If you walk into a pub or a restaurant by the port, chances are you’ll find a painting with a large ship or a boat showing right in the middle. However, if you walk into a painting class or walk in on one of your family members practicing their painting skills, then you might actually find the very same scene. So, why is it that maritime art and ships are such a popular topic among painters?
From an artistic standpoint, the sea and the ships that navigate it actually carry a lot of weight. The uneven motion of the sea and the smooth edges of a ship’s contour makes it possible to almost capture the movement of the waves and the ship that passes through them in even a beginner’s painting or drawing. Simply put, ships look very artistic almost regardless of who is drawing them.
Another reason why maritime art is so popular has to do with symbols. From a symbolic perspective, ships carry even more weight. They can be regarded as symbols of life and of the artist’s journey through the troubled ocean of life. They can also be seen as a person’s willingness or determination to take charge of their life and navigate that ocean despite the fact that they are constantly faced with agitated waves and the peril of being lost at sea.