Jack L. Gray (1927-1981)

Canadian

Marine artist and illustrator Jack Lorimer Gray is widely recognized as an accomplished 20th century artist who focused on the challenges of humans working upon the open sea. A lifelong sailor who handled a multitude of ships with a captain’s expertise, the Nova Scotia born man lived a majority of his life onboard one of his yachts, schooners or working boats.

Gray’s earthy, realistic color tones and exact sense of perspective depth serve his chosen subjects well. Not particularly interested in glamorizing life and work at sea, he captured the truthful essence of each scene with his artistic paintings. Solitary fishermen, active sportsmen and the traditional sailors of North America are portrayed. Living onboard a larger boat which served as his studio, Gray would travel New York harbor in his 15-foot skiff named S.O.B. His observations evolved into an important body of work which depict the diverse nature of New York harbor. He managed to find an egress onboard the mothballed U.S. navy carrier ENTERPRISE which afforded him a spectacular vantage from which to observe and sketch.

There are many today who remember Jack Gray, and all speak of a man with salt water in his veins, a true man of the sea who attracted those of similar mind. These included President John F. Kennedy who owned one of Gray’s Nova Scotia fishing scenes and invited Gray to the White House in 1962.

His paintings are actively sought throughout North America. When they surface in public sales, prices regularly exceed expectations. He painted marines all of his days, and as he evolved as an artist, each of his paintings display a universal respect for those who identify with the sea.

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