Christopher Blossom grew up with a passion for the sea. He learned to sail at age 6 and later crewed aboard the brigantine Young America. “When I look at the ocean, I get the same feeling pilots must get when they look at the sky,” he says.
Blossom was also raised in a family of renowned marine artists and took to the easel early, learning from his father’s critiques and through the family’s friendship with artist John Stobart. “I never really tried to think why [I took to art],” Blossom says. “At first it probably was not an intellectual idea that influenced me — the immensity of the sea with its beauties and menace — not consciously, anyway. I read and reread sea stories, especially C.S. Forester’s Hornblower series. I visited John Stobart’s studio, and his work had an atmosphere that stuck with me.”
His love of the sea and an artist’s eye made Blossom an award-winning painter at age 20 and a charter member (and president) of the American Society of Marine Artists. A graduate of Parsons School of Design in Manhattan and a member of the Society of Historical Artists, Blossom is best known today for his historically accurate paintings of ships and harbors.
Fishers Island Sound, the oil painting shown here, is a departure for the 59-year-old artist. The breezy, colorful, casual scene shows a typical summer afternoon on the waters of Fishers Island, New York, a small community off southeastern Connecticut. The strokes are bold, the browns and greens bright in the foreground. The sailboats, little more than dabs of white, heel in a freshening wind. “I try to use color, light, composition, anything I can, to create a mood,” says Blossom. “Sometimes it works.”
To view this and other works by Christopher Blossom, visit the J. Russell Jinishian Gallery website at jrusselljinishiangallery.com or visit the gallery at 1899 Bronson Road in Fairfield, Connecticut.
This article originally appeared in the November 2015 issue.