At a deep shadowed pierside anchorage, no fewer than seven craft await their next voyage. Wiggins chose to wait at the water’s edge with them, sitting down to capture this very interesting choice for a central subject. Two working boats are thick with fishing nets and their laced cork floats, and a bow peeks before a canoe shell that lays on its side on the rocky sand.
Successful at a young age, Wiggins gained a freedom most developing artist struggle years to obtain. Left to choose subject matter which interested him as well as his patrons, he often focused on East Coast harbor views. Gloucester is well represented in his body of work, and this view of the Western Harbor in the distance. Two masts on the largest ship present, a working schooner, reach parallel at the wharf’s edge.
Wiggins chose a view where it makes an elevated loading chute, used for larger, full-bodied merchant craft, appear that a person may walk off its end into thin air. He hides small details within deep dark tones in the covered shadows, and performs with his stylistic heavy impasto texture and truly unique Impressionistic brushwork. The sky, sea and city beyond all play their part, and the solemn feel of the boats without men present leaves one wanting and waiting for action. Wiggins shares his celebration of the hard work by the mariners with giving them this period of rest.
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