Tuesday, October 26, 2010
As a child in Massachusetts, Homer knew that he wanted to be an artist. He spent his free time sketching animals and people. When he was 18, he went to work for a lithographer (a printer of pictures).
And in his early 20s, he moved to New York to become a sketch artist for Harper’s Weekly, a popular magazine. Soon Harper’s sent him to sketch the soldiers and battles of the Civil War. After the war, Home taught himself to paint. At first he painted in oils, but later he used watercolors, too. He usually painted fashionable young women, carefree children and simple country scenes.
In the early 1880s, Homer spent time in an English fishing village. There he discovered the sea – the subject to which he would devote the rest of his life. When he returned home, he settled at Prouts Neck, Maine, on a lonely part of the coast. There he created his greatest paintings. Some, such as “Breezing Up,” show a friendly ocean. But many show the sea at its most turbulent, as though in combat with the courageious men who made their living there.
One of Homer’s most dramatic paintings, “The Gulf Stream,” shows sharks circling a boat that has been badly damaged in a storm. A single man lies motionless on the deck. "The Gulf Stream" is pictured with this article.