Richard Loud, the son of a shipwright from Quincy Bay, Massachusetts, grew up surrounded by sailing vessels and the men who built them. Exposed early on to both the wonders and the practical aspects of boat design and construction, Loud developed a passionate love for sailing and sailing vessels that helped define his life.
After graduating from Northeastern University, he served as a deckhand on a 114-foot motoryacht and later went to work for his father, designing and building yachts. In the meantime, Loud, who is 69, was developing his talents as an artist, drawing and painting the ships and boats he saw around him. Success followed with his first showing at the Mystic International Exhibition in 1988. In 1991, the artist was commissioned to do a painting of the historic frigate HMS Rose.
His works over the years depict all of nature's sea conditions with a "uniquely artistic feeling of light and atmosphere," one gallery owner says. "The brisk afternoons and gentle breezes [are shown] in a way that everyone who has spent time at sea, or wishes they had, can relate to."
As marine artist John Stobart put it, "The real guts of Richard Loud's work lies in an intuitive understanding of how ships relate to their element -- how the wind hums in their rigging and the water dances around their hulls."
Loud's style comes to the fore in "Running to the Mark." Here's the downwind leg, with spinnakers set and a following sea -- the moment when the balance of wind, wave and sail is at its most precarious. It's a close race, a "spirited race" as one art specialist wrote. "The tenor of sport plays out beneath with halcyon skies, suggesting a perfect day on the water."
-- Steve Knauth
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