Home » Blog » Further reading about the paintings » The marine painting of Condell leaving Portsmouth by Gordon Frickers.

The marine painting of Condell leaving Portsmouth by Gordon Frickers.

The frigate Condell marine painting went down a real treat. The Chileans were very impressed and Capt Cruz the commanding officer was over the moon and said he was going to have it welded to the wardroom bulkhead so none of the Admirals, and there were six Chilean Admirals present, could get their fingers on it!” wrote Captain John Simkins a director, the Chief Executive, Disposal Services Agency of the Ministry of Defence after the presentation of the completed piece of marine art commission .Condell__ship_detail_IMG_4640_wp.jpg

The origin, this marine painting  was commissioned by

 BAE (Operations) Systems following an idea of Nigel Billingham of BAE Systems and Captain John Simkins the Chief Executive, Disposal Services Agency.

They knew Gordon Frickers had the right experience, having very successfully produced this sort of painting for other companies, reliably and professionally. 

They on behalf of BAE (Operations) Systems thought it appropriate and desirable to present the Chilean Navy and the frigate Condell in particular some thing really special as a memento of their work together at Portsmouth.

The frigate Almirante Condell, (ex HMS Marl bough, type 23 frigate) was refitted to Chilean requirements.
Condell arrived in Chile at the end of October 2008 and MoD representatives flew out to oversee her commissioning.

 

Appraisal of a marine painting:

This marine painting of Almirante Condell was presented by the BAE Systems Surface Fleet Solutions (Operations) Limited / Ministry of Defence team to Captain Cruz of Almirante Condell for the ship and the Chilean Navy, the “Armada de Chile”.
To mark the completion of the successful conversion to Chilean requirements and hand over of 3 Type 23 frigates,
 
The original painting of Almirante Condell was complex, showing Portsmouth Harbour in great detail in the background and typical late May June weather.
There was a client requirement that it must fit into a space on a bulkhead in the Officer’s Wardroom.

 

You could commission a similar painting. The first step is to contact us. Payment is usually in easy stages

 

A very personal “vision”.

This lively version of the FF Almirante Condell shows the frigate putting to sea on a bright breezy May summer day. The Almirante Condell and Portsmouth are shown in a wealth of detail.
Condell has just passed the forts and cleared the outer marks of the port.
A close look at her reveals how Condell sits in the water, wind, tide, equipment, the crew are particularly remarkable, every figure seems to have a personality, even the texture of Almirante Condell’s hull plating was carefully considered. 

Maybe you know, the Chileans have a great tradition of Marine Painting?
This tradition goes back to the English artist Thomas Summerscales who lived much of his life in Chile and painted many famous Chilean naval events including Almirante Condell’s exploits, thus Gordon Frickers is doubly honoured.

Gordon Frickers paintings are noted for many qualities, dynamic thoughtful and often surprising compositions, specially noted for their depth, lighting, understanding of water and some times surprising choices of colours.

Condell_detail_3_IMG_2404_wp.JPG

Gordon Frickers paintings are noted for their immediacy, directness, vitalité and depth.
He has been the choice of such international names as Yamaha, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston and British Telecom.
He is accustomed to working confidentially for commercial companies.
Like to commission a similar painting? Easy! Just follow the link to contact us or phone +44 1865 522435

The brief

Their intention was to show the refitted frigate with a typically “Portsmouth” background in a painting intended to be fitted in the officer’s wardroom.

In consultation with the artist it was decided that as Portsmouth is a very complex port and because the best painting results from location visits, Gordon Frickers should secretly visit Portsmouth H.M. Naval Dockyard to view the ship and port before preparing suitable sketches.

With Helen Johnson and Commander John Haworth, MOD Project Manager,
as his primary contacts, Gordon Frickers chose to visit on a day forecast to have excellent light.
The grim reality was yet another normal English summer’s day; low light levels, rain and grey on grey, tricky with a grey ship…

Happily, his guide and host for the day, Lt Cmdr Tim Bailey and the very obliging crew of RFA Netley enabled Gordon Frickers to see most of what he needed and shoot some 200 reference photographs and supplied excellent tea.

From the artists’ impressions and photographs 6 possible compositions emerged as sketches.
More info at www.frickers.co.uk/blog

 

Compositional dilemmas included:
1. How dominant the frigate should be in the painting,
2. Which angle and background to choose; which features of Portsmouth to include / exclude; should RN ships be included; what to do about the massively dominant Spinnaker Tower; to show the historic waterfront, and where in the port (maybe right in the entrance?) etc
3. What sort of lighting (time of day / weather), e.g., bright and breezy, calm sunny, silver grey (typical GB!)
4. Which accompanying and other craft in the painting.
5. How to get final details of the frigate as she neared completion.

Resolution of these issues also had to be agreed to the satisfaction of (enough) people in BAE Systems while Mark Elson CPOET(WE) WE Manager became the primary contact for ship details.
The result is
Almirante Condell shown on a typical May or June in early morning light, a breezy South East wind, a typical sunshine and showers Portsmouth day.

