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      john’s great strength as a marine artist is his ability to portray yachts in varied light, wind and water conditions, and always from a truly unique perspective. when viewing john’s paintings, the viewer becomes absorbed by the scene. because of his painstaking research, and a painting technique that puts great emphasis on historical accuracy and minute detail, john produces only a few paintings per year. these paintings are always outstanding.
    my husband and i are pleased to have shared these last fifteen years with john. he is truly a gifted marine painter and it has been a privilege to work with him and to represent him.
    our first exhibition of his collection of marine paintings was presented in 1988 and was an immediate success. this was followed by the overwhelming success of the limited edition prints.
    on this occasion of the second exhibition of john mecray’s paintings of classic racing yachts, we enthusiastically look forward to sharing this new and exciting body of work with you.

marguerite riordan
stonington, connecticut
      i first became aware of john mecray in the mid 70’s through rudolph j. schaefer as we discussed mr. schaefer’s authoritative book on j. e. buttersworth which mystic seaport was about to publish. mr. schaefer had a keen eye and recognized john’s talent and potential. it has been fascinating to observe the emergence and maturation of a great marine artist over the last two decades.
    john’s love of sailing and his devotion to his subject not only show in his work but give it a primary quality that comes from someone who has enjoyed the experience he is depicting. the word balance seems to apply readily to john’s work.
    there is an elegant feeling to his composition which reflects his training in design. his meticulous research, which fully engages the interest of experienced sailors, matches the spirit he instills into his vessels. the mixture of light and shadow, sea and spray, lend reality and dimension to his paintings.
    we at mystic seaport are proud of the long association our museum has had with john and we are appreciative as he continues to share his expertise as a member of our yachting committee. john has clearly earned his stature in the top rank of contemporary marine artists. it is with great admiration, interest and anticipation that i await the work that will come from this fine artist in the decades to come.

j. revell carr
president and director
mystic seaport museum
      john mecray’s marvelous paintings of classic yachts come alive in ways unparalleled in the field of marine art. over the years i have had the opportunity to compare works by many of the world’s top marine artists. i am always inspired by john’s unique ability to create the most amazing clarity of detail with both water and vessel. his paintings give us a distinct sense of motion and power which commands a remarkable presence no matter where the work is hung. i am convinced that when the next generation of sailors and art critics review the wide range of marine art produced during the twentieth century, john’s work will be counted among the major examples equal to the fine marine art produced by the eighteenth and nineteenth century masters.
    i first met john in newport, rhode island during the america’s cup summer of 1977 when he was just starting his painting career and i continue to value his company as a friend and sailing companion. his skill and experience as a sailor is reflected in creating the excitement and exhilaration of the sea. the astonishing details of his paintings derive from his intensive research into both boat and rigging, making the study of his work such a pleasure.
    over the years, i have collected most of his limited edition prints, three oil paintings and six superb pencil drawings. each year his work grows in stature and draws more acclaim. our home in annapolis is frequently filled with friends and sailing companions from around the world. they are invariably in awe of john’s ability to capture the thrill of racing and the beauty of sailing.
    this new collection of his work confirms john mecray's standard of excellence, and is bound to enhance his international reputation.

gary jobson
annapolis, maryland
      john mecray has established himself as the preeminent contemporary artist of classic racing yachts. his paintings reflect the full vigor of the sea, together with the authentic details of the yachts he brings to vibrant life.
    something felt, something learned, something thrilling undergone: this is what the viewer takes away from a mecray painting. perhaps we who sail modern or historic yachts have special reason to appreciate these dramatic scenes. more than that, the evolving series of mecray paintings provide for many their only sense of the power and grace of the great racing yachts of the past.
    it has been my distinct pleasure to observe the remarkable intensity john brings to the process of developing his ideas from concept to finished painting. to ascertain and to ensure faithfulness to the original circumstances of the races he portrays, john mecray is an indefatigable researcher studying plans, models, and photographs of the yachts he will paint. it is typical that, late one evening, he phoned me to check on the exact color of the deck edge of reliance.
    the resulting painting of reliance conveys the power and finesse of this largest of all cup defenders, competing at her best in smoky sou’wester conditions. john’s rendering of the sea surrounding the yacht evokes one’s own pleasure in seaborne experiences. for it is the skill of this fine artist to convey, along with detail, something more intimate: subtlety and mood. in this john mecray excels.
    nowhere is this ability more evident than in the recent mecray “columbia vs. shamrock, 1899.” the sea, the sky, the sails, and the yachts in this scene immediately summon the excitement of an important race day when all is right with the world. both the maritime and the artistic communities are grateful to john for his continuing series of exquisite works of art that provide such a palpable surge of emotion to the viewer.

halsey c. herreshoff, president
herreshoff marine museum
bristol, rhode island
      john mecray looked pleased. he had just learned that a missing log book from the schooner coronet had been found. now there was another chance to search through words from the past that might give some added dimension to his painting of coronet.
    john is often to be found sailing on and working to preserve the great yachts he paints. he is principal founder of the museum of yachting, a member of the mystic seaport museum’s yachting committee, and for years he has donated income from his prints to help maintain coronet. nowadays, in fact, john serves on the board of the international yacht restoration school, the group that will restore coronet.
    in preparation for a painting, john spends an unusual amount of time gathering research. he has driven great distances to study a model. he has sailed great distances to experience the elements. it is his deep involvement with yachts, yachting, and yachtsmen that feeds his art. the reward is the visceral impact of john mecray’s paintings. such pure expressions of speed, grace, and beauty, such encompassing images of weather and waves, could not have come from a man who did not live the very life he paints.

elizabeth ernst meyer
newport, rhode island


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