At the very root of these paintings is the acquisition of
a spinnaker sail…hundreds of square feet…blue and green stripes. When the sailmakers tested the sail on a 50-foot
sailboat, it blew out and was useless to them.
I acquired the sail for students to study the concept of convexity and
concavity in 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional design in art school. After several years, it ended up on Great
Cranberry Isle where I suspended it high on a cable tightly stretched between
very tall spruce trees in my backyard woods.
I drew it many times. I
discovered it was very informative…as a barometer…in a way. Each day off-short air circulated in the
woods from the ocean and moved the spinnaker one way or another. From the northeast, we would button down for
a storm, and from the southwest, there might be a passing shower or
I’ve been in many boats, even passenger liners. Their hulls move through water so
smoothly. The sails of a sailboat cause
the vessel to move, push and/or shove in front of light wind or forceful
gusts. As a matter of fact, I have been
more interested in trying to visualize aerodynamics. I would draw air as I perceived it as cause
and effect on sails, as I saw sails fill with air, open, shift, luff, rattle,
shake, and snap.
Drawings of the spinnaker prompted paintings; the small
studies were the training for the larger ones.
Arrow-like shapes began to move toward hull shapes and sail shapes. Sometimes there were underwater patterns that
added logic to the compositions. But, as
in most art, logic is not always present and one can move toward simple or
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Full Fathom Five Gallery