“Dry Finesse”

“Dry Finesse”, by Robert Leedy, 2004, (finished version), watercolor on Arches 140 lb Cold Press paper, 16 x 22 in., Collection of the Artist
‘“Dry Finesse”, by Robert Leedy, 2004, (finished version)
watercolor on Arches cold press paper,
16 x 22 in.,
Collection of the Artist

“Dry Finesse” takes its name from the actual name of this J Boat – “Finesse” – and the fact that it was in dry dock at the Thomaston Marina in Maine. I was first struck by the interesting shadows created by these boats sitting in the noonday sun. As I walked by the Finesse, the curving span of her hull in silhouette was overwhelming and I knew I wanted to paint her right away.

This painting is all about pattern – patterns of lights and darks that carry on throughout the painting. Notice the ladder and boat supports: they go from light to dark and back again depending upon their background. All of this creates an interesting relationship of shapes, values and color.

Color was added to a strong value shape that I painted in first. While the value shape was still wet, local color was injected in to give interesting color mixes. Color complements are used throughout and the yellow in the lower right-hand corner was added to create an intensity of light – you can almost feel the strong sunlight.

I painted “Dry Finesse” in August of 2004 when I took a watercolor workshop with David Dewey in Owl’s Head, Maine. David is a terrific watercolorist and fine educator. His Maine workshops are held every summer.

Here’s a brief email update and discussion of “Dry Finesse” the day I started it:

The Thomaston Marina is a place I have painted many times. David claims the Lyman Morse Boatbuilders here are world-famous.

This J Boat’s magnificent hull struck me as I rounded a back corner at the marina. I liked the low vantage point which seemed to exaggerate the curvature of the hull’s shape. This painting is still a work in progress. I will finish it in the studio.

I played with the lights & darks in this painting. There is a lot happening in here visually. More work needs to be done but it is evolving nicely…

I have a redneck tan and am filling myself with lobster. I am up early and I’m thoroughly exhausted when I return back to the room.

It is supposed to rain tomorrow. I have two more days before I depart for Monhegan, so I will try to get more images online.

I hope you are all doing well and wish you could experience Maine with me – it’s beautiful!

All my best,

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