Boat building takes its cultural place along with architecture and fine art in watercolors by Maine artist Abe Goodale, on display at the Workshop Gallery in Vineyard Haven this weekend. Mr. Goodale’s portraits of working shipwrights, including islander Ross Gannon of Gannon and Benjamin Marine Railway, quietly celebrate their craftsmanship and focus in detailed graphite designs washed in subtle colors.
“His skills are obviously something to admire – he’s just amazing,” said Wil Sideman, workshop partner.
Along with his portraits, Mr. Goodale also depicts builders’ tools – drills, planes, a dented Craftsman vise – as well as finished jobs, from graceful schooners to fishing boats.
“He’s extremely good at realistic drawings and paintings, but then he has this ability to work with the line,” Mr. Sideman said, pointing out where Mr. Goodale left off in his designer lines, adding both a feeling of movement and an architectural dimension. in his image of a marine carpenter handling a plank.
The artist visited boat builders in New England to create the series currently on display at Vineyard Haven.
The show focuses on crafts by the water. – Ray ewing
“This is an ongoing project he’s working on. . . documenting working waterfronts, ”said Mr. Sideman, who worked at Gannon and Benjamin when he met Mr. Goodale.
“He came in, interested in documenting the store and the shipwrights here and what was going on,” Mr. Sideman said.
Mr. Goodale spent a day at Gannon & Benjamin, taking photographs from which he developed his work. Mr Sideman hardly thought about it until several months later, when he visited the artist’s website.
“I really enjoyed what he was doing, so I contacted him,” he said. “We felt this was something exciting to share with the community here, and given what is going on with the purchase of the property by Gannon and Benjamin here, and the idea of working at the edge of the water. . . we just felt it was the perfect job to show.
Originally slated for 2020, the show opened this month in time for last weekend’s Moffett race and this weekend’s Pat West Gaff Rig and Schooner race, Mr Sideman said.
In addition to the framed works on display, the Atelier offers unframed prints of Mr. Goodale’s works, making them more affordable for those who aren’t art collectors, Mr. Sideman said.
The studio gallery is hosting a reception for Mr. Goodale’s exhibition on Saturday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Cooperative of four active artists with workshops upstairs, the gallery is open irregularly. But appointments are easy to take and are encouraged, Mr Sideman said.
The gallery is located at 32 Beach Road in Vineyard Haven, where the Van Ryper Model Ship Workshop operated from the 1930s to the 1950s. The phone number is 207-344-7644.