"Homer had a curious knack of striking the authentic American note."

                                                                                    -Paul Johnson


"The wildest scenes had become unaccountably familiar. I found in myself, and still find, an instinct toward a higher, or, as it is named, spiritual life, as do most men, and another toward a primitive rank and savage one, and I reverence them both. I love the wild not less than the good."

                                                                                                                                                                         -Winslow Homer, "Higher Laws"


The Adirondack Guide, 1894, watercolor, MFA

Homer began painting with watercolors on a regular basis in 1873.  From the beginning, his technique was natural, fluid and confident, demonstrating his  talent for a difficult medium. His impact would be revolutionary. But  the critics were at first confused, "A child with an ink bottle could not have done worse.", wrote one critic. As a result of various disappointments, Homer became reclusive in the late 1870s, living outside society in Gloucester. For a while, he even lived in a secluded lighthouse.


Winslow Homer's moody watercolor 'Adirondack Lake.'   Harvard College

Adirondack Lake



boy  fishing
'Boy Fishing' 1892, watercolor, San Antonio Museum of Art




red canoe
                               'The Red Canoe', 1889, watercolor, Peabody Collection













                                           Adirondack Lake, 1889



On this page I have selected watercolors with a single theme, solitary men hunting or fishing in small boats.