At the Monaco Yacht Show 2009, Port Hercule, Monte Carlo, this was to be my first full working day in the world of superyachts, , meeting super yacht people, excluding the 4 commissions last year.
For a start, The Monaco Yacht Show perhaps surprisingly has a carbon neutral certificate and advertises this fact with enthusiasm and when one learns more of he Monaco Yacht Show organisers achievements, with justifiable pride.
The influential people of Monaco have happily for us all on plant “Earth” chosen to set an excellent example to many a captain of industry and fashion queen.
Just as well on the advise of Tom Chant of Superyacht UK, I had chosen not to use my car!
Anyway, the double deck trains which run all along the Eastern cote d’azur are such a pleasure to use and the evenings in Nice were equally memorable.
From Monte Carlo station to Port Hercule is a pleasant 10 minute downhill walk.
My plan of action was based on research over the preceding days at Itzac.
By great good fortune at my first port of call, one of the first people I met on the Superyacht UK stand and just about top of my list was Roy Roberts of Owen Marine Marketing, http://www.royowenroberts.com/.
Knowing this is THE top ad agency in GB for the marine industry with 40 years of impressive track record and very switched on to modern marketing methods, I was expecting to meet a rather battle hardened highly focused individual so the next surprise was Roy immediately made all the time one could wish to talk.
I also percived myself as a very small fish in a rather exclusive pond.
Roy Roberts could not have been more charming, more human.
Roy Roberts made sure both I and my assistant were comfortable and relaxed.
Roy showed genuine interested in my work, in particular the marine art, in promoting my career and undestanding the problems of working to the highest standards.
Roy had obviously had a good look at my web site.
He clearly understood my career has been built on aiming at remarkable painting and working with exceptional people, on merit not on sponsorship, grants or the patronage of galleries. and not only expressed a keen interest in my marine art but confided he too paints when he can so was doubly interested in my career and prospects.
The outcome was I felt I had met a kindred spirit and Roy suggested a 2 day meeting “on him”, at his offices and emphatically told me not to concern myself with cost. Encouraging?
Roy also helped me refine the list of people I should meet as did Alan Warren of Yachting World whom I met next and was equally generous with his time and knowledge, saying he was delighted to finally meet the famous marine artist Gordon Frickers.
Alan Warren further suggested I should mention I have been invited to exhibit next year at the European Parliament.
As Alan put it; the European Parliament being an excellent show case and audience for any one or company lucky enough to have Gordon Frickers exhibit a painting of one of their super yachts.
This was followed by beginning to navigate my way around part of the 500 + exhibitors and 100 + yachts attempting to find companies on my list and spot interesting exhibtors I’d heard of / never heard of and get a feel for what they do.
All this to see if I had anything to offer them in the form of exclusive painting, “sea pictures for sea people” .
Even without my new brochure I found I was generally very warmly received particularly where people already knew some thing of my capabilities and what I could do for them.
There was a clear understanding that it takes more than paint to make an exceptional, enduring marine painting.
In an exhibition not short of luxurious brochures, my brochure proved much in demand and was often requested as some thing of a collector’s item!
On reflection I should not have been so surprised.
These are people who work to the highest standards they can then try to better it which is exactly what I have been trying to do with my fine art.
I had the privilege of meeting some remarkable and renowned people, several are to me legendary names, Bruce R. Johnson, President and Chief Designer of Sparkman & Stephens (www.sparkmanstephens.com), Ed Dubois and Malcolm McKeon of Dubois Naval Architects Ltd (www.duboisyachts.com), Rob Humphreys and Angus Blair of Humphreys Yacht Design (www.humphreysdesign.com), Alan Brook and Murray Aitken of Oyster Marine (www.oystermarine.com), Greg McNabb of Southern Ocean Marine (www.southernoceanmarine.com), Harvey Jones of Southampton Yacht Services Ltd (www.southamptonyachtservices.co.uk) and quite a few more…
Adrian Nicolle made us very welcome and enabled me to take some useful photographs of Liara.
Adrian a further impressed me with a tour in detail of this futuristic, eco friendly master piece of design this yacht Liara, the first built by Performance Yachts (www.performanceyachts.com) but I felt, not the last.
One of the charming incidents that stand out was on the Swan Nautor stand having introduced myself and mentioned I’d worked with Yachting World 5 times at the Swan Nautor European Regatta, I was told, “ah, then you are part of the Swan Nautor family!“.
I was commissioned to produce the prize for the final race (the painting being presented that same evening (e.g. http://www.frickers.co.uk/marine-art/alvine_xii.html) and to the astonishment of many at the Royal Yacht Squadron prize giving, featuring the winning yacht).
This exhausting but very stimulating working day finished accepting an offer of further champagne and good company with our new friends at Dockwise Yacht Transport (www.yacht-transport.com).
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