“In my dreams, I am standing a 2 a.m. wheel watch, running down some long, lonely reach of flat water, snow-capped mountains glistening in the moonlight on either side … [cruising] endlessly through the black Alaskan night,” says watercolorist Cooper Hart.
The lower Connecticut River has been called one of the last great places on Earth. For boaters who’d like to explore the region, Old Saybrook, at the river’s mouth, and Essex, 6 miles upstream, are good places to start.
“It’s like a vessel that needs a couple of coats of paint for the true color to come out,” William Davis says. He’s describing the way he layered the oils to convey nature’s subtle shades in Last Sail of the Season. “You work in stages. The sky — it might take several coats to get it right.”
“This is a scene from a month’s cruise in Antarctica,” says artist Nancy Zydler. “When this sailing boat appeared, we realized how tiny our boat was, too, in this vast seascape of mountains and ice. The yacht was sailing fast around icebergs, bergy bits and growlers — an exciting task even in a calm, but quite challenging when the wind pipes up and some serious-size ice may be mistaken for a breaking wave.”
The Cruis Along Sedan 31 made its debut in 1959, offering all the cabin-cruiser amenities of the day (though not the final letter of the word “cruise”). The convertible yacht had a raised bridge deck that was well protected by a woodframe windshield and streamlined wheelhouse.
Two catboats run before an afternoon zephyr, returning home at the end of a day’s sail. There’s a delicate luminosity, a glow of diffused light, a sense of gentle movement in Peter Arguimbau’s 20-by-30 oil painting. It’s a simple work, but the story behind it is complex and delves deep into art history.