Cape Split, Maine

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John Marin
American, 1870-1953

Cape Split, Maine, 1941

Watercolor with touches of blotting, and with graphite and black colored pencil, on lightweight (estimated), slightly textured, ivory wove paper (top, left and right edges trimmed), laid down on artists’ board faced with ivory wove paper, in original frame
392 x 521 mm; 553 x 732 mm (mount)
Olivia Shaler Swan Memorial Collection, 1943.93

© 2016 Estate of John Marin / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

In this work, blue and pink lines hover above the horizon, indicating fair weather for both sailing and painting. Marin evoked the complexity of the surf with a wide range of paint applications: dry brushstrokes for the water’s texture; intervals of wet-into-wet; amorphous washes to suggest foreground rocks; pale blue tints over white paper for sea foam; and multiple shades of black, blue, and green to evoke depth and movement below the waves. He then used pencil to delineate the rock forms, applying watercolor over graphite and vice versa.

— Exhibition label, John Marin's Watercolors: A Medium for Modernism, January 19-April 17, 2011, Galleries 124-127.