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Progress report, Nelson at Gibraltar

This will I hope you agree,  will be a splendid marine painting; eventually to be shown in a classic hand made swept frame.Gib_16.03.10_IMG_7001_d.jpg

The frame alone will cost some £500.00

The painting as you can see from previous blog entries is progressing steadily.

My intention in the background is to show a busy scene, a lot of activity, a lot of life.

Unlike many marine painters, I am not shy of including people going about their daily tasks.

I think this could be partly because I am facinated by working people and partly thanks to my excellent professional training as an artist and Art Photographer.

I am some times reminded when I see  would be struggling artists (with whom I have much sympathy and always try to encourage) of John Constable’s amusing if cruel remark about self taught artists, roughly he said, ‘when I see a  self taught artist I am aware he was taught by a very ignorant person…’

Moving back to less  controversial ground, some of this work is produced wet on wet, in this case a recent example is the way the sea is painted.

There will be more work on the sea,  however the basic underlying painting is now in place showing a calm day and swell from the South West while the breeze has backed to North West as indicated by the craft shown sailing and will later be further indicated as the sea surface is completed.

At other times, particularly now detail is beginning to be added, I have to wait for paint to dry.

You can seen the beginnings of fine detail, rigging and other delicate art work appearing and maybe begin to guess how the finished art work will appear? Gib_16.03.10_detail_2_IMG_7004_d.jpg

There are still many many hours of work before this marine painting which has also to be an historic document is completed, for example the Minerve has no gun ports yet.

There will also be some surprises yet to show, in this painting when finished…

We can though begin to see some of the crew of Minerve and the crew of Nelson’s boat and what they are about including a marine guard and some of the crew drawn up to receive Nelson, none of the figures though are as yet finished.

Each figure will be a personality, clothing, hair styles etc all have to be as correct for the period as possible.

The plan is to include much fine detail but arrange this marine painting to view well from any distance thus making it a very worthy addition to any collection of fine paintings.

I have a number of copies of portraits of Horatio Nelson and intend he will be recognisable as a figure in the stern sheets of the longboat.Gib_16.03.10_detail_2_IMG_7004_d.jpg

The intention is to record the day Nelson transferred from HMS Captain, a 74 gun ship of the line (middle background) to HMS Minerve a frigate, French built.

Of the occasion, Nelson wrote to his wife, don’t worry, I am off on a special mission but it is not dangerous.

Little did Nelson know the adventures that lay ahead included him almost being captured.

Such was the dangerous life lead by so many men during the Revolutionary and  Napoleonic Wars…

~

What is the purpose and future for this marine painting of a bygone age?

I learnt so much about the Georgian navy back in the 1990’s when I had the unique privilege of working for HMS Victory so it seems a pity not to share, use and enjoy that experience.

This picture of Nelson started life as a sketch I drew one evening in 1998 at the Royal Plymouth Corinthian Yacht Club while thinking through ideas for a scene from the voyage of the French navigator and discoverer Laperouse, at Botany bay, a painting I expect to produce this year.

Much more recently a friend and fellow painter, Chris Boddington suggested adapting the scene along the lines we now see.

It was a useful suggestion because The Trafalgar Collection, owned for the past 15 or so years by 2 gentlemen in London is now being offered for sale, prices from £10,000.00, and they asked if I might paint a  more scenes to add to the collection.

I also have a second version of the renowned “Trafalgar Dawn“, now ready to mark out, the opposite view, from the Combined Fleet…

I don’t yet know the future of this unsold painting however it could be a fine example to show at the exhibition offered me at the European Parliament, a show I have had to put off until next year mostly because of difficulties securing appropriate dates.

On the other hand, if some one makes me an offer I can’t refuse (which happened with the original “Trafalgar Dawn“)…

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