Painted at the peak of Gray’s career, Early Lobstering off Little Hope, Nova Scotia offers a faithful rendition of the rigors faced by those whose livelihoods depend on the sea’s harvest, here represented by a pair of lobstermen checking the traps they set off Little Hope Island, a tiny atoll sitting a little over two miles from mainland Nova Scotia. As their dory sways with the motion of the tide, one carefully holds part of their quarry in his bare hand, ever cautious of the pain an errant claw could unleash, while the other stands with hunched shoulders close by, directing his world-weary gaze at the viewer. The boat and men have been rendered using short daubs of rich earth colors indicative of their weathered natures, yet there is also a touch of sentiment for the picturesqueness of their environment – the seas are rolling but crystal clear, the clouds overhead are slowly opening, allowing the sun to filter down on the scene, and all takes place not too far from the relative shelter of the island’s rocky shoreline.
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To private collection, Bangor, Maine, early 1960s
To sister of the above, by gift or purchase, private collection, Bangor, Maine, 1960s to present
- (top stretcher) “OFF LITTLE HOPE”
- (top stretcher) (ISLAND OFF
SHELBURNEQUEENS. CO. NS) EARLY SPRING LOBSTERING