Richard Lawler, a ship painting artist and historian, has been drawn to both for the majority of his life. As a child, his first canvas was a blank piece of paper doodled on with a hand full of pencils. At seven years old, his mother gifted him a 30 year-old model of The Mayflower, thus beginning his fascination with the sea and ships. A fifth grade field trip to the Museum of the City of New York later cemented this interest for Lawler due to a particularly awe-inspiring ship model exhibit. In the fifties, he won an essay contest allowing him to assist in the excavation of Fort William Henry in Lake George, New York. This propelled him to continue excavating and searching for lost treasures and antiques; building a sizeable collection of Civil War and World War paraphernalia.
In the mid-seventies, Lawler began painting old ships and yachts to be sold around the country. Having never taken formal lessons, the artist honed his talents by incorporating critiques from fellow artists, while traveling in and around New York for art and gallery shows. During this time, Lawler’s ship paintings for sale gained the attention of a few wealthy patrons in New York City; increasing his notoriety. Lawler was able to found a large antique emporium in Fishkill, New York, which he also used in part as a studio space to work on paintings. He also became involved in a number of side projects, one including starting a radio call-in show centered on antiques that ran until 2006.
Due to unforeseen tragedy, Lawler’s life took an abrupt turn in 2006 when the artist suffered a number of personal losses in business, family, and health that led him to relocate to South Carolina to be closer to his son. Since becoming a Carolinian, he has worked a number of jobs while continuing to foster his art, at times painting up to twenty hours per day. The result is an expansive collection of early European and American ship paintings for sale.
Inspired by his interest in historical events and artifacts, the subject matter of Richard Lawler’s ship paintings for sale inhabits the period of European and American history and early modern warfare. He often paints the magnificent early contenders for the America’s Cup yacht races, Civil War scenes, and maritime and marine ships. His maritime paintings—a genre reflective of the 17th to 19th centuries—depict sailing and shipping boats at sea, whether ocean, river, or estuary. Supported by the likes of Richard Dreyfuss, Sigourney Weaver, and Martha Stewart, Lawler’s work is highly sought after for its haunting ability to recreate a moment in history with startling vibrancy.