About This Artwork

John Marin
American, 1870-1953

Deer Isle, Maine, probably Movement No. 12—Boats and Pertaining Thereto, 1927

Watercolor with black pencil on moderately thick, moderately textured, off-white wove paper (top and right edges trimmed)
335 x 440 mm

Gift of Leo S. Guthman, 2003.269

© 2018 Estate of John Marin / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

In the summer of 1927, Marin commenced a large series of Deer Isle watercolors. Like others in the series, this angular composition features rectilinear subdivisions of forms. A rooflike border at the top unifies the moody sky and harbor. To preserve a sense of lively crispness, the artist used black colored pencil for the preliminary sketch and moderated his use of overlapping painted and drawn lines. He also allowed this sheet to remain more literal and descriptive than other watercolors in the series. Marin may have worn himself out—or exhausted his subject—with this Deer Isle project. He stayed in Stonington for the last time the following year and then spent two summers away from the sea, working near Taos, New Mexico.

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