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 Bourke’s Design Studio, could visualize a finished boat from only its
plans—and 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 ship’s blueprint to learn about it hull design, length,
tonnage and deck layout. Blossom’s 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
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 isn’t 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, "It’s not a hobby, it’s
a way of life. When I look at the ocean, I get the same feeling pilots must
get when they look to the sky."