I am still exchanging emails re the European Parliament Marine Art Exhibition at Brussels.
We are hoping to show about 50 examples of my marine art including prints during May, European Sea Month.
Looks hopeful but nothing in writing yet.
Until they confirm I can’t do much about financial aid, grants, sponsors etc.
This is a great sponsor opportunity for a company wishing to be noticed in a high profile location, excellent soft advertising opportunity.
I have one tentative offer so far from Savage Lighting who among other projects supplied the lighting for the square rigged super yacht Maltese Falcon.
It does have the active backing of Brian Simpson, MEP for Transport so will probably go ahead.
Most of the paintings are ready to go.
I need new frames for some and others I am actively working on in the studio and quietly confident I will have all ready in time.
I have had my best frames hand made to my own designs specially suited to marine painting by Frinton Frames (http://www.frintonframes.co.uk/) for some 25 years.
This exhibition is though a considerable expense for some one in my situation to carry alone.
Also, it seems a shame for other businesses not to reap some benefit at the same time.
Then the question is where to show after the EP, would be good to keep the momentum going?
Here in Itzac, we have had a series of fine, mild sunny days with temperatures dropping to below – 6 at night.
Today in the sun my balcony thermometer was recording 20 C.
Excellent light for painting and makes me hesitate to return to England for the winter, maybe you can understand why?
Over the past few days I have been working on a series of marine paintings.
Most will be familiar if you have read earlier entries of this blog.
The largest physically will be a moon light scene of Plymouth Cattewater.
This historic stretch of water, the mouth of the river Plym at the junction of Plymouth Sound and Sutton Harbour has seen countless voyages commence from at least as far back as the Phoenicians who visited the place the Saxon’s named Sutton Harbour and also Mount Batten to trade.
Francis Drake, first captain to circumnavigate the globe, and many of the great Elizabethan seamen sailed from this very stretch of water, here the battle fleet of Queen Elizabeth the first waited for months and eventually sailed to combat with Spain’s great ‘Invincible’ Armada.
The Pilgrim Fathers in Mayflower and literally countless other emigrants sailed from Plymouth Cattewater.
James Cook, William Bligh, Horatio Nelson, all knew Plymouth as a point of departure.
Great liners formaly graced Plymouth Sound, they though like the modern navy did not use the smaller historic Cattewater.
Today though, the boats from luxurious cruise ships do visit.
Some roll of honour?
More recently flying boats operating from Mount Batten taxied on these waters and patroled in World War 2 hunting U-boats while the Americans used Plymouth Cattewater extensively while preparing a more modern armada, the largest in history, for D Day.
The first single handed transatlantic yacht race sailed form here (“Blondie” Hasler raced Francis Chichester for ‘half a crown’ (a 2 shiilings and 6 pence coin) after a bet at the bar of the Royal Western Yacht Club).
I kept my own yacht “Music Maker” on a mooring in the lee of Mount batten in the days when I had a family.
Can you be very sure more famous sailors will continue to make Plymouth Cattewater their point of departure?
Cattewater, maybe you know the origin of the name?
The colouring of this marine painting will be based on the many times my family and I “rolled” out of the Royal Plymouth Corinthian Yacht Club after Wednesday evening dinghy racing followed by a meal and drinks with our fellows.
You may not believe it to see the attached pop up progress report but, the scene will show the emigrant clipper Samuel Plimsoll and the (now demolished) emigration buildings at Phoenix Wharf.
The site has been a disgrace to Plymouth for the past 25 years thus I hope the painting will help influence the council to redevelop sensitively and intelligently.
So far, there has been talk in Plymouth of offering me an exhibition after the exhibition at Brussels but nothing firmly done.
Will Plymouth miss the chance presented here?
When I started this painting I did not fully appreciate how important the art work would be.
Like most people I’d heard of Samuel Plimsoll, knew of the Plimsoll Line (as used by the merchant ships of some 60 plus nations today) and of the plimsoll shoe.
I was pleased to find a very suitable ship for my painting called Samuel Plimsoll.
The Samuel Plimsoll sailed regularly from Plymouth to Australia with emigrants during the 1870’s and 80’s, returning with the new wool clip, racing such illustrious ships as Cutty Sark and from the same builders, Thermopylae.
I am researching the history of Samuel Plimsoll the ship, maybe you know some thing of her?
As for her mane sake, if you like social history and wish to rediscover a very remarkable Englishman, The Plimsoll Sensation by Nicolette Jones, ISBN 978-0-349-1720-1 is a gripping read, a formidable achievement by Mrs. Jones, deservedly acclaimed by both the popular and the more high brow nautical press.
Several other marine paintings are intended for the European Parliament Exhibition are alongside the Plymouth Cattewater scene in the studio, more about them in the next few days…
Sorry to have missed the National Scorpion do, 50th anniversary of Taprell Dawling designing the Scorpion sailing boat.
For me it is rather ancient history, would have been nice to see the folks and hear who is doing has done what; Happy days.
Of all the boats I owned the one I miss most is Wellington, Wayfarer 6778, pictures here at Bodinnick Ferry, Fowey, Cornwall.
I built her after I finished in Scorpions.
Was that really in 1979…?
I don’t feel much older.
My mirror disagrees though ~ mirrors should be specially made, sympathetic to people over 40?
The Scorps were unforgettable, so where many of the people, a heap of fun !