Archive for the ‘diary’ Category

50 th anniversaries

Monday, November 12th, 2018

With on the sale of two more large copies of the famous “Roaring Forties” and the dramatic events in the 50th Golden Globe race sailing now, I though I’d better update the website page.

Roaring Forties reduced to 300 pixels

~ “for a brief inglorious moment there was me & two masts in sight & nothing but ocean in any direction for 2,000 miles“.

Robin Knox-Johnston wrote that in a letter to me a few months after our first meeting, he and his wife wished to commemorate his 50 th birthday in style. They did.

“Roaring Forties”, this glorious print is 93.5 MB

Soon after, we designed the painting he has named “Roaring Forties”, together over a lunch at his home beside the river Thames at Putney, London.

“The Iconic “Roaring Forties”, few paintings more clearly illustrate the power of the sea…and man”, Dick Durham, Editor, Yachting Monthly.
Discover more, on my web page, order your signed copy [standard size £147, large £227, framing service available]


Robin Knox-Johnston, “Roaring Forties”

Good news

Friday, November 9th, 2018

Always welcome, good news. 
Another large copy of “I Have Urgent Dispatches” has sold.


“I Have Urgent Dispatches”, print on canvas, with texts

The picture is part of the immortal story of Nelson and Trafalgar, in particular the race to get the official dispatch to London.

This time the print, No 36, goes for a pub at #Hontion, Devon, The Star Inn, along the #Trafalgar Way.
This is the route of coaching inns taken by Lt. LAPENOTIERE the Commander of HMS #Pickle, post chaise, post haste.

The venerable building is being redecorated. 



Friday, November 9th, 2018

On the subject of Plymouth, here is the latest progress with Titanic’, “Plymouth Harbour”. 

A very unusual painting, in that I am reproducing the painting by the famous Norman Wilkinson, lost when Titanic sank.
The new painting is very fortunate to be aided by the leading expert on Titanic, Tim Maltin, will be as near the original as possible except alongside Norman Wilkinson’s signature, will be my signature.

I have reached the stage where some of the detail is beginning to emerge.

Without Mr. Maltin, I would not have chosen to paint this extraordinary subject.

Being Plymouth a place I still regard as my ‘home port’,  is of course a further incentive for me. 

I’m planning to visit England later this month, Portsmouth, Bexhill, Hastings, St Austell and of course, the wonderful city of Plymouth.

Criticise the dead?

Monday, November 5th, 2018

Another thorny HMS Pickle question came up today.
Who was John Richards Lapenotiere R N? 

Criticise the dead? All to easy peasy …

The dead can’t defend themselves, further more we can’t know all the circumstances

Pickle detail Lt Lapentiore

WE know much about him, some via his descendants, he joined the Royal Navy at a tender age, 10 if I recall correctly.
Some people have criticised him.
For example for the relatively high rate of AWOLs and desertions from HMS Pickle. 
I think they fail to understand the difficulties he faced. 


Sailing into legend.

Sunday, November 4th, 2018

At about this time of the morning, [08.48 as I write] 04 Nov 1805 in light airs, HMS Pickle was passing The Lizard Point, the rocky most southerly tip of England.

Sailing into legend, £5000, available.

NEW ~ HMS Pickle, “Sailing into Legend“,  one of The Nelson and Trafalgar Collection.
A little earlier an event took place which some scholars and academics dispute yet is very firmly established as a Cornish legend.  (more…)


Sunday, November 4th, 2018
It’s surfaced yet again, the claim HMS Pickle was built at Bermuda.
Not that it really matters however, there are quite a few mysteries surrounding the second HMS Pickle.
Nelson described her as “ubiquitous Pickle”.
Was Sting / Pickle built at Bermuda?

HMS Pickle – I have urgent dispatches

If you have documented proof that Sting was built in Bermuda I’d be very interested to see the proof. 


Sea Survival

Friday, November 2nd, 2018
Sea Survival…
While cruising on another page, I was reminded to share the following including recommend a book and share a poem.
The ship I’ve shown here was the only survivor of nine that sailed from #Portsmouth, England.
Of the 3,000 men, only 300 survived to return home with the richest treasure ever taken at sea, ever.
My painting I’ve added here [long since sold] for you is of ‘The Last Buccaneer’.
HMS Centurion

The Last Buccaneer

You can find the story and painting on my web site under ‘Warships’ []
1740/44, HMS #Centurion made a circumnavigation that is hard to believe, wow what a film it would make… 


Failure is not an option.

Thursday, November 1st, 2018

Another question answered [I hope]. ~ What are the crew doing?

H M Sloop Racehorse (detail)

The three men on the bowsprit are there to replace a large barrel of water. 
All the other men are there to help in one way or another with the dangerous task at hand, 

H M Sloop Racehorse (detail)



Good afternoon Gordon,

Thursday, November 1st, 2018

Racehorse‘ as in HM Sloop ~ in answer to some points raised the following transpired which you may enjoy my sharing with you.

I have read with a lot of interest your creation page on the “Racehorse”. I immediately noticed the struck topgallant masts and the painstaking research that went into the “gammoning” subtitle. However, I would expect a ship in that kind of weather to sail under reefed topsails only, with one jib to boot as you illustrated. Was that considered with Mr Goodwin, and possibly disregarded for “artistic licence”?  I would be curious to have his take on that. (then, just nitpicking here, would the ship not sail under independent Admiralty orders, and thus have a common (tricolour) pennant?) I love the painting… May I ask, even if it means I cannot afford it“.  

Racehorse (detail)

I replied : (more…)

Nelson and Pickle

Thursday, November 1st, 2018
We are in the Nelson and Pickle period [21st October to 4 th November], so I present for you, newly varnished and ready for show here is my very new painting for Peter Goodwin’s new book “Nelson’s Arctic Voyage”, [due out next spring].

HMS Racehorse

HM Sloop Racehorse, North Sea storm, Arctic expedition 1773“.
Subtitle “‘Put Preventer Gammoning upon the Bowsprit’, Friday 17 September.”
The moment is taken directly from the ship’s log book.

H M Sloop Racehorse (detail)

The original is now available for a new home, not such good news is it is so valuable it’s almost in the “if you have to ask you can’t afford it” class.
Better news is it can be acquired by instalments.