Art Paine, Fine Artist

The Art of Boats, the Boats of Art

Rage Rage

Rage Rage, oil on canvas, 16x20

This painting has an interesting history. Art Paine has been a professional yacht designer. He is best known for having designed and built “Airforce”, a cold-molded wooden yacht that started in the 1985-’86 running of the singlehanded B. O. C. around the world race. It was the last, and the most beautiful, wooden boat attempting to race around the world. He has also worked with his twin brother Chuck designing yachts. A few years ago Art took on the design of a 30 foot wooden replica of a Falmouth Pilot Cutter. The client was an older gentleman who was successfully being treated for prostate cancer. Although the process of working with Art gave him surcease from the treatment regimen, in the end though he beat the cancer he elected not to have the boat built. Art painted the work after the man phoned up looking for a sketch of the boat for the dining room. Though he loved the painting, he really didn’t feel he had room or budget for an Art Paine oil.

As soon as the painting was done, Art sent a picture of it to a friend who had bought his premier work from three summers back. The woman’s son works at Fleet Bank in downtown Boston and is an avid fan of Art’s work, and in fact bought that original work from his mom. When he saw “Rage Rage” in an e-mail from his mother, he phoned immediately and bought the painting.

During the time Art was working on this dramatic, open-ocean scene he kept dreaming up equally dramatic titles, all emphasizing the British nature of the vessel and the near-suicidal nature of the skipper’s seamanship. In his mind, Art imagined the following scenario that explains it all. The skipper had sailed singlehanded on the open ocean all his life. He reveled in it. But he was always a prudent seaman. He’d never have carried full sail, let alone a jackyard topsail, into the night. Especially in huge seas that are only a harbinger of the storm to come. But the man has been diagnosed with inoperable cancer. And he wants to depart this life doing that which he has always loved. Hence the jackyard topsail and, at this very moment, the real possibility of a goose-wing gybe!

Mindful of that monster breaking wave behind him, a wave the captain cannot possibly see while concentrating on steering down the troughs, Art kept coming up with obvious titles like “Illingworth’s next to last wave”. Whilst gloating upon one and another trite title to his wife in the kitchen, his learned mate modestly interjected the perfect one. “Do you know Dylan Thomas, she asks?” Art says he knows vermilion and it’s effect when mixed with Payne’s Gray, but isn’t quite up on English Poetry. Carey says, the perfect title for a paintng that is really about such end-of-life choices is from his most famous verse: “DO NOT GO GENTLE INTO THAT GOOD NIGHT. RAGE, RAGE AGAINST THE DYING OF THE LIGHT!”