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Christopher Blossom - BLACK ROCK -  LIMITED EDITION PRINT Published by the Greenwich Workshop


          BLACK ROCK
by Christopher Blossom

$150.00

LIMITED EDITION PRINT
Limited Edition of: 950
Image Size: 27 3/4"w x 17 5/8"h.
Published: January 1988


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Black Rock was an important Connecticut harbor from the early 1700s through the Civil War. Endowed with a good, deep harbor, Black Rock grew with the West Indies and coasting trades in the mid-1700s. Durng the Revolutionary War, colonists made "whale boat" raids from Black Rock Harbor, sneaking across the Long Island Sound at night to spy on or make trouble for, the British.

By the War of 1812, the West Indies trade had declined but by then, Black Rock boasted several chandleries and a substantial shipyard and continued to be important to the coasting trade. After the end of the Civil War, however, Bridgeport dredged its harbor to allow its new manufacturing businesses access to the coastal trade and the railroad began to offer fast, inexpensive overland transportation. As the 19th century drew to a close, Black Rock was no longer a primary harbor and harbors themselves had lost commercial importance in the face of the growing popularity and efficiency of the railroads.

Although the coasting schooner in Black Rock is near the end of its working life and coasting trade is nearing its end, the fact remains that for more than two centuries, coasting was an important way of exchanging a wide variety of products as well as news, for our young, sprawling contintent. Today, Black Rock still shows signs of its history: the Osborn House, built in 1801, remains and a custom house built in 1772 forms part of the present Fayerweather Yacht Club. Black Rock has changed with the years but is still very much alive.


Christopher Blossom
When a child has a father and grandfather who are both well known illustrators, it is likely the offspring will also become an artist. And when a boy starts to sail at the age of six, it is also likely that the artist might choose the sea and sailing ships as his subject. Such was the case for Christopher Blossom, who, by the time he left the Parsons School of Design and Robert Bourkeís Design Studio, could visualize a finished boat from only its plansóand draw the craft from any angle. Before Blossom was twenty, he had sailed under square rig aboard the brigantine Young America. Known for his complex, detailed compositions of ships at sea, Blossom combines his appreciation for the beauty and the menace of the sea with his love of maritime history and ship construction. Before Blossom paints a vessel, he is likely to study the shipís blueprint to learn about it hull design, length, tonnage and deck layout. Blossomís historically accurate ships and harbors are combined with color, light and composition to capture the mood of a voyage and convey the essence of the seafaring experience. At the age of twenty, he won a Gold Medal at the Society of Illustrators Scholarship Exhibition. His dual vocation of experiencing the sea and then painting both nautical history and some of the greatest modern places to sail, was truly launched. Blossom became both a charter member and an artist of the American Society of Marine Artists, serving as its president from 1983 to 1986. His awards include a Gold Medal from the National Academy of Western Art for his painting of ships in Monterey. Saluted as an undisputed master, Blossom has exhibited his art at the Gilcrease Museum, the Colorado Museum of History, the prestigious Prix de West Invitational and the Artists of America show. Blossom continues to achieve artistic honors including the Robert Lougheed Memorial Award at the 2001 Prix de West. Almost the only time he isnít painting is when he is sailing, visiting ports of call in Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maryland, the Bahamas, California and Washington state. Blossom, who recently spent a year sailing around the Caribbean with his wife and two sons says of his love, "Itís not a hobby, itís a way of life. When I look at the ocean, I get the same feeling pilots must get when they look to the sky."

 

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