Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Mariner, The Incognito Project

Got a new one finished. This is a painting of my daughter's boyfriend. One of his favorite pieces of literature is the epic poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner written by English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 1798.
The Mariner, The Incognito Project, 8x8, oil on panel

Will is a Florida native and loves being near water. He was on a local row crew for years and is restoring an old sailboat. Currently he is a bit of a fish out of water since he is living in Alabama, to be near my daughter, and going to school. But that's what The Incognito Project is all about, revealing or disguising something about the sitter.

I was not familiar with the poem and enjoyed doing a little research about it. There are several sayings in our common speech that come from the poem. When the crew is becalmed:

Day after day, day after day,
We stuck, nor breath nor motion;
As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean.

Water, water, every where,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink.

Gustave Dore
As penance for shooting the albatross, (which may or may not have brought the crew good luck followed by bad luck) the Mariner, driven by guilt, is forced to wander the earth, tell his story, and teach a lesson to those he meets:

He prayeth best, who loveth best
All things both great and small;
For the dear God who loveth us,
He made and loveth all.
Gustave Dore
I was enjoying these engravings, by Gustave Dore, that were published in a version of the poem in 1876 according to Wiki. The artists name was familiar to me, finally I realized that he did one of my favorite paintings in The Chrysler Museum in Norfolk, VA.
Gustave Dore, The Neophyte (First Experience of the Monastery), 1866-1868,  57"x107"
I love this painting! The young boy's haunted face, the lighting and Dore's expressive brush work make this one a show stopper. 

This is the statue of the Ancient Mariner at Watchet, Somerset, England. The statue was unveiled in September 2003, as a tribute to Samuel Taylor Coleridge. The sculptor was Alan B Herriot of Penicuik, Scotland.

And that's how a really quick post to introduce a new painting can result in a couple hours surfing the the internet and finding out cool stuff :)

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