Reflections on a Summer Morn in Maine

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Acrylic painting by Keith L. Reynolds

Keith L. Reynolds’ startling, distinctive style is a combination of the real and the surreal that sets him apart from other marine artists of his generation. Here he’s taken the ordinary — a Maine lobster boat depicted in painstaking detail — and set it in a plane of blue that’s made water by the faint ripples on the surface and the wavering reflection.

The result is Reflection on a Summer Morn in Maine, a dramatic 16-by-28-inch acrylic.

“The Maine lobster boat, like the skipjack is to the Chesapeake and the shrimp boat to Louisiana, is a regional classic,” says Reynolds, 85, who has a studio in Bristol, Rhode Island. “I have researched the little coves of Maine for over five decades, and every time I visit I see something new and intriguing. This craft sat in a dead calm, sunny August afternoon. Its engine had roared into action at dawn, but now, lobsters delivered to the co-op, it sits at rest.”

Reynolds’ style involves isolating the focus of his subject, “omitting all other visual elements,” he says. “I believe that is how most people’s mind’s eye works when they see a thing of rare beauty. All else fades away for that very special moment, and this was one of those moments for me.”

A native of Seattle, Reynolds grew up along the shores of Puget Sound during the 1930s, absorbing the sights and sounds of the waterfront and the great variety of vessels that plied those busy waters. He also worked on the water, spending time on the fishing boats, tugs and ferries he would later paint. But it’s the simple craft of New England, the Chesapeake, Florida and Nova Scotia that have been his staple.

Reynolds’ paintings reflect a fascination not only with boats, but also the “vast planes of light and space of the sea,” as one commentary noted. His series on the grand sailing yachts is a good example. “Reynolds paints clean, highly detailed portraits of turn-of-the-century and modern yachts poised starkly before a blend of seas and sky,” one reviewer wrote. “His sleek craft seem to cut through like a knife.”

To view this and other works by Keith L. Reynolds, visit the J. Russell Jinishian Gallery website at www.jrusselljinishiangallery.com or visit the gallery at 1899 Bronson Road in Fairfield, Connecticut.