Saturday, February 07, 2015

Manet the Naval Artist

I came across this image again today while studying naval terms and marine art:


It's a painting by the famous Impressionist painter Edouard Manet (1832-1883) entitled
"The Battle of the Kearsarge and the Alabama."
It depicts the single-ship action between the USS Kearsarge and the CSS Alabama in The Battle of Cherbourg off the coast of France in 1864.

Though Manet himself didn't witness the battle, he almost certainly drew from first-hand accounts of other French citizens, hundreds of whom witnessed the battle as it unfolded just outside the Cherbourg harbor. 

I find it a powerful composition and a good example of marine art and historical illustration.

Old Ironsides! continued...

Progress from the painting I've been working on for the Navy Art Program, "Cleaning the Salute Gun," (9" x 10" acrylic on mounted canvas)

Yesterday's progress:

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Old Ironsides!

In October, I had the privilege of once again touring the USS Constitution, "Old Ironsides," and go aboard her as she was taken out for her last "turn around" cruise before entering dry dock sometime this year.
(Click here for my first experience seeing Constitution at Marine Week Boston in 2010).

I am now painting as a civilian artist for the Navy Art Program, and they sent me up to sketch, photograph, and paint the ship and crew--  to document for posterity the wonderful anachronism of the oldest commissioned ship still in the naval service.

Since I got back, I've been drawing and painting scenes from my time on board, and am beginning to see the fruits of my labor.

I've got several paintings in process, both oil and acrylic, as well as some drawings...

Yesterday I finished an acrylic study of a Constitution sailor, with full 1813 uniform complete with coat and cover, working with rope:
Other works, still in process, are several oils, including one featuring one of the female sailors aboard (I refer to this painting unofficially as "Rosie the Sailor"):

Also nearing completion is this oil painting, based on several photos I took of the crew in action, here shown hauling in the lines so we can cast off and get underway.

Yesterday, I began this little acrylic (9" x 10") study of a gunners mate cleaning the "salute gun" after Constitution did a 21gun salute while out in the harbor:

I will keep you posted, perhaps even later in the day, as this one progresses...
Anchors Aweigh!
UPDATED @ 1630, 4 Feb 2015
here's the progress on it from this afternoon:
...and from later in the evening: