Long Description of 'Niagara At Home'
ADA Accessible Gallery at the Mental Health Association of Northwestern PA
This is a view of the brig ‘Niagara’ on a downwind run across Lake Erie. The day is notable for the brilliant sun and clear air. Distant objects are easily visible.
She is rigged with her three jibs full and taunt against their sheets. The full main sails, four tall, are square to their masts with a staysail flying between the masts. Her spanker is full and set off to port.
The black hull contrasts with the tan band, which reaches from the middle of the hull to the top rail. Her sails are weathered to a light gray with the reefing ties showing in three even layers down from the top of each sail. The running rigging is black against a light blue sky. The standing rigging being tar covered, stands proud of the smaller lines. Each line can be followed from it's beginning, through the turnbuckles, then to the cleat. Each line can be seen separate from all the others thanks to the clarity of the moment.
The captain stands proud and alone on the quarterdeck, dark in the shade of the sails, silhouetted against the blue sky.
Longs boats hang from her stern and from her port side. The long boats obscure the gun ports, which are otherwise quite distinguishable and foreboding.
This vessel is an object of beauty. Her lines are clean and very well designed. She leaves little wake and creates only a small bow wave, in spite of her considerable displacement. She is in her element and dances quietly and in harmony with the waves. She is part of these waters. She is home.
The design of this ship is two hundred years old but shows the respect the builder and designer had for a sailor, his ship and her waters. She is clean of line and imposing, but very much right where she belongs. Though clearly a war ship, she is beautiful and impressive.
The foreground is the lake water made deep blue by the bright direct sun. The background sky is a gorgeous light blue with only a wisp of a small cumulous cloud floating above. Separating the sky and the water, the white beach sand of Presque Isle sits just below the green hardwood trees that comprise most of the park. A distance beyond the park and the beaches, the crest of Summit Township’ can been seen with considerable detail.
I am sailing aboard the sailing vessel ‘Windrunner’ which is owned by my wife and I. Two of our grandchildren are aboard as we encounter ‘Niagara’ several miles off shore. I am blessed to be sharing this time with people I so love. Thanks be to God.
- Artist: Andy Wheeler
- Name: Niagara At Home
- Date shot: July 10, 2005