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Foster captures America’s Cup with painting

Underway Bermuda 2017 by Graham Foster

Bermudian painter Graham Foster has completed an America’s Cup-inspired painting, which has joined the celebrated collection at the Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art.

The painting, Underway Bermuda 2017, was unveiled at the gallery with Masterworks founder Tom Butterfield and curator Elise Outerbridge present.

The acrylic on wood piece was commissioned by a client and took Mr Foster some ten weeks to complete.

Mr Foster is best known for his momentous Hall of History mural at the Commissioner’s House in Dockyard and is also the artist who designed the John Lennon tribute sculpture, also at Masterworks.

Mr Foster told The Royal Gazette: “I had no plans to paint anything related to the America’s Cup.

“I admire the technical innovation of the catamarans, but from an artistic point of view, I prefer the classic wooden yachts of the past.

“Last year, a benefactor of Masterworks approached me about creating a painting inspired by the America’s Cup, which he could then donate to them.

“I decided to go with a more angular, linear style than usual, and to ramp up the colour. I thought that the backdrop of Hamilton, with a variety of Harbour Road architecture in the foreground, with the boats racing between, would be more interesting than the horizon and islands of the Great Sound.

“I also wanted a series of horizontal lines to offset the vertical lines of the sails. The tricky part was getting the sails to stand out against the buildings so I used opposite colours, flags and long bands of colour. I also used a lot of artistic license when it came to the buildings as I wanted them to follow a certain colour and architectural pattern sequence.”

Mr Foster included the City Hall, the Cathedral and Sessions House to break the horizon, but many of the buildings are actually imaginary. “Doing all the windows drove me nuts,” he said. “Towards finishing the painting, I was thinking about the lack of a human element, and possibly putting some crew on the boats, but then decided the painting would have too much going on, so just painted a lone kiskadee to offset a purple sail instead.

“The challenges of this painting forced me to think outside the box, and head in a new direction stylistically, which I will continue to experiment with, alongside more surreal pieces. I’m glad I paint on wood because, as I was making the frame, with the painting laid out flat, the dog and cat ran up and decided to have a full on scrap right on top of the painting! Luckily acrylic is tough, so no scratch marks either.”