A widely prolific artist of the American East Coast, George H. Gay painted both in watercolor and oils. He enjoyed composing true seascapes, with the froth and churn of the breaking waves in conflict with the shores. He would herald the last light of a day with strong flashes of color in his sunsets, and soften his morning glows with blended washes. Ships, both coastal and sailing in deep water, would come forth as featured subjects as well.
Gay was born in Milwaukee and moved to Chicago where he studied with Paul Brown and Henry Elkins. He settled into Bronxville, New York in 1889, and the next year exhibited at the National Academy of Design and the Boston Art Club.