W. R. Grace off the Chilean Coast

Sun and Wind

My goal was to attempt to convey a feeling of sunshine and wind, and perhaps a sense of adventure as well. I love all the colors that can appear on canvas sails and the texture of ocean waves are always a fascination.

I became interested in this ship form a large painting in the Maine Maritime Museum. This ship was built in Bath, ME., one of the larger wooden vessels to be built there. It was one of the progenitors of the W.R. Grace Line.

I am indebted to Jim Gibbs (Pacific Square Riggers) for a good photograph of the W.R. Grace in San Francisco.

I have been very much influenced by the marine art of Thomas Sommerscales, especially his painting, The Nitrate Ship, on which this painting is based, even down to the position of the useless headsails.

A particularly interesting description of the wreck of this ship can be found in Gib Sosman's article in Wooden Boat Forum: "The W R Grace had a dramatic and glorious ending in a big storm..."



four masted barque
Copyright John Stephens 2010