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Abe Goodale

Abe is a Camden artist with a tremendous talent for portraits!

In his words: Here is a tribute, a tipping of the hat to the hard working lobstermen of the Penobscot Bay. I set out to capture a way of life, a generation upon the water and an industry that is thriving, yet fragile. Many folks here are fifth, sixth or seventh generation lobstermen, whose lives are woven deeply between the mainland coast and the island shores. They fish summers and some fish winters, no matter the weather, sun, salt, swell or fog; the Maine lobstermen work hard, they work really hard.

I spent the month on the water, photographing, visiting with and helping on the boats. I would get most of my reference material within the first few hours and then it was about working and talking with the lobstermen. I took time through the winter months to create representations that are not only visual depictions, but also personal expressions of these people. I strive to capture an emotion, a subtle gesture or attitude that may allow you, the viewer, to react and feel.  I have left the individuals I paint anonymous as a means to respect them and to allow your mind to wander and think towards the feeling of salt on your skin, wind in the hair and a relationship to the sea.

These paintings are representational to a great extent, yet they move into abstraction as water and paint flow together. I throw salt into them as tribute to effect and the ocean. I abuse the paper as many fishermen do their bodies with repetition and hard work. I paint with a monochromatic pallet that mimics the fog and I give subtle hints of light and color. Here is a tribute to the hardworking men and women that make their living along the Maine coast.