at Blue Rain Gallery. This includes about 12 collage paintings on panel, as well as over 20 framed, mixed media pen, marker and china marker works on archival paper.

3 mins read
American Art Collector
September 2021

Inside Their Worlds

Lawes was the Grand Prize award winner in International Artist magazine’s Challenge No. 123, Wildlife.

2 mins read
American Art Collector
September 2021

RESHAPING REALISM

Principle Gallery presents the exhibition Disrupted Realism, curated by John Seed, featuring work by artists who are challenging and changing traditional realism.

4 mins read
American Art Collector
September 2021

The Clearing

Three years ago, Kai Samuels-Davis began preparing for his upcoming solo exhibition at Dolby Chadwick Gallery. It wasn’t until a year ago that the series of paintings began to take shape.

2 mins read
American Art Collector
September 2021

The Edge of a Story

One a master of jubilant color, the other of dramatic lights and darks, the works of artists Colin Page and Kim English build each other up, telling stories through brushstrokes.

2 mins read
American Art Collector
September 2021
RELATED STORIES

THE CHEMICAL INVASION

For many people, compounds in the air and in everyday objects can wage an assault on the body. Here's what we know about chemical intolerance, a.k.a. multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS).

7 mins read
Prevention
May 2022

Russians Are Stuck in Putin's Web

○ A long-planned break from the Western internet has become more real than ever

4 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
March 14, 2022

2021 lobster harvest the most valuable in the history of the fishery

75% increase over 2020

1 min read
Island Ad-Vantages
February 17, 2022

2021 lobster harvest the most valuable in the history of the fishery

75% increase over 2020

1 min read
The Weekly Packet
February 17, 2022

Arctic Spirit

Battling severe weather in an ice field, the crew are floored when the schooner Bowdoin dives beneath a freezing wave

10 mins read
Yachting World
February 2022

Wild blueberry pie and muffin baking contest

Enter Saturday before noon, judging 1 p.m., Exhibition Hall

1 min read
The Weekly Packet
Blue Hill Fair Handbook

Snow's Cove Road reopens to traffic

Fishway passage restored

1 min read
The Weekly Packet
August 26, 2021

Demolition Derby Maine State Championship

Monday, September 6, 4 p.m., Grandstand

1 min read
The Weekly Packet
Blue Hill Fair Handbook

Patrick Learns of a Sweet Girl's Passing in this 'Life With Patrick' Crossover

Lucille a reminiscence of GC, GPD, NW McPride Lucille Ball of Jaspurrcats, owned by Beth Feiniger

2 mins read
Cat Talk
August 2021

Lincoln Paine lends a unique lens to historical society lecture

An exploration of Maine’s maritime history

8 mins read
The Weekly Packet
August 19, 2021