Archive for the ‘diary’ Category


Thursday, August 16th, 2018

New on the web site, an early marine painting, an insight into my emerging talent? ~ Ohhh Lugger? ~ and the same to you ! 

Oldest Cornish Lugger

Lugger Barnebus

Barnabus’ the lugger; she has to be one of the most curious entries in the section, Merchant sail, on my web site, for several reasons.
She is the newest made today, oldest entry and a rather special little lady.

I was sitting in sunshine on a bollard, I said ‘bollard’, it’s quite legal to sit on a bollard, on a quay near Penryn, West Cornwall.
The picture shows how I was struggling with ‘colour blindness’ …
Barnabus is a charming very early ‘Gordon Frickers’ study, one of the earliest surviving examples of my work and emerging talent. 
I drew the picture probably in 1974 certainly from life.

Little did I know then, very similar types of lugger have appeared in my now famous painting “HMS Pickle, The Trafalgar Messenger“, one of The Nelson and Trafalgar Collection 

The Trafalgar Messenger, HMS Pickle approaching The Lizard

The Trafalgar Messenger, HMS Pickle, detail of luggers

and another appears in the Pete Goss commission of his famous Cornish Lugger “Spirit of Mystery in the Southern Ocean”.

Spirit of Mystery in the Southern Ocean

Barnebus, lugger, approx 23 X 35 cm (9″ x 14″) Watercolour, made approximately 1974. Available, £150 ex studio.
You can discover much more on…/m…/merchant-sail/oldest-cornish/



Tuesday, August 14th, 2018
An excellent book.

Today I’ve started to read “With The Going Down Of The Sun“. 

With the Going Down of the Sun

It’s as much about the people and politics as the ships and the fate of ‘HMS Good Hope’ and her consorts, doomed to sail into Britain’s biggest naval defeat since Trafalgar.
I am finding it a very useful introduction to the mind set of the Vicwardian period, a period I don’t know well.


THE Jane Banks

Monday, August 13th, 2018

New page, a brief history, an insight, the end of a glorious era.
Built in Germany, a long successful working life, she eventually became the last British square rigger to trade “foreign” without an engine.
Thus ended the history of pure sail, British merchant shipping.

This original, 40 x 61 cm (16″ x 24″) is available £1,100 ex studio, ex frame ~ & prints (from £147) are available. 
The historic #schooner ‘Jane Banks’. 

Jane Banks, schooner

Jane Banks entering Bermuda

Huzzah !

Monday, August 13th, 2018

Arrived this morning, a copy of “With The Going Down Of The Sun“, recommended to me by the naval author Peter Goodwin.

This will help me develop a ‘feel’ for the Edwardian war ships. 

With the Going Down of the Sun


Golden Hinde

Saturday, August 11th, 2018
Prompted by the Facebook page Pocket Yachts and Trailer Sailors I wrote a piece, an insight into part of my history.
Surprised so many liked it I think I should I’ll share it with you shipmates who follow my page.
I’m also surprised to find the text has expanded into a candidate for inclusion in the synopsis Bloomsberry have asked me to write for a possible book about my art works and life.
For those who don’t like long texts, forgive me, for the others, settle back and enjoy a time travel voyage.

The first photo here is a photo I shot of ‘my trailer sailor’ ‘Wellington‘, alongside the “Golden Hinde“.

Golden Hinde

Onboard Golden Hinde



Home and dry

Friday, August 10th, 2018

Passed the mark, safely home and dry, I need a long drink of cool water. 

Cutlass 40

a Cutlass 40

Now, I’m cutlass drawn ready for action (so to speak).

Cutlass 40 drawn

Cutlass 40 drawn for client’s comments prior to painting, this fine drawing can be yours for £130.00

I’m in my Brittany studio to start a ‘Titanic’ commission and with  Brexit a serious problem looking like a disaster, I will begin a third attempt to get a Carte du Sejour Permenente.

The Yacht, yes you’ve guess I guess, is a Cutlass 40 class, the painting measures 40 x 51 cms (16″x 20″), my client described those moments as “My greatest moment on the boat so far was finishing the Bermuda 1-2 single-handed leg at Mills Breaker Buoy off Bermuda. It was blowing about 2 knots…


Mixed feelings

Wednesday, August 8th, 2018

Last day in the so beautiful #Tarn province, the region of the extraordinary ever changing landscapes, exclusive #wines of #Gaillac, sunflowers, wheat, forests & teeming wild life. 

Castelnau de Montmiral

Castelnau de Montmiral, Tarn province

I must return to my Brittany studio to start a ‘#Titanic’ commission and thanks to the many serious problems caused by Brexit, start a third application for a Carte du Sejour Permenente. 

Of the latter I am not optimistic, I need professional advice, what will that cost? 

France’s loss could be good news for Cornwall.

A view from Castelnau de Montmiral, Tarn province

On being British in Europe now

Tuesday, August 7th, 2018

I have just read “On being British in Europe now“,…/on-being-british-in-europ…/

Very helpful, thank you Alison Morton and Linda Baker who copied it to my Facebook page. 
It confirms what Connexion has been printing, I was saying and adds a useful perspective.
I congratulate Mrs. Morton on her skills and success.
My own circumstances are more difficult as I am sure are those of many other Brits in Europe.   (more…)

Love Plymouth?

Wednesday, August 1st, 2018

Love ? Yes: I still think of Plymouth as my second home, I have Plymouth on the transom of my sail boat.

Mysterious historic Plymouth, The White Star Line and a Titanic connection. 

Mt Batten and Plymouth Hoe from Jennycliff

Keep a weather eye on this, my blog and Facebook page to follow this voyage as it sets more sail, a good story in the making, 

Today I begin to try and check out which Cape of Good Hope class ships & which submarines were active at Plymouth in 1911/12, the period when Wilkinson painted his “Plymouth Harbour” for The  Line.

I’ll also try and discover when he served at Plymouth…? 



Tuesday, July 31st, 2018

To avoid confusion; Artist to artist, as I prepare a Titanic painting, the issue of Metric/imperial ricochet around always to be highlighted when dealing with stretchers & canvas 
I’m wrestling with sizes, a new order, a, well actually a pair of Titanic painting. 
I used 4.5 cm for the 2 m “Port of Gaillac 1863″ so we will be in distinguished company. 

Port of Gaillac 1863

Discover “The Port of Gaillac 1863” it’s fascinating, via…/mar…/ports/port-of-gaillac-1863/