Chesapeake Bay Magazine’s founder and first publisher, Dick Goertemiller, passed away in January. We take a look at the wonderful watercolor illustrations that graced the pages of this magazine for over 40 years and defined how many readers remember its past.

To us, and perhaps to some of our longtime readers, the elegant watercolor illustrations of the late Richard C. Goertemiller, Chesapeake Bay Magazine’s founder and first publisher, are nothing less than genetic material. They are part of who we are. They were penned and brushed into our DNA before the first issue rolled off the press. On page 3 of that first issue, May 1971, directly opposite the publisher’s inaugural message to the readership, was one of his trademark watercolors, a lovely full-page rendering of a Chesapeake skipjack--all in shades of gray, of course, because color was expensive in those days and limited to the cover illustration (which, in the early days, were mostly Dick Goertemiller’s too).  But as the decades and issues rolled on, the magazine prospered and color art became more affordable, allowing us to enjoy the Goertemiller watercolor style in all its chromatic glory.  And we enjoyed that privilege on a very regular basis until late last year--just a few months before Mr. G. passed away at his home in Reedville, Va. Here and on the pages that follow are some of our favorites from the vast Goertemiller archive, which remains in the loving care of Dixie Goertemiller, Dick’s wife and partner in publishing from the beginning. 

The unequivocal CBM staff favorite of all of the Goertemiller waterscapes--a Cruise of the Month illustration from August of 2003, depicting author Paul Clancy’s night passage from Norfolk to Tangier Island. 

An illustration of the Fells Point Fun Fest, featured in the August 2004 Cruise of the Month column.

An undated illustration of the St. Michaels harbor, with its iconic Hooper Strait Lighthouse.

An aerial view created for Cruise of the Month and the Guide to Cruising Chesapeake Bay, this showing Urbanna Creek off the Rappahannock River.

For many more of Mr. Goertemiller's paintings and illustrations, please see the May 2013 issue of Chesapeake Bay Magazine.