The weather was stunning, 28 C and not humid but my first sight of the exhibition had to wait.
Why? because my day started with a flat battery in my Vectra and Nice old town is not the easiest place to get jump leads onto another vehicle.
On the plus side the train to Monte Carlo was every bit as good as billed. Clean, quick, regular and very modern with a bonus, the views are wondrous.
Registration at the Monaco Yacht Show was very simple. My thanks to Johan PIZZARDINI MEDIA COORDINATOR and his ORGANIZING TEAM (T. (+377) 93 10 41 70 – www.monacoyachtshow.com) who arranged for a pass giving me the splendid title of “Art Photographer” and Journalist and one similar for my assistant. The media team could not have been more helpful.
Despite the multitudinous distractions our first port of call was the Superyacht UK stand (www.superyachtuk.com).
Superyacht UK are part of the British Marine Federation who I was asked to join in 2007. Lead by Tom Chant, their mission is to promote British Excellence.
We arrived just in time to pick up one ticket for a grand stand view with champagne, of the Red Arrows.
Lead by Tom Chant, the Superyacht UK mission is to promote British Excellence, hence their presence and magazine Superyacht Business, The Directory of British Superyacht Excellence (and yes I am included!).
Unfortunately my assistant was not included for a glass of champagne which I thought was one of several opportunities missed by Superyacht UK at this promotion.
I gave her my champers.
The Red Arrows performance started unexpectedly, with a dive down the mountains, not coming in from the sea as most people expected, from the landward side to buzthe city and port with a formidable ROAR.
Which rather made the Superyacht UK point, their was nothing else quite like this ~ The British are here!
As the day progressed I found myself meeting more and more of the great names in Yachting, I was amazed, not least to find both I and my new brochure were very well received.
The first evening included accidentally meeting Alice Huisman. I was initially stopped in my tracks by the stunning models and photographs of the larger yachts built by Royal Huisman (www.royalhuisman.com).
The Royal prefix was granted by Queen Beatrice to Royal Huisman for their outstanding service to boatbuilding, their innovation and pioneering work and flawless quality.
Alice Huisman is the only woman to have received the Superyacht industry Leadership award and owner of the Royal Huisman yard, who under her guidance continue to be one of the most successful boat builders of all time producing some of the most advanced and largest superyachts.
Alice generously gave me a copy of the new book on the Royal Huisman yard’s history, which she inscribed, signed and I will treasure.
I could only give her my best wishes, a promise to keep in touch in the future and a poster of “Roaring Forties” http://www.frickers.co.uk/marine-art/suhaili.htm
As our day was closing my eye was caught by the extraordinary model of a quite large merchant ship carrying yachts on the Dockwise Yacht Transport stand.
My fondness for merchant shipping lead to a very interesting talk mostly with Catalina Bujor and their extending warm hospitality to by myself and my assistant including a steady flow of champagne and an invitation to join them again the next evening.
This to my surprise is a company which runs a regular shipping trans Atlantic service transporting yachts (www.yacht-transport.com).
I gave Catalina a print of Roaring Forties with the comment; next time some one says why should I transport my yacht, point to “Roaring Forties” http://www.frickers.co.uk/marine-art/suhaili.html !
Overall on the my first day at the Monaco Yacht Show I was pleasantly surprised in many ways.
To see how environmentally friendly the people are, most of the yachts are and in particular the organisers of the Monaco Yacht Show (www.monacoyachtshow.com), to full CDM (Clean Development Mechanism ~ see www.CarbonNeutral.com), their support of charity and projects including their imaginative use of an eco tax helping people in other countries as diverse as the Kurumbh district of India, the USA, France, China and Scotland.
I speak as one who first campaigned as an idealistic young photographer fresh out of Uni and early member of Greenpeace as far back as 1973 for our planet and was terribly disappointed to see the attitude of people in Miami in 1989 – where not every one but most were hugely selfish.
The Monaco Yacht Show lead by Luc Pettavino are immensely encouraging, setting a very public bar for “captains of industry” and other leading people to at least see, to raise if the can. Hands up who salutes the people of Monaco? ~ me for one, any more?
For most of my painting career I in my own little way tried to leave the planet better off than I found it.
I have striven not for recognition or money, good commissions are very welcome and more money means more opportunities to paint better, I do though work rather to produce the very best painting I can, every centimeter of every painting, and for marine art, sea pictures for sea people – to have the professionals say “wow” and “yes, that’s it!”
I was immensely encouraged by the ready appreciation of why my work has become “special”, the serious interest in commissioning, the many requests for my new brochure and by are how many people had heard of me and knew my work.
For example, Alan Warren of Yachting World later wrote to me: “It was very nice to meet you. After all these years I have finally met the famous marine artist behind those beautiful paintings of yachts and ships“.