Arthur Dove: Gale, 1932
boat on stormy water
Arthur Dove
Gale, 1932
Oil on canvas, 253/4 x 353/4 in.


Arthur Dove painted Gale from his personal experiences living on a houseboat in the 1920s. He felt close to nature and his paintings were always inspired by the natural world around him. He tried to convey the pulsing energy of the storm as well as his feelings about the danger present by using curved brush strokes and murky colors. He wrote to a friend, “(I) have been trying to memorize this storm all day so that I can paint it. Storm green and storm gray. It has been too dark and nerve-strained to paint.”


Arthur Dove was born near Geneva, New York, in 1880. As a boy he was influenced by a neighbor who took him camping and fishing and taught him to paint. He developed a love of nature that would continue throughout his life. He was fascinated with the shapes he saw in plants, animals, and landscapes. Dove experimented with new, modern styles in painting that explored abstract shapes and colors, almost always basing his art on forms found in nature. Although he received some recognition as a painter, he struggled financially and took up farming to support his family. He later lived on a houseboat and continued to paint until his death in 1946.


Abstract – a style of art that does not directly mimic the appearance of objects from the natural world, hut instead is composed of simplified shapes, forms, or color to express ideas, experience, or emotion.