Artist Henry Isaacs has long divided his time between homes on a Downeast Maine island and in rural Vermont, with frequent stops in between to visit his gallery, Gleason Fine Art, in Boothbay Harbor. Last summer, Isaacs, who loves doing commissions, accepted a commission to paint Boothbay Harbor from the perspective in front of the Boothbay Harbor Yacht Club in West Boothbay Harbor.
This was Isaacs' first time visiting West Boothbay Harbor, and he was blown away by the sights that day - dozens of tiny Opti sailboats racing across the harbor, and dozens more boats of all sizes and makes entering and departing the busy yacht field in front of the Yacht Club. All this was posed against a bluebird-blue sky dotted with puffy, white clouds. It was jaw-droppingly beautiful.
Isaacs finished his preparatory oil sketches, which he calls "travel notes," on the spot. Then back in his studio, he began the series of ever-larger oils he makes as step two of a commission. But Boothbay Harbor was always in his thoughts, so much so that he has been back again and again to make more paintings. In "Henry Paints Home," his beloved Opti sailboats feature in a series of paintings, including two canvases that are 40 by 60 inches.
For the uninitiated, Opti sailboats are what our youngsters learn to sail on. Given the diminutive size of the sailboats and the age of their "crews," watching Opti's race is an absolute delight. A group of the Opti's will dart forward at great speed, then turn on a dime, sometimes nearly tipping over, sometimes nearly running into each other, and often dipping a sail in the water. The kids are shrieking with joy, the grown-ups in the nearby safety boats are gasping, and everyone is having the time of their lives.
Isaacs' Boothbay Harbor Opti series captures all of this in paint, his exuberant pallette of brilliant blues, greens, yellows, and pinks perfectly capturing the joy and excitement of the moment. If for some reason, you don't care for sailboats, "Henry Paints Home" also includes many beautiful landscapes done on Boothbay's Land Trust properties as well as several stunning pastoral paintings of rural Vermont.
"Henry Isaacs: Henry Paints Home" is open now and runs through Aug. 4. At this time, no reception is planned, but Gleason Fine Art is most definitely open. For now, our hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 4 p.m.; and any time by appointment. A private showing may be arranged through the gallery. View all of Henry Isaacs' paintings on the gallery website: gleasonfineart.com.
Gleason Fine Art is located at 31 Townsend Ave. in the center of Boothbay Harbor. Contact the gallery at 633-6849 or firstname.lastname@example.org