"Union Island Fishing Boats," acrylic painting by Brechin Morgan

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In 1998, 51-year-old artist and sign painter Brechin Morgan set out from Block Island, R.I., to circumnavigate the globe in his 27-foot Pacific Seacraft cutter, Otter. Almost five years later, he sailed back to his Milford, Conn., home, having completed the voyage after logging 32,000 miles and stopping in 32 countries.

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The Joshua Slocum Society honored him with its Golden Circle Award. Morgan also filled 18 watercolor sketch books. Working out of a studio in Bridgeport, Conn., he now turns those watercolor sketches into acrylic canvases, “deepening my ability to express the mystic restorative nature of our connection to the life of the sea,” he says.

“Union Island Fishing Boats,” with its vibrant colors and sense of movement, shows the harbor at Union Island, in the Grenadines. “I stopped at Union Island in 2003 on my way home up the chain, just before closing the circle at last at Nevis,” Morgan says. “The Grenadines are one of my favorite places in the Caribbean.”

Years later, Morgan visited the island with his grandson. “The charter fleet had increased over the years, but the fishing boats and the ferries were the same,” he says. “These boats, flooded with daylight and color at the edge of the water, captured my attention.”

But there was more to it than that, more than just a pretty scene to be painted. “I saw myself in this same spot years before,” he says. “Now I was walking it again, this time sharing with my grandson some of my experiences and introducing him to the strong, beautiful light and heat of the Caribbean.”

Morgan says he has had a “lifelong fascination with the sea — all that moves under, over or upon it. A romantic longing for the freedom of a rolling deck with exotic lands beyond the sparkling horizon draws me ever toward it.”

To view this and other works by Brechin Morgan visit the J. Russell Jinishian Gallery website at www.jrusselljinishiangallery.com or visit the gallery at 1899 Bronson Road in Fairfield, Conn.

April 2014 issue