Thursday, January 6, 2011

J. W. Westcott II, Original Watercolor by Leo Kuschel

This is a painting we bought at the Wyandotte Street Fair in 2000.  It is an original watercolor by maritime artist Leo Kuschel who resides in the Detroit area. (ed.  Leo passed away on April 12, 2016 at his home in Taylor, MI.  RIP Leo)  The painting is called J.W.Westcott II.  The Westcott is the ship in the painting that actually serves as a US Post Office, zip code 48222.  The Westcott pulls up alongside of ships as they pass through the Detroit River so that mail and crew members can transfer to and from without the ship having to dock.

We are big fans of Leo Kuschel and we already owned a number of prints of his paintings, so when I realized this one Leo was selling at the Street Fair was an original and not a print, I was like "Wow! We'll take it! How much!"  My wife who enjoys negotiating prices at street fairs was not amused by this show of enthusiasm.  Anyway, we paid Leo a deposit and came back later to pay the balance and take home our first original Kuschel.  Very cool indeed.

Notice the ominous green sky in the painting.  A green sky generally means head to the basement because bad weather is coming fast. Notice also the Ambassador Bridge.

So what happens in 2001, the year after Leo painted the J.W. Westcott II and the Ambassador Bridge beneath the green sky?  Well, for one thing the Westcott sank  killing captain Catherine Nasiatka and deckhand David Lewis.  Also, two men painting the Ambassador Bridge  fell to their deaths when their scaffolding failed.  And, in 2001 a number of US Post Office employees were targeted with anthrax attacks.

Too weird huh.   Leo painted the sky green for good reason.


  1. We enjoyed reading this post. My husband is Leo's son and now that Leo is passed, we treasure these stories.

  2. Hello and thank you for leaving a note. Shelly and I were huge fans of Leo's paintings and we always made it a point to stop and chat with Leo and Sue whenever we strolled through the Wyandotte Street Fair. He was a wonderful artist and an even better man. -Jim