Past Show

“Below the Waterline: Seven Weeks in the Shipyard” – Featuring paintings by Carol Douglas and Loretta Krupinski

View a video of the show

Our featured show this June is the result of an artist’s chance meeting with local living history. Plein air painter Carol Douglas recently discovered Rockland waterfront’s spring “fitting out” and captured it on canvas. As a recently-established, year-round resident of Rockport, Carol felt drawn to Rockland’s working harbor and the men and women who keep the local windjammer fleet afloat. For seven weeks, she documented the annual historic ritual of hauling schooners from the water onto the “ways” at the North End Shipyard and outfitting each vessel for the new season, much like an aging actor being “gussied up” for yet another arduous summer performance.

Some of Carol’s fondest memories growing up on Lake Ontario in Upstate New York involve helping her father scrape, paint, and generally maintain an old, deep-keeled wooden sloop. Carol, having often painted the windjammers under sail or at the docks, had always wanted to paint the ships out of the water.

She writes: “It felt like figure painting. By studying the boats’ whole ‘torsos,’ I would understand them better when painting them dressed in their summer finery of sheets, shrouds, and sails. Schooners are big, broad-hulled, working boats. I related to them immediately. I also understood the work that goes into keeping them afloat.”

Carol’s documentation in oils echoes that same intense work ethic. Not only does one get a sense of the physical scale of the Isaac Evans nesting among its cage of scaffolding, one senses the concerted effort required to keep history alive through a boat built during the Great Depression. Carol’s thoughtful compositions exploit the angles and negative shapes produced by the intricate interplay of wood, rope, and steel. The dynamic tension is evident in the painting, How I Got Here, where we have the looming mass of the American Eagle’s spoon bow cheek to jowl with an undersized, antiquated, pulley-driven winch housed in an old shed.

A visit to Camden in 1916 inspired a famous series of paintings of boats and shipyard workers by George Bellows. Carol cites this American artist’s deep empathy for the working class, as well as his masterful painting technique, as inspiration for her current series.

Works by other house artists, including Loretta Krupinski, will also be exhibited in the show. Loretta Krupinski undertook her own interpretation of Maine’s historic working waterfronts several years ago. In conjunction with Down East Enterprises, she delved through archival photographs from a variety of local sources and developed a series of highly detailed oils. These 40 paintings, compiled in the book, Looking Astern, bring to life coastal Maine during the turn of the century. Krupinski’s work, like Bellows’, brings out the courageous humanity and strength of dockworkers, sailors, and fishermen.

Camden Falls Gallery invites you to join us for an Artists’ and Captains’ Gam on Saturday, June 11 from 4-6pm to celebrate the opening of this exciting new show, which will remain on display through early July. Located at 5 Public Landing, Camden Falls Gallery is open 10am-5pm Mon.-Sat. and 12-5pm on Sunday. For more information, please call 207-470-7027. We look forward to seeing you soon!