Sunday, September 10, 2006

Riding out the Gale

Arthur J. Meadows
British, (1843-1907)
Redfern Gallery, Laguna Beach; Ritz Carlton Hotel, Laguna Niguel, Calif. (Laguna Beach is about 1.5 hours from San Diego)
Riding Out the Gale Oil on Canvas Dated 1873
24¼ x 42 Inches 34 x 52 Inches Framed
Signed LR: Arthur J. Meadows

A scene of unfolding drama, several ships and a coastal fishing yawl are in battle with the fierce force of nature that is a storm at sea. Beautifully rendered and technically ominous, artist Arthur J. Meadows has perfectly blended the hard-drive weather and determination of the seafarers in this overall exciting composition.

The uninformed would think that these ships faced great peril, lashed and anchored in the ocean at a distance from shore. The deep water actually provided a safer situation as the ships would be driven dramatically, but at a good distance from the reefs and bars that could be their greatest hazard otherwise. Still, the men work feverishly to secure all sails and booms, and the anchors are cast with hopes that they hold to the bottom.

Splendidly portrayed is the natural event itself, with billowing blackened skies casting glowing bolts of lightning. A lightning strike is a natural ships enemy, due to the rising elevations of the masts and susceptibility to fire. One victim, perhaps hopefully just a mast, lay surrendered to the ocean in the foreground. The artist puts the force of the wind to great advantage, in heavy rakes and chaotic crescendo of the waves, letting one and all that he had to experience such an event firsthand, in his wide travels.

UPDATE Sunday, February 24, 2008:
I've been in contact with the Vallejo Gallery in Los Angeles, regarding the sale of Riding out the Gale.

They reported that the sale price was approximately $50,000. Even with the weak dollar at the moment, I estimate that this significantly above the market in the UK.

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