Blue Heron Fine Art Blog

James Puzinas

Blue Heron Fine Art

I am the owner of an established fine art gallery specializing in American paintings from the 19th through the 21st centuries. As a private dealer our works are shown by appointment and displayed at numerous antique and fine art shows throughout the Northeast.

Blue Heron Fine Art is a fine art gallery founded in 1995 specializing in American paintings from the 19th through 21st centuries. This blog was created to provide news, research and what are valuable insights into the current art market. More importantly, this blog is intended to be interactive. Comments, questions and opinions are encouraged!

Jay Hall Connaway Revisited

  • "Washing over Gull Rock", Oil on board, 29" x 36"

    "Washing over Gull Rock", Oil on board, 29" x 36"

  • "Monhegan Dock, Fall 1968", Oil on board, 18" x 24"

    "Monhegan Dock, Fall 1968", Oil on board, 18" x 24"

  • "Sunderland, Vermont, 1951", Oil on board, 14" x 20"

    "Sunderland, Vermont, 1951", Oil on board, 14" x 20"

Our gallery has sold many paintings by the American artist Jay Hall Connaway (1893-1970) over the years.  So it is with great pleasure that we greet the current reappraisal of Connaway's lengthy career recently undertaken by two prominent New England museums.

Beginning with the Portland (ME)  Museum of Art exhibition last fall of 39 paintings  by Connaway donated by Mrs. Marjorie Osbourne and culiminating with an ambitious show currently on exhibit at the Shelburne (VT) Museum through October 24, 2010, we are able to closely examine and appreciate the paintings of Jay Hall Connaway, an artist once heralded in the 1920's as "the greatest sea painter since Winslow Homer".

Connaway's  previous obscurity had more to do with his timing. Returning to America from a scholarship lasting several years in Europe, Connaway was confronted by the Depression years and his lack of income.  Still wanting to paint expressively, he ventured to the remote island of  Monhegan (ME) where he lived year round through the 1940's. The toughness of this island life is captured  dramatically in many of his ravaged seascapes, highlighting his  own isolation and Mother Nature's fury. When I viewed my first large scale canvas "Washing over Gull Rock", I was mesmerized and terrorized at the same time. The high horizontal line put the viewer right in the path of an incoming wave about to crash, threatening to take me out to sea.

Although it is his oil paintings of Monhegan that capture most collectors interest, Connaway did paint many country scenes while living in Vermont, which makes viewing the Shelburne Museum exhibit so intriguing.  Juxtaposing both locales demonstrates  the creativity and flexibility of an artist that is finally receiving well deserved recognition.

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