Christopher Martin Hoff, The Lee Shore, 2010
  • Courtesy Linda Hodges Gallery and Herbert Hall
  • Christopher Martin Hoff, The Lee Shore, 2010

After the Bumbershoot art preview today, I got a phone call from one Herbert Hall. He wanted to talk about Christopher Martin Hoff, whose paintings and life are the subject of a memorial exhibition I wrote about in this week's Bumbershoot guide.

Hall is the proud owner of a triptych that's included in the show. The triptych is called The Lee Shore (see above).

A lee (or leeward) shore is the one you're on if you're standing facing the sea and the wind is blowing at your face; if it's blowing at your back, you're on the windward shore. Hoff's painting was part of his series inspired by Moby-Dick (he talks about why in this interview with Joey Veltkamp). Melville titled the 23rd chapter of his book "The Lee Shore," and it includes a meditation on the dangerous thrill of being unmoored and at sea.

"Isn't that beautiful?" a man asked Hall when both of them were standing in front of The Lee Shore at the preview today at Seattle Center.

"Yes, I know, that's why I bought it," Hall said.

The man started to cry. It was Hoff's father.

I recommend visiting Christopher Martin Hoff this weekend, along with Elvistravaganza, the exhibition about "what life might be like if we lived in the sky," This Is Glass's counterpoint to Chihulyism, and Record Store (scroll all the way down to see descriptions).

Hoff's legacy continues, meanwhile. Hall began his own plein air painting practice after a class Hoff taught at Gage Academy, and Hall will have his own show of paintings at Caffe Zingaro in November.