Monday, June 18, 2012

Fog on the Bay

I was out walking the Eastern Prom the other day watching the fog roll in and out and over the islands. It was a tranquil scene - the sun was setting, the wind had died. There was a blue haze and absolute quiet. I watched a determined sailor make his way slowly across the water in hopes of finding a finger of a breeze, inhaled deeply and just as I was about to exhale into total relaxation, I stopped short and held my breath. The mast of a large vessel - an old, old ship was ghosting in and out of the fog beyond the farthest island. I allowed my breath to leave me in a controlled whisper. Slowly making its way toward land, toward Portland, toward me was a vessel that defied reason. It's flag - a menacing Jolly Roger!

I cupped my hands around my mouth and screamed, waving to the unsuspecting sailor to come about and head for shore as I pointed out over his shoulder to the ship that loomed closer and darker. A fear enveloped me and pulled me into a full on gallop up the hill. "Pirates, pirates," I gasped to all I encountered as I ran for my life...

I like playing this game occasionally - it adds an element of intrigue and fear to an otherwise beautiful but uneventful landscape. I've been a total bore lately and needed to reinvent myself for a few minutes.

Eventually, I painted the "beautiful" scene that day and then searched the internet to see if there ever were, in fact, pirates in Casco Bay. I was also curious about how the Jolly Roger came into being. This is what I found:

Pirates in Casco Bay:

Origin of the Jolly Roger:

Fog in the Bay • 8" x 8" acrylic on paper framed to 12" x 12" • $200

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