“ The Skipjack ‘Claud W. Somers’ – Rappahannock River”
Last fall I was contacted by Peter Vaden who said that his wife Ann suggested that they have me create an oil painting for their home. They are residents of Alexandria and Carters Creek near Irvington, just off the Rappahannock River on Virginia’s Northern Neck. Due to their love of sailing and the area they asked for a painting of the river with the Norris Bridge spanning it near their home. In addition, they requested that a Chesapeake Bay Skipjack be the main subject of the piece. I knew that the skipjack Claud W. Somers had sailed up the river in recent years visiting the harbor town of Urbanna that is upstream from the bridge.
I did a pencil sketch of the proposed composition and after approval, I did the oil painting showing the late day scene with thunderclouds beyond over the Chesapeake.
The Somers was built in 1911 in Young’s Creek, Virginia, by W. Thomas Young of Parksley. Most of her life was spent dredging oysters in the Maryland waters of the bay. In 1977 she was struck by a winter squall while working near Hooper Strait Lighthouse, leaving six drowned, including her owner-captain. She is now homeported at the Reedville Fisherman’s Museum in Reedville, Virginia. She was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in Maryland in 1985 and in Virginia in 2005.
These boats were designed specifically for dredging oysters on the Chesapeake and are the last “working sail” in North American. The painting will hang in their Irvington home on Dead and Bones Cove.
Oil on Linen 10″ x 15″ Overall Framed 17″ x 22″.
JMB Winter, 2018
TAGS : Custom Paintings