The Offshore Voyaging Reference Site

Still Life Of Maine

John posted a while ago about Shelly, our Charleston friend with the amazing voice, and her husband Dave, the drumming anaesthesiologist. Then I received two emails from Norwegian friends who connected me with paintings and photographs that celebrate the beauty of the Norwegian landscape. Which all served to get me thinking of other artists who have crossed our pelagic path.

We first connected with Stephanie and Scott at Billings Diesel & Marine in Stonington, Maine. Our sailboats were neighbours in the yard there. The history of our meeting varies depending on who you ask—Scott says he made the first move, we’re sure we initiated contact. I don’t think we’re ever going to resolve that one but it makes for fun cocktail hour debates!

Back to Art

Stephanie’s still life and botanical paintings, inspired by coastal Maine, are created from the real object, not a photograph. For example, when painting lobsters, she freezes the lobster, paints as long as she can before it thaws, and then freezes it again. Though to me every lobster looks the same, to Stephanie there is a world of difference in the details.

We have a copy of the beautiful book she produced a few years ago and a print of one of her works, which we are planning to hang on the boat. What a marvellous combination: a beautiful piece of art that is imbued with the warmth of friendship, hung on the bulkhead of the boat that made the connection with the artist possible.


Are you an artist or have you met artists on your pelagic journeys? If so, please leave a comment, hopefully with a link so we can all enjoy your/their work.

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Yes, I met Colin Reid, an outstanding glass artist, who is also an accomplished singlehanding sailor. We met in one of the beautiful Rias of the spanish coast of the Bay of Biskay and kept in touch ever since. When I left my boat in Newfoundland over the winter he came flying over the following year and we sailed her back to England and back home to Germany, not singlehanding for once. Colin has done some very impressive works in kiln cast glass and his work is exhibited almost all over the world.

And then there is Frauke is a (sailing) friend in my home town on the baltic shore. She has an incredible gift of catching the very spirit of (mostly)competitive sailing in her paintings.

Lars Erik Karlsen

Thank you very much for this interesting site. I really love to read your articles!
I am an artist and sailor living in Lofoten, northern Norway.
Beside sailing, I work with woodcut printing. Birdlife and nature from my region.
You can see some of my works om my blog:
I wish you a happy new Year, and good luck with Adveture 40!


During our voyage to Norway and the winter of 2010/11 spent in Tromsø, we met Rudi Caeyers, a Belgian photographer living and working in Arctic Norway. He has just published a very beautiful book of photographs, Svalbard Life (Akademika publishers). See his website: He also does photography on scientific expeditions and some of those photos can be seen on:



Re-freezing the lobster periodically so you can paint all the details… nice trick. (Reminds me of an old Jeph Jacques comic… )

My wife Katy is very much into unique little handmade jewellery bits, some with a nautical theme (seashell earrings, etc.) – if anyone’s interested.