“Ships Musicians on a Right Whale,” by Ed Parker.

BOOTHAY HARBOR — Gleason Fine Art hosts “Ed Parker: Painting the Story,” through Sept. 22.

Parker, a Southport resident is one of America’s leading marine painters working in the folk art tradition.

For each of Ed Parker’s paintings, the artist sifts through his knowledge of all things nautical to select nuggets of history and humor that, using his sense of design, detail, and color, he brings to life in a painting. The result is a work of art that tells a story, usually with embellishment, always with humor, and generally with close attention to an actual historical event.

In “Heading Out to Ram Island,” Parker depicts a man and woman ferrying a dory of sheep out to “Ram Island.” At one time, sheep were often delivered to an island where they could graze untended for the summer; thus, there are many “Ram Islands” along the Maine coast. In Parker’s version, a man captains his boat, while his dog stands guard at the bow; the single ram strikes a pose at the stern.

In “Ship’s Musicians Stranded on a Right Whale,” Parker has taken a true story — a group of musicians entertaining the crew of the battleship Maine — and turned it into a succession of disasters for the musicians. In Parker’s imagination, the musicians were terrible, so after the Maine, they were cast adrift in the North Atlantic. Next, they found themselves suspended from Minot Light, and finally, still in their rowboat, they landed on top of a right whale. Still they play on, or in Parker’s words, “These guys just don’t know when to stop.” It should be noted that, although surprised at this turn of events, the right whale is clearly having a great time.

There are sailboats and steamers, lighthouses and farmhouses, dogs, cats, and a sprinkling of fierce sea serpents, all engaged in likely, as well as quite unlikely, goings on.

“Ed Parker: Painting the Story” runs through Sept. 22 at Gleason Fine Art, 31 Townsend Ave., in Boothbay Harbor. Although no reception is planned, the gallery is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon-4 p.m. Sunday.

For more information, call (207) 633-6849, email info@gleasonfineart.com. All of Parker’s paintings can also be seen at gleasonfineart.com.

The gallery follows all CDC recommendations regarding social distancing, masking and disinfecting.

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