A fine, spontaneous work, with fresh colors, on cream, wove paper, the image extending to the sheet edges. Minor creasing at the sheet edges, a 1/4 inch professionally repaired tear in the bottom left sheet edge, otherwise in excellent condition. Signed 'HL' in pencil, lower right. Titled and dated by the artist in pencil, verso. Provenance: Estate of Leonard Clayton, gallery owner representing Lever and a supporter of the artist in his later years. The town of Woodstock, NY, played host to numerous Hudson River School painters during the late 1800s, followed by artists of The Arts and Crafts Movement in the early 1900s. In 1906, L. Birge Harrison and others founded the Summer School of the Art Students League of New York in the area, primarily for landscape painting and Woodstock has been an active artists colony ever since. From 1915 through 1931, Hervey White's Maverick Art Colony held the Maverick Festivals, in which hundreds of free spirits gathered each summer for music, art, and theater. Born in Australia, Hayley Lever arrived in England at the turn of the century and worked and studied for a few years before settling down in the Cornwall village of St. Ives, a picturesque fishing port in southern England. He became an essential member of the artist's colony and produced an extensive body of work, predominantly fishing vessels, marines, seascapes and port scenes. A prolific artist, he submitted his work to competitions in England, France and even to America, receiving a number of prestigious awards. He also traveled to various countries in Europe, sketching wherever he went. Many of his most compelling works were done in the south of England and the port villages of Douarnenez and Concarneau in Brittany, directly across the English Channel from St. Ives. American artists occasionally visited St. Ives and Lever befriended Ernest Lawson, who greatly admired his work. Lawson persuaded Lever to emigrate to America, and he arrived in New York in 1912 with his family. Lever soon discovered the New England coast where he began to paint the fishing fleets of Gloucester and the elegant yachts of Marblehead, producing scenes which became popular in the New York art market. Major galleries such as William Macbeth, Ferargil, and Daniel and Rehn gave him exhibitions, and he continued to gather awards including a gold medal at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, San Francisco in 1915. The National Arts Club honored him with a life membership, and he was elected as a member of the National Academy. From 1919 until 1931 Lever taught life classes and still life painting at the Art Students' League of New York. He also maintained a summer studio in Gloucester in the 1920's from which he traveled to Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard and the Canadian maritime provinces, producing many spectacular marines. Lever's paintings and watercolors are in numerous museum collections throughout the United States, Europe, and Australia, including the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Phillips Memorial Gallery in Washington, DC, and the Sydney Art Gallery, in Australia.
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