There’s nothing like the shore, the beach, or a day on the high seas to make you feel like you’re alive. The seas have awesome power, they cannot be conquered, and are eternal.
The British poet John Masefield in his poem Sea-Fever wrote:
I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a gray mist on the sea’s face, and a gray dawn breaking.
You can almost hear the surf pounding the shore, or smell the salt in the air, or hear the wind in the rigging, can’t you? Yes, the seas have drawn the best of many generations. Sometimes the sea will stay in one’s mind forever.
Let’s have a look at some art by artists who have the sea running through their veins. Our first maritime art is Hong Kong Anchorage — Twilight by Rodney Charman. With the sun behind the tall masts and rigging you can’t help but note the majesty of the image.
The Pagoda Anchorage by Charman offers a second and similar view. Maybe he was ‘practicing’.
Or look at the sensitivity, the accuracy, and the excellent fine detail of William Muller’s Steamboat M.Martin Paddling Up the Hudson . What a lovely way to spend the afternoon, on a cruise up the Hudson River, as we can see from Muller’s Steamboat Mary Powell.
Look at these beautiful works by Joseph McGurl. Both Catboat off Nantucket (below-top) and Rippled Waters (below-bottom) allow us to note of the near magical use of light to create the realistic atmosphere. Just breath-taking!
Windward by Christopher Blossom (below) shows us the excitement and beauty of sailing life. The majesty of the setting makes the ship seem so small.
Blossom has said: “I try to portray the feeling of excitement and well-being that sailors feel when they’re around water.”
This second one by Blossom is called Heading Home and brings to mind that the small harbors we reach at the day’s end are crowded with other vessels who were enjoyed that day. The comfort of reaching home is accompanied by the fact that the day on the water is ending.
And once you are at sea, you can sail for the sheer pleasure, or you can go to your destination, or you can simply race with another ship, and the winner gets iced beer back at the yacht club. Have a look at Terry Bailey’s Classic Sailing off St. Mawes and the companion piece entitled Evelyn off St. Mawes. Magnificent.
Our last works of art for the month are by John Mecray, one of America’s foremost marine painters. Tenacious (below top) and Ranger (below bottom) are supreme examples of Mecray’s artistry. The paintings show you why people love sailing and racing. Note the filled sails, the white caps, and the sheer speed of these elegant and sleek ships in the water.
Please think about the fact that the helmsman and his crew can make those big sails do all the work. They can makes these fleet sail boats turn almost as easily as you hang a left in your car. Not really – but all the crew pulls together it seems that way. Simply masterful.
Yes, the seas have their siren song that calls to men of every nationality. But there’s another kind of siren song that also calls to men. And makes them return to terra firma. When women call to the seas, the men will return. We know why, don’t we?
Men will do anything for the feel of a sensual woman in their arms. The women who show up on are pages of this blog are never going to be call sea-creatures, as none of these women are mermaids, but their magical siren songs will undoubtedly capture your notice and attention. So let’s cast off — but remember that we will always be a safe harbor for those of you want to stay dry, and have a look at some of nature’s finest bounty right here at The Arts.
By the way – if you really want to ‘experience’ sailing in a format other than art or actual sailing yourself- then get yourself on board the high seas via a look at one of these DVDs – Wind with Matthew Modine and Jennifer Grey (1992) which has spectacular race sailing footage, or White Squall with Jeff Bridges (1996) directed by Ridley Scott which has a storm at sea sequence so powerful that you may never step onto a boat again.