The Helen McColl at Rest (10 x 15) $175.00

The Helen McColl at Rest (10 x 15) $175.00

One of our beach side pleasures is wondering the Newport’s history bay.   Art galleries, fish packing plants, and novelty shops, private museums, restaurants and taverns mix indiscriminately along the bay front.  But the best part of the bay is the fisherman’s wharf.

There is marina space for pleasure craft further down the road and across the bay.  But I prefer the fishing boats.  The yachts are are elegant under sail, but with their sails furled at port they look sad to me, like furniture under sheets.  And few people tour the boats.  The yachts are expensive and while not actually prohibited, visitors feel unwelcome.

The wharf remains full of life.  Maintaining a fishing boat is an endless task and someone, usually several someones are always busy there.  Tourists are smiled upon.  Some these outfits sell fish and crab right off the boat.  The sea lions chose the wharf piers for sunning too.  They know where to fish scraps are.

The shape of the fishing boats may be elegant, but the boats themselves are not.  Machinery, ropes, crates, boxes, tarps, crab pots, nets, buckets, barrels and other paraphernalia clutter the decks.  Unlike the yachts the boats are often brightly colored.  Fishing is a dangerous game and these men want to be visible.

We visit often enough that we remember many of the names.  The Miss Law, The Sandra Fey, The Suki, The Destiny, The Golden Dolphin, The Orca, and many others.  This is The Helen McColl.  She was at the end of the pier guarded by sea lions.  I took her picture because I liked her reflection and  the rust on her side, an unusual sight on the wharf.  She must have had a hard year.

I used primarily phthalo blue, cobalt blue, and burnt sienna. I used a hair of yellow ocher and made a couple high lights in white gouache. I painted the water and sky first, then alternated between the boat and her reflection making sure to use the same paint mix for each reflected part.

This painting is currently for sale on-line through my Etsy shop. Or purchase a print at Fine Art America.com.

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