Books and Cap’n Hanks Oysters

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Project Description

Books and Cap’n Hanks Oysters

When I found the “Cap’n Hanks” oyster can, I couldn’t wait to design a painting around it. Cap’n Hanks’ Oysters were packed years ago in Easton, Maryland, the home of the prestigious annual November art show: the Waterfowl Festival. The oyster can, with the wonderful blue color, combined with a bit of rust had to be the centerpiece of the composition. Adding the books was the easy part, but selecting the right ones from my extensive library of Eastern Shore books was a bit more difficult, so I narrowed it down to just a few of my favorites.

James Michener’s great book, “Chesapeake” had to be included. Another easy choice was “From a Lighthouse Window,” a combination history of the Talbot County area and recipes featuring fish, crabs, and of course, oysters, published by the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. “Watermen” by Randall Peffer, and “Beautiful Swimmers” by William Warner are both “must reads” for anyone interested in the lore of Chesapeake Bay. Two of my favorite authors had to be included: John Barth, a great novelist and Cambridge, Maryland native son, along with my friend Tom Horton, author, noted environmentalist and Chesapeake Bay advocate, also a native son. Tom’s “An Island Out of Time” is one of my favorite tales about life on Smith Island, on Tangier Sound, near Crisfield, Maryland. It’s like a trip back to a simpler time.

The miniature “hissing head” (belligerent) goose decoy atop the oyster can was made by Ira Hudson, the legendary decoy maker from Chincoteague, Virginia. The brick background created a nice contrast with the books and the Robins-egg-blue painted shelf. I was very pleased with the way this rather casual but quite detailed composition turned out. In fact, it sold to the first patron I showed it to who already owns nearly 20 of my originals. I like to think he and his wife both have great taste in art!

Original painting: 12 x 28” $5,000.

Giclee prints on canvas: Limited Edition of 100 S/N: $350.

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