The Blackbeard Painting

oil on linen. 30"x 48"
This painting depicts actual artifacts recovered from the shipwreck 
believed to be Blackbeard's flagship Queen Anne's Revenge
by Beaufort artist Jack Saylor

     This is a post about one of the most unique still life paintings ever created and no I'm not too modest to say it. Not that one doesn't exist, but I have never heard of a still life painting of artifacts, much less shipwreck artifacts and pirates at that! But not just any pirate, we're talking Blackbeard. Not the Disney version, no yo ho ho or Hollywood fantasy....this is the real deal. In 1718 a ship grounded on a bar just off the inlet leading into the port town of Beaufort, NC where I live and work. It was the large French Slave Ship once known as La Concorde but renamed after her capture Queen Anne's Revenge by her captor, the pirate now known as Blackbeard. This was Blackbeard's flagship and the story goes that he had the ship grounded purposely (while he and his closest mates were in another sloop) in order to break up the large pirate company that he had assembled and thus making for larger shares of future prizes for the crew members that remained. In November of 1996, the wreckage of the ship "Queen Anne's Revenge" was found at the spot where she originally grounded in 1718. It soon became apparent that a treasure trove of artifacts went down with the ship and an all out recovery effort began which continues today.
     A few years ago my wife and I owned a house in Beaufort which was right around the corner from a house said to have been frequented by Blackbeard, and some claim that he even built it, not true. One day I was working at the easel and had an idea like a lightening bolt strike me right out of the blue. I wasn't even thinking anything close to this at the time...just WHAMMO! What if I could get access to the artifacts from the "Queen Anne's Revenge" and do a still life painting of them. I immediately saw the painting, flag and all. I could hardly contain myself.