Stimson, Mark Andrew

214962 Alice Wentworth

Mark Andrew Stimson bio


Mark Andrew Stimson

Marine Painter


Born in Philadelphia in 1956, Mark Andrew Stimson became a New Englander at the age of two when his family moved to Woods Hole, Massachusetts. By age three he had signed on with his father on Widgeon, a 28' Herreshoff "S" boat, cruising the waters around Cape Cod and Long Island Sound.

Fourteen years and several boats later, Stimson entered the boatbuilding trade, working at boatyards on the Buzzard's Bay side of the Cape. At seventeen, he bought a thirty-two foot cutter, Spoondrift, and single-handed a good portion of the East Coast, finally settling in Virginia to build fishing boats. He worked alongside men in their sixties and seventies who still knew how to build in the traditional ways... with hand planes and lip-adzes, well sharpened each morning. By the end of this apprenticeship he was well acquainted with the form and function of traditional boats.

In his early twenties Stimson traveled the eastern seaboard, sometimes alone, sometimes with his brother David (an accomplished sailor, boatbuilder, designer, as well), restoring wooden boats, building masts and other spars. Together they saved Surprise, Seneca, and other fine wooden boats from oblivion.

In 1981 the family moved to Boothbay, Maine and, shortly after, Stimson married Alexandra Pelizzari, a New York sculptor, and together they started family-building. Three children and some years later, after countless woodworking commissions, Stimson traded plane and adze for brush and palette knife.

Self-taught, guided by the forms of vessels he built and the changing light of sea and sky etched into his youth, Stimson paints in a unique blend of realism and impressionism. Currently he balances his time between sailing/painting excursions from the family home in Boothbay, Maine, trips to Cape Cod and the Bahamas, and living on a mini-farm in Iowa, where he gardens, builds musical instruments (Uilleann bagpipes) and paints in his