“Kenya”, maiden arrival, Mombasa, B I Sunday
B I Sunday, a unique event, the entire port, every berth taken by ships of the same company, the British India Steam Navigation Company.
A marine painting by Gordon Frickers, oils on canvas, measures a healthy 76 x 121 cms (30″ x 48″), privately commissioned.
This is a very unusual page, it allows you to see the steady progress from modest beginning of this impressive painting, explore, enjoy “B I Sunday”.
‘Kenya‘ served the British India Steam Navigation Company faithfully for many years.
Kenya was the very successful Sister to the more famous ‘Uganda‘.
The ships differed slightly, the most obvious difference was, following experience with ‘Kenya‘, ‘Uganda‘ was given a noticeably larger funnel.
Uganda served the same route as Kenya before she became an school educational cruise ship operated in the Mediterranean and eventually the Falklands war Hospital ship after which she was laid up at Falmouth, Cornwall then sold for breaking.
~ ~ ~
A year in production, from from first research to completed.
Bit of a giggle to share with you, a comment received today (16.08.16) via email from a happy client for whom I’ve just completed “B I Sunday”.
“There is more than a stroke of “luck” in Mr Frickers brush !!”
I think and feel that yet again our patience and the last 1/2 % of effort, refining outlines and details, highlighting dried colours and so on, made a significant difference.
I think I am very fortunate to have a client who has confidence in me and understands, good painting takes time and great painting takes longer.
Our choice of subject here will never be ‘dramatic’ however the painting is impressive and the more one looks at it the more amazing it seems, light, colour, textures, movement, the balance of illusion of details, even down to the engine and trucks and little yellow Scammel horse on the wharf.
You will probably be seeing the detail images larger than life and as always with the Internet, the colours you see will depend on your screen.
If you like the painting as see here, you will assuredly find the original has much more ‘presence’; enjoy.
The British India Steam Navigation Company, a company that had quietly, unassumingly became at one time the largest merchant navy fleet in the world, a company hugely popular with customers, crew and officers, a company of unsung heroes to borrow a phrase from them, who ‘did their bit‘ in peace and war, laboured long and hard to build the world that benefits us today.
This fine marine painting, oils on canvas, measures a healthy 76 x 121 cms (30″ x 48″).
Commissioned by the son of a B I Captain, it was developed from 2 not very promising, rather dull but never the less historic photos taken on the day.
Our scene is set on the 16th September 1951, Kilindini Port, Mombasa, Kenya, East Africa.
My client generously wrote on the 11.04.2016, “Gordon to say the painting has passed your expectations is truly an understatement.
The following progress report, ‘marine artist’s log book’, offers an insight into the development and creation of this major marine painting, you can enjoy following the LATEST UPDATES (see below)
Following much research I started the first drawings on the 28 th of November 2015.
Background: The port of Kilindini, Mombasa, Kenya, East Africa, was full with ships of the same company. A case for celebration by the crews that day and remembered further afield.
Special event? Commission a ‘full on’ painting!
Here you see 16th September 1951, Kilindini Port, Mombasa, Kenya, ” B I Sunday“, perhaps uniquely, all wharves were occupied by ships of the same company, the British India Steam Navigation Company founded in 1858 to become for a while the largest shipping company in the world; a much loves company, by officers, crews, shipping agents and passengers, still fondly remembered.
Historical reconstruction has over some 30 + years become a specialty of mine.
Here you have a rare opportunity to see how a major painting developed, enjoy:
You can follow this developing 76 x 121 cms (30″ x 48″) painting and learn about the techniques used, here and on my lively Facebook page , enjoy.
The evolution of a commissioned Marine Painting, “B I Sunday“.
The sketches attached here, 7 and 8 b represent a lot a combined effort, of thought, analysis, some detective work and insight and part of the long voyage to completion.
When complete an image of the final the picture will be added to this page.
Mean while I hope you enjoy sharing this rare experience, the development of a complex marine painting.
The strong Naples yellow will eventually all but disappear being intended to ‘bleed through’ over lying glazes as the paint dries and matures to add a subtle warmth to the eventual horizon colours.
I’ve used this technique many times before to produce impressive effects that can not be achieved by conventional mixing of paints.
B I Sunday progress (detail 3) 14.03.16
18.03.16 update: The attachments speak for them selves so I’ll save my time for painting today except to give a brief summary
All ships have have received more attention.
The to ‘M’s are near complete and the most distant ship ‘Kampla’ is half way there.
The seventh ship and final B I ship, the little ‘Tabora’ has appeared.
I’ve restarted work on the ‘sea’ however, I’m going to keep my primary attention on the B I ships, the wharf and spectator boat before I make a serious start on the water….
I had visitors yesterday. One being an American artist, another a French artist, both very skilful, both successful artists working in very ‘modern’ styles.
They were the first to see B I Sunday as it nears completion.
Neither work with marine subjects so I was pleasantly surprised by their very positive reaction to B I Sunday.
In particular they liked the sky and sea colours appreciating that those are vital to the success of our painting.
The ‘details’ shown here will appear larger than life on an average screen, example, the central ship, the one with the tug, “Kenya“, measures on the canvas 23.4 cms (9 & 1/4”), the smallest B I ship shown, “Tabora“, measures a diminutive 5.2 cms (2”).
T: + 44 (0)1865 52 2435
or Skype ‘gordonfrickers’
Email: info at frickers.co.uk
Roll of honour:
Many good people helped with the research for this complex painting, my sincere thanks to you all.
Outstanding among them were John Leeson and in Kenya, Abdul Rahim Abubakar
Other sources included:
The P & O archive.
The Admiralty Hydrographic Office, Taunton (charts)
Merchant Fleets, British India S.N.Co by Duncan Haws (1987), ISBN 0 946378 07 X
B. I. The British India Steam Navigation Company Limited by W.A. Laxon & F. W. Perry (1994), ISBN 0 905617 65 7
Various web sites,
We hope you to enjoy your visit, found something you like and follow our posts. Kindly spread the word to all the collectors you know who enjoy and appreciate fine art, if you think this project deserves success, you can help us make this project widely know, thank you.
Copyright 2016: Gordon Frickers artwork and texts: For educational and private use for example we will allow a free copy. However please note. by International law these pictures and texts may only be copied after written permission and for commercial use, after a copyright fee has been agreed and paid. Our fees are friendly our terms always reasonable.
Gordon Frickers © 28,12,15, updated 20.01.16, 14.03.16, 16.03.16, 21.03.16, 06.04.16, 26.07.2016, 15.08.16, 16.08.2016, 07.09.2016 , 16.09.16, 22.11.2016
You are cordially invited to follow The Art of Gordon Frickers on his blog and or https://www.facebook.com/gordon.frickers