Beyond the Frame: Something to Remember

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“USS Monitor Wreck, 2002, Graveyard of the Atlantic” by Michael “Simo” Simonetti. Oil on canvas, 2013. | The Mariners’ Museum and Park, 2013.0003.000001.

He sinks down deeper and deeper. All around him it’s blue, blue, blue, blue. At this depth all red, yellow, and orange light is filtered out. It’s dark, like you’re in a gray room with only two small windows. And then – there it is – it begins to come into view. Hulking and cave like, upside down and covered in marine growth.

It could almost look natural if you didn’t know what this was. He steps along the seafloor, it’s solid but the sediment still billows slightly with each step. Then he moves forward, slowly, gently – hand outstretched.    Read more

Beyond the Frame: Connection

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Studio shot of “Oregon Inlet Ferry” by Wayne Fulcher, Oil on Canvas, 1970. | The Mariners’ Museum and Park 1973.0033.000001

The yellow ochre of the pilothouse stands out on the near grayscale palette of this small canvas. Muted colors begin to become more apparent, like those of a faded, old photograph. And like a photograph, this work is a memory – a snapshot of everyday life. 

Contemplating Connection

In looking at this work, the concept of connection comes to mind over and over. I thought about what connection means to me and my mind immediately went to technology – WiFi, cell service, texts, and email. While there are the cons of a constantly connected world – like endless promotional emails, it also means being able to call my family hundreds of miles away or FaceTime friends in another country. This drove me deeper down the road of connection and what it means. But at its very simplest, to me, connection is about bringing people together and this painting is about just that.    Read more

Beyond the Frame: Symphony of Solitude

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Studio shot of “Marine Totem with Osprey Nest” by Barclay Sheaks. Acrylic on Masonite, 1969. 1970.0002.000001 | Photo by Kyra Duffley/The Mariners’ Museum and Park.

In nature, nothing exists alone.
— Rachel Carson, Silent Spring (1962)

Those who enjoy the company of nature know that being “alone” is not necessarily lonely and that solitude is far from isolation. Because, even in the stillness of nature you can close your eyes and hear the hum of the earth as it moves around you. The rustle of wind in trees, the ripple and drop of water, the drone of insects, and the calls of creatures.    Read more

Beyond the Frame: The World Beyond

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Detail of “Steamship ALAMO” by Antonio Jacobsen, ca 1898. Oil on Canvas. 1982.0066.000001 | Photo by Kyra Duffley/The Mariners’ Museum and Park.

In the darkness of a black canvas, a faint glimmer of light peeks through a circular opening before you. You approach it, feeling for the small brass handle – the metal is cool to the touch. The door is heavier than anticipated and creaks as you pull it open, revealing an unbelievable scene. You peer through this apparent porthole, wondering if instead it’s a portal to another place or time because suddenly you hear the roar of the sea on a blue skied, blustery day, and feel the warm sunlight beaming through this opening. But more shockingly you see a ship steaming straight towards you. Do you shut the door and retreat from this “twilight zone”-esque experience or do you keep looking further and deeper through this opening to join the world beyond the portal?

A Snap Judgement

At many times in our lives, things are very rarely what they seem to be. We tend to look around, quickly form an opinion, and move on. But all that truly gives us is an often inaccurate version of reality. But if we stop and take the time to observe and learn, we can see the bigger picture. I have to admit, when I was first introduced to the world of maritime art, I was quick to judge.   Read more

Beyond the Frame: Uniquely Jane

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“Gloucester Harbor” by Jane Peterson. 1920, Oil On canvas. 1976.0034.000001 | Photo by Kyra Duffley/The Mariners’ Museum and Park.

A symphony of bold, brilliant hues dances and dazzles through the quick but sure brushstrokes of this work. The pastoral scene simultaneously seems to bubble over with fervent energy and placate the viewer with its tranquil peace. That balance is a delicate one that has been carefully and uniquely orchestrated. 


A square painting filled to bursting with spectacular color and energy hangs on a rack in painting storage. Every time I pass this rack, it catches my eye and I say to myself “I need to wait on this one”. But these pieces have a special way of working themselves into my head and so on a gloomy late winter day I decided it was time.    Read more