Lynn Loscutoff: Art Mistress on the Queen Mary II Maiden Voyage

Last check of suit cases, packed: easel, paper, watercolor paints, fivebeaded gowns, my books, A Travelers Guide to Painting Watercolor and Painter's Wild Workshop, paint brushes and lots of excited anticipation. Flew to London to board the Queen Mary II for her two week her maiden voyage from Southampton.

Her 1,300 crew members on this trip would include me, as the Art Mistress. I am in the category enrichment and entertainment. The Royal Navy band was playing below on the pier. There was a sense of great joy and excitement in the air. We knew that fireworks had been planned for the sail away, but not until the horn blew, the band played and the passengers danced and waved flags on the top decks did we feel the impact of the occasion.

The response to my classes was overwhelming. I was able to teach in rooms opened to accommodate 60 to 80 passengers. With such a large space I could demonstrate full sheet watercolors from slides I had taken in Monet's Garden. The technical arrangements on board are fantastic. Push a button and a huge screen drops; over head projectors are built in. The lighting was fabulous and we had so much room to critique and to stand back and view our work. One day we arranged for the Ship's Florist to design a massive flower arrangement for my class. He and I discussed the similarly of designing flowers, sculpture or paintings.

Authors, distinguished speakers and first rate entertainers have been brought aboard. I feel so privileged to be among them. A book signing was arranged for me in the library. My books A Travelers Guide to Painting with Watercolor and Painters Wild Workshop have been very useful to me and helpful to the passengers. The library was most beautiful , over looking the ship's bow and had overstuffed chairs to sit in.

On our first stop at Madeira, I took my watercolor paper and small travel painting set to capture the scene from above on a mountain tour. One has to be so far away to illustrate the size and scale of the ship in a harbor. I got a good start and would finish it on board. I also took lots of photographs.

We made many new friends. Some of the passengers may be joining me as I take a group to paint in Monet's Garden in the September. I am so happy that I shared this voyge with my sister Agnes. She has been an invaluable assistant.

Coming into Ft. Lauderdale there was a big parade. The fire boats were spewing red and blue streams of water. A Military boat with the crew in full dress saluted us from the water. On land WELCOME QUEEN MARY 2 was written in the sand. And yes, many of us shed tears. It was truly an emotional moment. We were a part of history.

- Lynn Loscutoff, Art Mistress Queen Mary II Maiden Voyage



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