Oh God, thy sea is so great, and my boat is so small.” — Fisherman’s prayer from France’s Brittany coast.

‘Stacked Boats II,’ 48-by-48 inches, in the I Wolk Gallery.

A Point Reyes Station artist who in recent years has managed to survive on small boats is Bruce Lauritzen. In fact, for the past month, exhibitions of his idiosyncratic “Vessel Series” have been featured at two galleries in the Napa Valley.

His abstracted representations of boat hulls had been scheduled to come down this Thursday, but the show has now been extended to Sunday. Lauritzen sold a 72-by-36-inch canvas titled Yellow Boat (above) for $12,500 the day the show opened, which was “unexpected for hard times,” the artist acknowledged. More have sold since then.

Among the paintings on exhibit are ‘Rembrandt’s Boat,’ 54-by-54 inches, (left) and ‘Boat House,54-by-54 inches, in the I Wolk Gallery.

The show, called “Voyages” is split between two galleries, the I. Wolk in St Helena (Lauritzen’s gallery before Ira Wolk was killed in a bicycle accident) and Ma(i)sonry in Yountville, which is also showcasing a wine line by the new owner, Michael Polenske.


Here the artist is seen at a Marin Museum of Contemporary Art show in June 2008, discussing his painting ‘Still Waters III’ with two guests.

Attending on scholarship, Lauritzen graduated from California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland. He earned a master of fine arts degree at the San Francisco Art Institute.

Lauritzen later taught at the College of Marin and the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. He was also a member of the Marin Arts Council’s founding board of directors.

The artist’s work is in more than 100 private, institutional, and museum collections, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Achenbach Foundation at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor.

‘Boat on Trailer,’ 44-by-61 inches, I Wolk Gallery.

I. Wolk Gallery is located at 1354 Main St. in St. Helena, and Ma(i)sonry Gallery is located at 6711 Washington St. in Yountville. Those planning to see Lauritzen’s large paintings of small boats need to call ahead (707 944-0889).