Title: Gale at Port Erroll
Size: 33cm x 22.3cm
Medium: Etching with Dry-point 1923 Signed and editioned "B" for the artist's retention.
Martin Hardie catalogue number 215.
Edition of 76 proofs.
Signed "McBey Port Erroll 13 July 1922" in plate.
Hardie: "In a gale of wind and rain a "zulu" fishing boat, sail just lowered, is making the entrance to the harbour of Port Erroll on the Aberdeenshire coast. Its progress is watched by a group of fisher folk on a wet windswept quay, with two boats moored inside on the right."
Salaman: "Never was a simpler, yet more comprehensive etching, perhaps, than Gale at Port Erroll, with all the boisterous energy and fury of the elements, suggested immediately by those few lines so essentially selected and inevitably placed, that one watches, almost with the wind and the spume on one's face, the chances of that incoming fishing boat as anxiously as those folk on the gale-swept jetty."
About the Artist
James McBey was born in Newburgh, Aberdeenshire, educated at his village school, and at the age of 15 years became a clerk in the North of Scotland Bank in Aberdeen. He attended evening classes at Grays School of Art, drawing scenes in and around Aberdeen.
After reading an article on etching in an art magazine, McBey borrowed from Aberdeen public library Maxime Lalanne’s treatise on etching Traité de la Gravure a l’Eau-Forte he taught himself how to create etchings on zinc plates. He printed the results on paper using his mother’s washing mangle. By 1910 he had enough confidence in his own ability to abandon banking and spent the summer in Holland where he etched 21 plates. His work was of sufficiently high quality to earn him an exhibition in 1911 at the Goupil Gallery in London and his prints were published in both London and Glasgow.