The Master Prints - This limited edition (LE) collection of 25 images were selected as especially important to the artist. This edition is limited to 50 prints of each image plus ten artist proofs (AP). They are printed on 24 x 36 inch sheets. All prints are handmade by Peter Ralston on archival rag paper with an archival ink set.
The story behind Catboat
A friend owns a small island, an out of the way, beautiful place, surrounded by sharp and challenging ledges, little visited by any but those who know the way in. He raised a family there, well away from “America,” with all its distractions and accoutrements. Theirs was a full life….rich in family, rich in accomplishment, rich in independence.
They had no electricity, nor phones. I was on the island for the birth of his daughter. I remember the day a coyote or two swam over from the neighboring big island and slaughtered many of their lambs. I recall seeing eagles scavenging the remains.
Later came a divorce and less and less time was spent on the island. The family moved on, but not by much. The kids attended the one-room school on the neighboring island, and later my friend, and the kids, moved to a rugged nearby fishing port.
My friend is/was a lobsterman. When he first settled on the island he hand built 100 wooden traps, all of which were cut off when he first attempted to fish in these highly territorial waters. He narrowed down the list of likely perpetrators and went to one saying that he was going to build and set another hundred traps and if they were cut off he would respond in kind. He’s not a small man, he says and does what he means, and, as these things sometimes go, he was allowed to claim the bottom around his island in these waters where “the law of the knife” prevails.
My friend is also a great photographer….in my opinion, the best to ever have photographed island and coastal people here in Maine. He’s gotten away from both photography and lobstering - life does have its twists and turns - yet he remains a particularly engaged and engaging man.
The catboat in this image is not his, it belonged to a friend of his, yet one morning I awoke aboard another friend’s boat in the harbor out there on the island, and beheld this study in light, design and simplicity. It is, in its own way, very much a portrait of my friend and all that for which he stands.