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A red letter day is a special day, a day worth remembering.
The term goes back to antiquity, but in more recent history, people may remember the holidays singled out in red on their wall calendars. The bright color stood out from the black and white of ordinary days, and one’s eye was drawn to that colorful highlight.
In the artwork, Red Sail Day, it is a red letter day indeed, with the added bonus of the sails on the vessel being red as well. On the bay, close to the shore, a group of friends spends the day sailing. It is the perfect combination of sun and clouds, cool and warm, with a brisk breeze ensuring that the vessel will glide gracefully through its watery element, its sails snapping and billowing.
The captain of the sailboat is confident, moving about the boat with an easy grace. His passengers relax in his hands, and it is a grand thing to feel the movement – the gliding forward, the slight tipping to the side, the gentle bounce as the craft hits the wake of another ship.
In the background, another sailboat passes by; there is opportunity to give a friendly wave to those aboard, as each goes their separate way.
The beauty about this day, the reason it is a red letter day, is that there is no hurry to it, no pressure to be anyplace at a specific time. It is a day designed for enjoyment – the enjoyment of companionship, of being outside, of a sense of adventure in being out on the water, something that always feels a bit odd, a bit exciting, to creatures who walk upon land and not waves.
Hours fly by, the sun works its way from one side of the sky to another, and there is a glorious sense of freedom and joy. It is, indeed, a red letter day.
(The location for Red Sail Day is the Puget Sound, in Western Washington, near the town of Port Townsend.)
Featured on 39 Fine Art America groups.
June 12th, 2020
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