Sea History 179 - Summer 2022

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Exulted by the Sea,

an Artist’s Inspir ation at the Water’s Edge

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by C. W. Mundy

first met C. W. Mundy in 2016 at the first National Conference of the American Society of Marine Artists (ASMA) in Williamsburg, Virginia. He was a featured speaker and gave his signature presentation, “The Authorship of Painting and the Science Thereof,” in which he discussed the “Seven Foundational Truths” of painting: drawing, squinting, design, value, color, edges, and paint manipulation. Most of the people who attend the ASMA conferences are artists, with a few collectors and art lovers mixed in. I was there in my capacity as editor of Sea History to learn more about marine art and trends, and to get to know the artists with whom we collaborate on projects involving NMHS and articles for Sea History. I had never heard of C. W. before, but I appeared to be the only one there who was unaware of his large and heralded role in the contemporary marine art community. C. W.’s presentation was an education for me. I learned about hard edges and soft edges, the use of light, and the importance of composition and methodology. C. W. discussed how he views painting as “problem solving.” He even demonstrated the technique of painting upside-down. He was right-side-up of course, but he showed how, for studio work Rough Seas, When the Lee Rail Becomes a Stranger, versus painting en plein air (French term for 24 x 24 inches, oil on linen (2022) “in the open air”), flipping his canvas allows him to step away from interpreting a boat or scene as a specific subject and allows him to focus on shape, light, texture, color, and values. It was clear from his fellow artists in the room how much they value him as an ASMA Fellow, not just for his contributions as an artist, but also as a mentor. I subsequently learned, at the 2nd ASMA national conference, about his talents as a musician, as he opened the conference with a jam session on his banjo, playing bluegrass music for the group before he assumed his role as an artist and presenter. In addition to his achievements in the art world, which are considerable, he is a well-known performer with a bluegrass band. His current ensemble is a popular Indianapolis-based bluegrass band called the Disco Mountain Boys, which recently released a CD, The Impressionists. While ships and boats and waterfront scenes are clearly his passion, C. W. is also an award-winning portrait artist, illustrator, and still life painter, although we focus on just his maritime subjects here. Enjoy this look at some of the works of this multi-talented contemporary marine artist. If you are on Cape Ann, Massachusetts, this summer, it would be worth your while to swing by the Folly Cove Fine Art Gallery in Rockport and check out some of his recent paintings featured in An Expression in Art Featuring C. W. Mundy, Derek Penix, Tad Retz, and Patrick Lee, 18 June–14 July 2022. —Deirdre O’Regan The Rana and the Mimi, Late Afternoon Light, 16 x 20 inches, oil on linen (2001) SEA HISTORY 179, SUMMER 2022

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