01 Marine Painting – Jack Lorimer Gray’s Nova Scotian Schooner, with Footnotes, #361

Jack Lorimer Gray, American/Canadian, 1927-1981
Nova Scotian Schooner, c. 1961

Oil on canvasboard
24 x 36 inches (61 x 91.4 cm)
Private collection

Of all the wooden vessels that have sailed in Nova Scotia waters, perhaps the best-known and best-loved is the schooner. Regardless of size or various sail configurations and rigs, the Nova Scotian Schooner and its graceful silhouette are instantly recognizable, imbedded in the popular imagination as quintessential symbols of maritime life and the salt-water trade.

The schooner’s reputation was built on serviceability — relatively small, speedy, agile and seaworthy, it was the workhorse of the sea. In the days before modern road networks and transportation systems, regional trade and commerce relied almost entirely on marine routes — and small vessels. Schooners were the backbone of the coastal trade — every seaside community had at least one or two carrying produce, fish and passengers to larger towns, bringing goods back. Schooners were also the mainstay of both the inshore and Grand Banks fisheries. More on the Nova Scotian Schooner

Jack Lorimer Gray (April 28, 1927 — September, 1981) was a Canadian artist, known particularly for marine art.

Jack Lorimer Gray was born in Halifax and studied at the Nova Scotia School of Art and Design (NSCAD). Though a traditional painter of marine pictures in a decade known for advances in abstraction in Canada, Gray’s paintings are avidly sought internationally. The appeal of his paintings has much to do with their authenticity and dynamism. Gray spent time at sea and was well-positioned to interpret in paint how vessels responded to the movement induced by wind and wave, unlike other marine painters who limited themselves to moored ships which they studied from dry land. 

Gray lived in New York in the mid-50s and was represented by Kennedy Galleries which accounts for the significant patronage he enjoyed in the U.S.  Gray moved to Maine in the late 1950s but was back in Halifax by 1961, More on Jack Lorimer Gray

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