The paint was applied progressively using a variety of techniques including impasto and glazing, sometimes wet on wet, sometimes on half dry or on dry as appropriate.

The wind is shown over an ebb tide, gusting as shadows and sunshine race each other across the water. The wavelets are breaking into the wind but one can still see surface patterns showing were the channels run, (a neat detail, note the calmer water out of the main channel).

A nice touch, in the middle distance, a heavy shower is shown passing over the South Downs.

Gordon Frickers has managed to include most of the distinctive features of Portsmouth Harbour.

From left to right Gordon has included the Gosport fort, the historic warships HMS Victory (Nelson’s flagship) and HMS Warrior, and Isle of Wight ferry, parts of Portsmouth Dockyard, the Spinnaker tower (in shade, barely kissed by sunshine so not too dominant) and parts of the modern city and historic old Portsmouth.
With such a visual feast, relatively few small craft are included, 3 yachts (all belonging to friends!), you can (just) read “Portsmouth Pilots” on the side of the pilot boat. Gordon hopes the MoD Plod are pleased with their boat too, don’t want problems with them!

 

Marine Painting presentation


This marine painting of Almirante Condell was presented by the BAE Systems Surface Fleet Solutions (Operations) Limited / Ministry of Defence team to Captain Cruz of Almirante Condell for the ship and the Chilean Navy, the “Armada de Chile”.
To mark the completion of the successful conversion to Chilean requirements and hand over of 3 Type 23 frigates,
 
There was a client requirement that this original, complex painting of Almirante Condell showing Portsmouth Harbour in great detail must fit into a space on a bulkhead in the Officer’s Wardroom, hence “The Chilean National Frigate FF Almirante Condell departing Portsmouth, 2008” was quite small.
 
A limited edition of 40 numbered Prestige prints plus the usual few artists’ proofs; all supervised and signed by Gordon Frickers were also produced for BAE Systems.
 
 
Would you like to own a marine painting of this quality? Phone  +44 1865 522435

Would you like to own a marine painting of similar quality to this one for BAE Systems Surface Fleet Solutions (Operations) Limited / Ministry of Defence, or the marine art commissioned by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Yamaha, BT Marine and many others? 

Would you like to buy or commission a similar painting? Easy! Just follow this link to contact us!

 

Painting Humour:


Simon Dyer project Engineering Manager accepted the painting on behalf of BAE (Operation) Systems and said he thought it “unlikely the painting will go to the wardroom more likely the captain or naval academy will “acquire” it for their rooms”.
 
Gordon said, I was subsequently told from another source “The Condell painting went down a real treat. The Chileans were very
impressed and Capt Cruz the commanding officer was over the moon and said he
was going to have it welded to the wardroom bulkhead so none of the
Admirals, and there were six Chilean Admirals present, could get their
fingers on it. Will send you a couple of photos shortly.”
 
 
Thank you
“I hope together we have created a national treasure for the Chilean Navy and a splendid form of consolidation for BAE Systems. My only regret is this painting is not four foot wide!

This was a complex but great project. My thanks to the imaginative people at BAE Systems who helped create this painting”.

Your BAE S people were professional to work with, I’d be very happy to give of my best again for you and the Chileans.

This Almirante Condell continues a line of ships named after Almirante Condell a man who for good reason is remembered as a national hero in Chile.
His name has been given to a succession of Chilean warships.
The previous frigates are replaced by “Type 23” class vessels purchased from the United Kingdom refitted by Surface Fleet Solutions BAE Systems (Operations) Limited at H.M. Naval Dockyard Portsmouth.
When this Almirante Condell  is eventually retired from service, this painting will probably go into the Chilean National Collection along with the many famous works they hold in particular examples by marine artist Thomas Summerscales.
More info at www.frickers.co.uk/blog

Email: gordon@nullfrickers.co.uk

Tel/Text: +44 78 80 80 60 94

 

Indecently


A limited edition of 40 numbered Prestige prints plus the usual few artists’ proofs, all supervised and signed by Gordon Frickers were also produced for BAE Systems.

“Armada de Chile” is the normal form; more formal is ARMADA de la REPUBLICA DE CHILE

Gordon Frickers was instrumental in a copy of the rare book now out of print, “Thomas Summerscales, marine artist” by Alex Hurst, being presented by the Ministry of Defence to the Chileans.

Alex Hurst became an author and publisher (Teredo Books).
Alex was in every respect a big man who loved marine life and marine paintings.
Alex Hurst started his career before World War 2 sailing on some of the last square riggers, windjammers. Powerful ships that were the last working sailing ships to regularly circumnavigation the globe including partaking in the last grain races from Australia to England.
Some of those stories have been documented by the authors Eric Newby and Alan Villiers.

Gordon and the late Alex Hurst were friends.

Gordon Frickers © 2009

More info at www.frickers.co.uk/blog

Contact Us to request information about the possibility of an original Gordon Frickers painting for you call +44 78 80 80 60 94

Last Updated on