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Sailing Somes Sound

Mount Desert Island, Maine

Sailing in Maine

Original Watercolor Painting on Paper
14" x 20"

Private Collection

I love painting sailboats. There's nothing quite like flying in the wind on a beautiful sailboat and painting them is just as fun.

Somes Sound on Mount Desert Island, Maine, is the only fjord in the Eastern United States. It's absolutely gorgeous, with steep sides falling to deep water. Sailboats tack up and down perfectly since it funnels wind. Driving or hiking along the edges of the fjord, you see some of the most beautiful boats in the world.

If you're ever on Mount Desert Island, hike the short (but steep) trail up to Flying Mountain from Southwest Harbor. You can look up and down Somes Sound and watch the sailboats. It's an incredible panoramic view!

This was a perfect sailing day with a steady wind. I sketched and took photos as the amazing sailboats flew past me. The water glittered in the long light, making everything sparkle.

I love the exquisite wooden boats I see around here. Manset, on Somes Sound, is where the Hinkley Yachts are crafted. The area is full of antique and newly built wooden boats. I love seeing them really being used, not sitting in their slips. This gorgeous sailboat had a perfect day out!

If you're interested in my painting process, please click here for the YouTube video and watercolor painting tutorial of the process.

This was a particularly interesting painting to paint because of the deep colors of the cliffs behind the sail and the sparkle of sunlight on the water. Water sparkle is easy in the dulled colors of a sunset, but very hard in a bright afternoon on blue water. It takes many passes and a very light touch to paint. I never know when one heavy stroke means starting all over again!

Then, the lovely contrast of the luminous sail against the darkness of the cliff was particularly difficult to paint. Too much, and the sail becomes a cutout. Too little contrast and it's just dull. Everything came together just right to make the sail glow. The lovingly polished wood trim is the finishing touch on a beautiful boat.

This gorgeous painting is a sparkling day in Maine and a sailboat flying in the wind. Absolutely what Maine is all about!


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