Many who follow my work as an artist have known me as a “ship painter”. For a number of years my main focus was capturing the Maine Windjammer fleet on canvas. My love of the historic wooden schooners all started when we moved to Maine in 1990. One of my first memories of these magnificent ships under sail was seeing the legendary Victory Chimes schooner in all her glory sailing by the Rockland Breakwater Light in Rockland harbor. She looked huge! The large green and white hull with red and gold trim, three tall masts topped with colorful flags flapping in the breeze and an impressive spread of canvas sails combined with the lighthouse and the water created a magical moment for me. I couldn’t take pictures fast enough!
One of my first schooner paintings, the Victory Chimes captured this moment. The style is somewhat primitive. I wanted to focus on the bright colors, the size of the ship in relation to the lighthouse and make it a fun painting.
The Victory Chimes schooner is now over 100 years old. She was built in 1900 in Delaware and was originally named the Edwin & Maude. Hauling lumber and freight, sailing as a merchant vessel and eventually a passenger ship, her history is rich. She assisted the U. S. during WWII reporting the status of the anti-submarine mine field at the entrance of the Chesapeake Bay and was on constant lookout for German U-Boats. In 1954, she began a new life in Maine and was renamed Victory Chimes by Captain Frederick “Boyd” Guild.
In 1987, the Victory Chimes was bought by Domino Pizza and was renamed Domino Effect. In 1990, Captain Kip Files and Captain Paul DeGaela purchased the Domino Effect and renamed her Victory Chimes, returning her to the Maine waters and the Maine Windjammer trade.
She is the last of her generation! The Victory Chimes is a real treasure and is now named an American National Historic Landmark.
The more I learned about the Victory Chimes the more I thought I should try and do her justice with another painting. I wanted to portray her from the port side in a traditional ship portrait style. This painting of the Victory Chimes was painted on a hardwood board which allowed for a super smooth, highly glazed surface. Very detailed and traditional in style, it became one of my favorite paintings. I felt a real sense of pride when I was informed by my collector that purchased the painting that Andrew Wyeth (arguably the most famous American painter) upon visiting the collector’s house and studying my painting, singled out this painting as one of his favorites!
Below are a number of other paintings of the Victory Chimes that I completed over a number of years.
For those of you interested in learning more about the Victory Chimes, she has a website www.victorychimes.com. She sails out of Rockland, Maine on multiple day passenger sails and makes for a great summer or fall vacation.