Recently painted water colors for the Kindred Spirits show in Oswego, New York during the summer 2014.
Oswego Harbor circa 1900 - Steamer Arundell
Oswego Harbor circa 1870
Oswego Light house circa 1900
Glencoe is arguably the most famous Scottish Highland Glen. Its rugged natural beauty and its eerie past, rooted in bloodshed and turmoil, make it a place of haunting mystery.
This original oil painting by Don Gillespie depicts a timeless scene. The composition is divided, symbolizing the plight of the Scottish Highlander. The theme is one of delivery with the eternal hope of a new world and a better life for our children’s children’s children.
Thank you to Greg Colvin for the wonderful background image and the Dunedin New World Celts for the costumes and modeling.
Summer in the 1800s
This is a series of watercolors inspired by my travels this past summer which included a camping excursion to Gettysburg, as well as staying in homes of the era near the Erie Canal and Hudson
River. I also viewed a show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York entitled, The Civil War and American Art. The great landscape painters of the Hudson River School as well as combat artists
like Winslow Homer captured the spirit and feeling of those times like no other.
Battles have been documented by other artists; I wanted to focus on the people. I chose watercolor for its spontaneity.
This is an imagined scene depicting the American Privateer Lynx running a Royal Navy blockade off the east coast of North America during the War of 1812. It was inspired by the replica which sails today. The Lynx Educational Foundation is a non-profit, non-partisan, educational organization, dedicated to hands-on educational programs that teach the history of America's struggle to preserve its independence.
I am currently studying the marine painters of the 19th century, J.M.W Turner, C. H. Grant, J. G. Tyler and in particular M.F.H. De Haas. Their technique and understanding of the subject was unparalleled. As an aerospace artist I have a common bond with these gentlemen. Even after their passing, they still have much to teach.
This is a repaint of an old painting by Charles Henry Grant called “At the Mercy of Neptune”. Grant was from Oswego, New York and a good friend of my great grandfather
William R. Shayes. In March of 1896 Shayes opened an art gallery and photography studio at 23 & 25 West Bridge St. Oswego New York. Seven months later the gallery
Oswego Daily Times,
September 30, 1896
Shayes Gallery Burns
The walls were hung with costly paintings and drapings. The heat and smoke damaged these paintings so that it will be impossible to save them. "At the Mercy of Neptune'' the painting of Charles H. Grant, valued at $1,500, which hung in the reception room is practically destroyed and will have to be repainted.
There is evidence that it was repainted but it’s current location is unknown. The last record I can find is,
OSWEGO PALLADIUM-TIMES. WEDNESDAY, APRIL 14, 1943
A large canvas, one of his best known, “AT the Mercy of Neptune”, is familiar to Oswegonians as for many years it was owned by the Judge L.C. Rowe family of Oswego
The only image that exists of the original painting is a poor quality Black and White photo taken in the 1800s. I was able to find several reviews of the work that described it in the colorful language of the time. From these items, and examination of Grants other paintings, I believe it resembles the original. It is by no means as grand as the 9 ft by 5 ft spectacle of Mr. Grant’s, but I hope it comes close enough to help raise the original from the depths of time, to surface and be enjoyed once again.
On October 29, 90 miles off North Carolina, the three-masted replica of an 18th-century ship Bounty Sank.
She took with her Capt. Robin Walbridge and crew member Claudene Christian (said to have been related to Fletcher Christian, the 18th-century sailor blamed for leading the infamous mutiny on the real HMS Bounty).
The Bounty had left New London, Connecticut, for St. Petersburg FL as Hurricane Sandy was steaming up the East Coast.
I decided to paint The Bounty in a peaceful setting in her old home, The Vinoy Basin in St Petersburg, FL. In the 1970’s she was a local favorite.
This is a painting unveiled at Ruth Eckerd Hall in the fall of 2012 As you can see, the sky is a swirling hurricane that represents the Great Gale of 1848 (September 25th 1848 to be exact) which cut John’s Pass here in Treasure Island, Fl.
