An outstanding look back from the early days of the 20TH Century at one of the famous Black Ball Line Clippers to hit the West Coast. Coulter undoubtably did this work with a specific ship in mind: FLYING CLOUD, CHAMPION OF THE SEAS, LIGHTNING and many other Donald McKay-built clippers sailed at one point or another under the Black Ball flag and prominent foresail. One of the last to work the West Coast was named for the Lines’ Quaker founder, Jeremiah Thompson. Later the company was primarily under the direction of James Baines and partners, which thrived through the Californian and Australian Gold Rushes, but fought for survival after the business doldrums created by American Civil War.
The prevailing sunlight cast a glorious day for the sailing ship. The horizon is awash with a warm glow that is only found in the Western sky, and within the Plein Air and marine palettes of the day. Nice shadows and an emerald sea complete the ships setting, with a healthy course of sails employed.
Coulter was as ever-changing as San Francisco itself, and his artistic processes evolved from his early, draftsman-like portraits to his evocative, later works such as this with subtle moods and impressionist touches. Much like his city, the history of how things were remained important to Coulter. It is most likely that this painting was performed as a request marking the 50th anniversary of the clipper portrayed.
first name :