My Etsy Shop

Saturday, August 9, 2008


I created this illustration many years ago for a textbook. My brother used to crew on racing sailboats in Marblehead. A photo of him racing got into a sailing magazine, so I used it as reference for this illustration. Marblehead is a small town in Massachusetts which is very big on sailing.

The best ever vacation we ever went on was when we chartered a sailboat and sailed around the Virgin Islands with my brother. It was so incredible to anchor and just jump off the boat and go snorkeling. It was also just so nice to sleep in a little cabin with the boat gently rocking you. We became "as mellow as seaweed."

Steve & I went to the Rrazz Room last Sunday to see Mason Williams. He's the guy who wrote the song "Classical Gas" which was a big hit in the 60s.

It was a fun concert. Mason Williams had a guy in his band, John Doan, who played harp guitar, a very cool instrument which sounds like a guitar and a string section at the same time.

Mason used to be on the Smothers Brothers Show on tv. Tommy Smothers was in the audience and came up onstage and recited a poem called, "Who Do I Have to Hate for You to Like Me?" Still being a rabble-rouser, which was akward but sort of refeshing.

Anyhow, after the show we were chatting with MW and I asked him about my favorite singer from that show, John Hartford. I hadn't heard anything about him for a long time. He wrote the song "Gentle On My Mind," which became a big hit for Glenn Campbell.

MW told me that John Hartford died of cancer. I was pretty sad to hear that. I have an album of his that has a song on it I really loved called, "The Sailboat Song." See...I was getting around to how it relates. Here are the lyrics, from memory...

The Sailboat Song
by John Hartford

Faint pictures of my childhood lie floundering in your wake
The worries of tomorow at your bow
Your spinnaker a white balloon, your mainsail proud and tall
To me you are the very soul of now

I’m dizzy on your teakwood deck, my arms around your mast
Insane inside your cabin soft and warm
Then drifting off to sleep your fingers loose along my face
In contented disbelief of early morn

To me you are the moment, the present breath of life
As together we are slicing through the spray
The second buried deep within the mystery of your love
Not shades of things to come or yesterday

Faint pictures of my childhood lie floundering in your wake
The worries of tomorow at your bow
Your spinnaker a white balloon, your mainsail proud and tall
To me you are the very soul of now


Edrian Thomidis said...

Beautiful technique and great movement! Very nicely done!

Jen A said...

I like the positive/negative play with the white on black.

annie said...

this is great - is it scratchboard?

Dorothy Reinhardt said...

Thanks, Annie. Yes, it is scratchboard.

Connie said...

Gorgeous image and I enjoyed the saunter down memory lane!

Juan said...

I love your technique. Excellent!

piper said...

i love scratchboard.
this is absolutely STUNNING!

Dorothy Reinhardt said...

Thank you Piper! (My niece's name is Piper, but she is only 3.) I wish that scratchboard would come back into style again.

ellisillus said...

this is very nice indeed *chapeaumadame* scratchboard is so rarely seen in europe, it's a pity. i do love the woodcut/intaglio impression your technique leaves in my brain ;-)

thank you for sharing.


Dorothy Reinhardt said...


I have not heard this term "chapeaumadame" before. What does it mean?

Nathalie St-Pierre Roths said...

Nice scratchboard work! I've tried this technique before and while it was fun, I found it tedious and was disappointed with the result. I guess it takes years to achieve your level! :-) I love the imagery (my husband is a sailor by the way).

zombie said...

Great technique...enjoyed it greatly.

Dorothy Reinhardt said...

Hi Nathalie,
You are right, scratchboard IS tedious.

kslaughter said...

So gorgeous! It looks like an antique woodcut. I may have to try this---I have to admit, I'm the "tedious" type ; )!

Dorothy Reinhardt said...

Scratchboard was developed to imitate the look of wood engraving. It does take a certain personality type, I think. You'll get better results with better quality board. Essdee is the best brand, although their quality is not what it used to be. Also, most people use some sort of XActo blade for scraping, instead of the tools they sell for scratchboard. This guy Michael Halbert has great tutorials online at:

Roberta said...

This is incredible!
I really enjoy your work and your blog.

INDIGENE said...

Excellent technique and design...Wow!

neil said...

Fantastic work Dorothy, You are an expert with scraper board. You capture the mood brilliantly and found the ideal medium to express it. Very well done indeed.

Linda said...

Dorothy, that is a beautiful illustration.
But I didn't know John Hartford died! Very upsetting.

Dorothy Reinhardt said...

Hi Linda,
Thanks, hun. Yeah I was sad to hear about John Hartford. He had lymphoma. He died in 2001. I saw him once at Great American Music Hall. He did this interesting tap dancing.