Some of my Plein-Air paintings are, if I can put it this way, a matter of “love at first sight.” I happen upon a scene, am entranced by it, and begin to paint in a kind of creative fever.
My Fisherman’s Wharf, Marina is another matter altogether. I know the ins and outs of this picturesque harbor as well as I know any place in the world. I’ve visited it since I was a boy. I know the feel of its salt spray, the colorful departure and return of the fishing fleet, the mix of aromas provided by its world-famous restaurants, its panoramic view of the bay.
I have detailed San Francisco landscapes in a number of studio pieces. The impulse that moved me to set up my easel and create Fisherman’s Wharf, Marina in just a couple of hours was different. All too often, the weather in San Francisco is windswept and foggy. This was a dazzling day. A brilliant sun shimmered on waters that rivaled the sky in the intensity of their blue. The magnificent span of the Golden Gate Bridge was etched on the horizon; the distant shores of the bay stood out clearly.
Picturesque little schooners were tied up at the piers. Fisherman’s Wharf, Marina didn’t look like a tourist attraction that day. It was, instead, the perfect image of a fishing harbor, just as you see it in the painting.