The History of John's Pass
The evening before, the winds began to gust from the northeast with occasional showers. It was reported by residents that the bay “glowed with phosphorescence almost bright enough to read by”. By
9am Monday morning the increasing southeasterly winds began to veer southerly and later southwesterly as the tide rose rapidly and wind blew with “unprecedented violence”.
The storm produced the highest tide ever experienced in Tampa Bay. The water rose and fell about 15 feet in 6 to 8 hours. Pinellas County was inundated “at the waist” and “the bays met.” General R. D. A. Wade, commanding at Fort Brooke reported the destruction of the wharves, public buildings, and storehouses. B. P. Curry, the fort’s assistant surgeon, reported the hospital destroyed. Only five houses were left standing in Tampa, and they were all damaged. The water rose twelve feet higher than had been noted in the past.
The 1848 storm destroyed the lighthouse on Egmont Key, the keeper (Marvel Edwards and his family) rode out the storm in a rowboat tied to a palmetto tree. The end of the rope was later found 9 feet off the ground, which had an elevation of about 6 feet. Shortly thereafter, Keeper Edwards rowed his family ashore and resigned.
The pass was named after John Levique. He was an early resident of the area and rumored to be a pirate of sorts. He and Joseph Silva, a Spaniard, had decided to take a load of turtles to New
Orleans. While they were gone the storm changed the coastal landscape and created a new opening into the intra coastal water way. When they returned, John was the first to navigate the new pass which
from then on was known as John’s Pass.
I tried to capture the spirit of John’s Pass in this painting. In 1848 it was a scene of devastation but now it is teeming with life. You can watch dolphins leaping from the water while seabirds ride the winds and dive for food. Lines of cars are backed up while the bridge rises to allow a single sailboat to navigate the pass. Tourist and party goers line the edges while fisherman cast their lines. Life abounds above and below the sea in a timeless ebb and flow.
Many of my recent paintings explore the beauty of the Florida west coast beach environment. They mix a touch of fantasy with natural wildlife and local landmarks. I enjoy experimenting with areas of heavy texture using real beach sand mixed with paint. I pour and spray paint in areas when it seems appropriate. Some originals are available for sale and all are available as enhanced giclee prints.
Faith, Hope, and Love Series
The Faith, Hope, and Love trilogy. The three paintings in this series were each done with a basic concept in mind but the composition and detail were handled on the fly. I had no idea what the final outcome would be when I began. They became paintings of the subconscious as elements were introduced working the compostion on the fly. I started with common shapes that repeat themselves on many different scales. These Paintings are very personal and the originals are not for sale.
This is a new transparent watercolor series.
These watercolors were inspired by a missions group that feed, clothe, and minister to the homeless in Tampa. As a volunteer I have seen their plight. With the ongoing donations of these
watercolors I hope that they help in some way to ease their distress. All proceeds from these works will go directly to the Hope4thehungryandhomeless.org mission group.
All images at MyBrushStrokes.com are covered by Don Gillespie copyrights. Reproduction of images by any means, without written permission, is strictly prohibited.
© 2012 Don Gillespie
Donate to "Cloning Neptune" here:
Cloning Neptune is honored to be sponsored by Winsor & Newton,
“ The World's Finest Art Materials”
Kindred Spirits Art Exhibit -
May 17th to August 31st 2014 at the H. Lee White Marine Museum Oswego, New York.
Here are 2 fine art canvas giclee prints of my paintings which will be auctioned at the 2014 Annual 1812 Lynx Fundraiser event on March 8th at the St. Petersbug Yacht Club, St. Pete, FL.
A BIG THANK YOU to Jerri and Scott Menaul of The Canvas Zoo for these excellent Fine Art Canvas Giclees .
September 30th 1898, My great grandfather's gallery burned. Learn more...
This series of transparent watercolors were created to help raise funds for the homeless in Tampa. Click here to view more
Recently finished commission.
Welcome to the on-line gallery of Don Gillespie. This collection of paintings represents a life of art. They are unique visions created with traditional brush and paint. Art is a vehicle which helps us gain a better understanding of ourselves, our dreams and aspirations. It helps us to understand our world and to put it into perspective. The artist hopes that they inspire you to pick up a brush or whatever vehicle you prefer and travel beyond the surface.