The Crossing

Oh gee whiz! Look at the time! The calendar pages are flying off the pad like a cartoon movie. Here we are headlong into that time of year where our attention is snapped this way and that. I call it "The Crossing," and promise to tie it all together for you with as much  brevity as I can muster. I'm celebrating one year of being at this new gallery home that makes it so easy for collectors to buy my original photography. My goal was to add 12 photos in the first year. Lo and behold, I added 20! That feels good! Before I sat down to write this I felt like I had really been a slacker. This website, with all its bells and whistles to help you self-serve choose art for your walls, gifts for others, etc is a fair investment for any small business artist. In fact, there is a day by day, hand-holding, marketing program that all I need to do is follow and DO. But alas, I have barely tapped into that. That's ok though. I know me! I gave myself this past year to "stock the shelves." I have every intention of following the marketing plan in 2023. I wont go so far as to call it a resolution, yet! Meanwhile, I've dashed, headlong, into encaustic painting for the past six months which means the bare minimum of everything else in my life gets done. There is only 24 hours in a day. But I think I need more like 30! 

"The Crossing" is the 6th black and white photograph I have added to my Classic Sailing gallery. The entire collection is derived from my week of shooting 20+ classic 12 metre rule yachts that had competed in one way or another for the America's Cup; the oldest sailing trophy and perhaps one of the oldest continuously contested sporting contests. Until modern times, it was the sport of the very rich. Today it is more corporate as the costs are nearly insurmountable even at that level! The yachts that gathered together consisted of some of the most famous to a fair share of also rans that were always competitive but did not make the final 2 during their moment to do so. These world Championships held in Newport featured a Grand Prix Class of 1985-86ers, a Modern Class of 67-72ers, a Spirit Class of 84-86ers (non professional crew) a Traditional Class of 58-64ers and the stars (in my opinion) the Vintage Class of 28-38ers. The two yachts in this photo competed in the Modern Class. Defender, built in 1982 and Victory 83, built in... 1983 :-)

Neither of these boats went on to compete in the 1983 America's Cup finals at this same venue. Dennis Conner sailed "Victory" to a very rare loss to Australia II, although it took an unprecedented 7 races at that time. "Defender" was designed by David Pedrick. The boat was skippered by Tom Blackaller but lost to "Liberty" and "Courageous". Pedrick has been a very prolific designer and a winning designer, having been designer at Sparkman Stephens for "Courageous" and then in 1987, Stars and Stripes. Both of those winning Americas Cup yachts. All in all, he designed for eight America's Cup campaigns. His superyacht design, "Savannah" won, Best of 1998. His Kialoa III won the Sydney-Hobart race. His "Nirvana" won the Fastnet and Bermuda Race. He is also responsible for many fine cruising yacht designs; from Nicholson, Bristol, Sirena and his own fleet of Pedrick 36-55 models made by Cheoy Lee. "Defender" was completely restored by Dennis Williams who then donated her to the US Merchant Marine Sailing Foundation in 2019. She was chartered for the Championships by Dick Enerson, who at 24 was aboard "Constellation" in 1964 when it won the America's Cup that year! "Victory 83" was designed by Ian Howlett. He is best known as a prolific small sailboat designer, including, International 14 and modern 6 metre stallions. He also designed K24, "Crusader" for the 1985 AC campaign by Graham Walker. "Victory 83" was defeated by Australia II, the first ever winged keel AC yacht known forever as the wonder from down under who went on to win the cup, taking it away from the USA for its first time. Dennis Williams also restored this yacht in 2008, and won the world title with her in 2009. Ten years later, In 2019, he and her placed 4th out of 8 boats.

The America's Cup is the oldest international competition in any sport. In 1851, the original race was held around the Isle of Wight and the yacht from the USA, "America," won. From 1870 to 1967 there was only one challenger and the USA always prevailed. in 1970, several "syndicates" applied to challenge and thus began the modern version of the competition. It is estimated that the 2013 winner spent over $300 million to compete. Suffice it to say, today the yacht is a wicked foiling monohull which upsets a lot of purists. But given the long arc this competition has been on it makes sense that the class be the cutting edge of the sport. The TV coverage the go-fast boat racing gets can only serve to intrigue more non sailors to consider maybe taking a look at the sport/hobby/pastime/lifestyle. There are plenty of other forms of sailboat racing. So, I'll leave it at that. Reading the history of it over my lifetime, combined with being able see and photograph some of these great designs was something I will always cherish. I would be honored for you to feel the desire to hang one in your home or office!

If you prefer, this photo, "Crossed Swords" I took one frame later of the same crossing is also available but in color! Tough decision.

Sailing and reggae music go together like PBJ sandwiches! My first exposure to reggae was when Bob Marley made the remarkable breakthrough into the USA in 1973 as the warm up act for Bruce Springsteen. I must have heard about him around then and owned all of his albums in those years. In 1973 another reggae band formed; "Third World." Interestingly, their first incarnation was the opening act before The Wailers during the 1975 European Tour. "96 Degrees in the Shade" was released in 1977 and the band went on to release an album nearly every year from then to 1990. They have released 20 studio albums in all and continue to tour.

Much loved, lead singer William "Bunny Rugs" Clarke died of cancer in 2014. AJ Brown replaced him and the band played on. Stephen "Cat" Coor, guitar and cello and Richard Daley, bass, remain as original members since 1973. "New kid" and one of my favorite drummers in the world, Tony "Ruption" Williams has been with them since 1997 and came up in the business as Jimmy Cliff's drummer. Norris Williams rounds out the band on keyboards since 2007. The band was nominated for a Grammy for the seventh time in 2019 for their last album to date.

I chose this clip from many choices! It's from Giants Stadium and the close out show from the Amnesty International Tour of 1986 that saw arena concerts in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Denver, Atlanta and Chicago over 10 days, concluding at this show in the stadium. The show was televised in its 12 hours entirety on MTV. It was a who's who of music royalty who came to perform for the benefit. The show was it's own sort of "crossing," with Promoter Bill Graham, that, looking back, concluded the era of the 70's and 80's. After all, the concerts were called, "The Conspiracy of Hope." The great period of exploration with rock and roll that began in the 60's, definitely leveled off by the mid 80's IMHO. No, I'm not saying great music stopped being created. I'm saying the initial period of tremendous momentum and fusion leveled off. Video really did kill the radio atar. That's a manner of speech. Video actually made rock stars even more accessible.