This is my first maritime painting in a few years. I’ve been busy painting shorebirds for several exhibitions, but now with those behind me I thought I’d mix it up a little and paint a maritime scene or two.
It has been a busy sailing season for the modern day replica ships sailing along the East Coast. They visited many of the seaports up and down the coast, participating in many of the tall ship festivals. Having recently celebrated Downrigging Weekend; now it is time for the wooden schooners to go through their tedious wintertime maintenance and repairs.
In this painting, the Amistad (on the left) and the Pride of Baltimore II (on the right) are depicted side by side in a friendly race. The two ships are both topsail schooners, also known as clipper ships, the fastest ships on the water in the early 1800’s.
Both ships are magnificent replicas of historic ships. The Amistad was built at the Mystic Seaport in 1999 and was launched in March of 2000. It is known as the Freedom Schooner and is Connecticut’s flagship. It is a replica of the ship La Amistad, famous for the Amistad Incident of 1839.
The Pride of Baltimore II was commissioned in 1988 after the tragic sinking of the original Pride of Baltimore in 1986. It is a “sailing memorial” to the original Pride, both designed after the famous Baltimore built ship Chasseur, which played an important role in winning the war of 1812.
The Amistad and the Pride of Baltimore II are both educational vessels, with the crews teaching maritime history to the youth of today, and represent their states sailing around the world spreading goodwill.
Both were built using many of the traditional ship building techniques of the early 1800’s. Their complicated rigging and large number of sails create a dependence on having skilled sailors to work the lines and having a captain with years of experience at the helm.
I photographed the two ships during the 2008 Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race. I was very impressed by their grandeur when I witnessed them under full sail on the bay. I recently read the book Pride of the Sea by Tom Waldron about the tragic sinking of the original Pride of Baltimore. It was a page-turner and it inspired me to want to paint another painting of the Pride of Baltimore II.
Like all of my paintings, this 11” by 14” painting was painted with professional quality oil paints. This time I chose to paint on canvas versus a hard board. I worked with a traditional palette and style, given the historical significance of both ships.
This painting is entitled Clippers on the Bay and is now available on our website. It will be framed in a high-quality Larson Juhl frame. Thank you as always for following my art and for reading my journal. Please check back soon ~ I have another maritime painting already underway!