Hurricane

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Fierce and ferocious wind sweeps over the beleaguered land. The sand is washed from sight as monster waves break over an entire island that stands knee-deep in water where once there was solid ground.

Many survivors have attested to the awesome power of this type of storm. The noise has been described as a freight train roaring right over your head or an avalanche that never stops. Marine artist Carl Evers paints a picture of those words in his watercolor, Hurricane. He captures the fury of a tropical storm using colors with an almost photographic clarity. They depict foaming, seething green water in the foreground, the spindrift swept off the wave tops and palms bracing against the wind.

The American Society of Marine Artists (ASMA) calls Evers, who passed away in 2000, one of the finest marine artists of the 20th century, stating: “His ability to capture water in motion, feeling for light, exquisite drawing and incredibly rendered detail give his paintings a vibrancy few can rival.”

Evers described his own talent in simple words. “I see the painting complete in my mind before I put pencil to paper,” he said. “If I couldn’t see the picture in my mind, I couldn’t draw it!”

Born in Germany in 1907, Evers came to America 40 years later on a freighter after a career as an illustrator. He was soon contributing his art to a variety of publications and working with a host of commercial marine businesses.

Evers became a master of the gouache medium, favored in commercial work for its quick drying and versatility. This opaque watercolor paint is applied in solid rather than watery colors, and it dries to a matte finish.

This technique is well-suited to Evers’s often dramatic, detail-oriented works, which cover a variety of subjects. It’s estimated that he produced about 50,000 prints, depicting everything from harbor scenes to the open ocean. He published The Marine Paintings of Carl Evers in 1975. Now out of print, it is a valued classic. 

This article was originally published in the November 2020 issue.

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