Suzie Baker’s painting with Old Point in the background

As one of the nation’s premier plein air events, Plein Air Easton (which was held 17-23, 2017) includes many of the biggest star artists from around the country. However, it was recently pointed out that there was another star this year that inspired several of the competition’s world-class participants.

There are many fantastic scenes in and around Easton, Maryland, for artists to paint, including historic architecture, coastal views, and — of course — lots and lots of boats. However, it seems that a large contingency of the 58-artist roster had their eyes focused on one specific photogenic ship.

Suzie Baker, “Log Built Boat,” oil on linen panel, 10 x 30 inches
Neal Hughes, “Hazy Morning,” 18 x 24 inches
Neal Hughes, “Boatyard,” 18 x 24 inches
Leonard Mizerek, “Breaking Dawn in St. Michaels, 12 x 24 inches

Old Point, as she’s called, was constructed over 100 years ago from eight split logs that run the length of the hull. During the 2017 festival, she was in the process of being repaired and restored at the Maritime Museum in Saint Michael, Maryland. Perched majestically on her stilts against the coast of the harbor and surrounded by stacks of roughly milled logs and wood, the experienced ship offered artists a multitude of successful compositions they seemed to delight in capturing with their unique creative interpretations.

Leonard Mizerek, “Breaking Dawn in St. Michaels, 12 x 24 inches
Zufar Bikbov, “Storm Passed,” 18 x 24 inches
Lon Brauer, “Timbers to Starboard,” 20 x 30 inches

Artist Suzie Baker elected to capture Old Point in a strong horizontal format in a glowing golden light. The artist was overjoyed to later learn that the museum purchased her work for its own collection. Neal Hughes also took a creative stab at the ship, choosing a frontal, more direct view of the boat. Patrick Lee’s take on the subject was excellent as well, choosing a square format to capture Old Point in soft pastel colors. In the foreground, the artist has added a massive unmilled log that points directly at the viewer from the lower right-hand corner of the piece.

Patrick Lee, “St. Michaels,” 30 x 30 inches
Jason Sacran, “Passing Storms,” 18 x 24 inches

That certainly isn’t the end, as artists Leonard Mizerek, Jason Sacran, Zufar Bikbov, and Lon Brauer — among others — also chose to paint Old Point’s portrait. It’s fascinating to juxtapose different artists’ view of the subject, observing each of their unique stylistic approaches. So varied, yet all so beautiful!

Bob Beck, “Up for Repairs,” 24 x 18 inches
Bob Beck, “Day Off,” 18 x 24 inches
Tim Kelly, oil, 6 x 8 inches
Joe Gyurcsak, “Morning Glow,” oil on panel, 14 x 18 inches

Did you paint Old Point, too? Pass along your photo to [email protected] and I’ll drop it into an article!

This article was featured in PleinAir Today, a weekly e-newsletter from PleinAir magazine. To start receiving PleinAir Today for free, click here.

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