Krakatoa, clippers

The  tea clipper “Cutty Sark” and “Thermopylae”
Cutty Sark
Krakatoa, clippers
By Gordon Frickers 76 x 101 cm (30″ x 40″), oils, price of this original, £8,000.00., ex studio, ex frame.
This Painting
I had in mind to show the famous tea clipper “Cutty Sark” as a new ship.
I also hoped to give an impression of the ‘cloud of sail’ she could set over her sleek, almost delicate looking hull.
Her lines are almost identical to the famous “Thermopylae“, a ship which claimed to be ‘Cock of the Seas’.
For several reasons I’ve chosen as our location the Sunda Straights which lie between Java and Sumatra [Indonesian Islands].
As the age of sail drew to a close the tea clipper fleet, racing to London or New York with their high value cargoes,  regularly used this dangerous straight as a short cut.
Krakatoa 2, [detail]

In the middle of these shallow waters are the remnants of the notorious volcano Krakatoa, [or Krakatau].
The Sunda Straights are today relatively little used by modern shipping, the area being considered narrow, shallow, hazardous. 
 I have endeavoured to show Krakatoa much as it was when “Cutty Sark” was a new ship, hence her astonishingly white sails.
Are the sails really white or an off white?
How can they be so prominent in this painting and yet still be off white? 
I’ll answer that later in the book about my work and life I’ve been asked to write.
To show “Cutty Sark‘s” sails as ‘white’, I’ve used a special technique which I first developed with my landscape ‘Pomerol, Baby Vines‘, to produce a soft ‘hot’ luminous horizon over that beautiful Bordeaux landscape.

The 2 most famous Tea Clippers hardly need introducing to seamen. 

Krakatoa, clippers, detail

If you don’t know them you are in for a treat.

I have had a long association with “Cutty Sark“, painted her three times, with the full cooperation of Captain Simon Waite [formally a master with BISNCo] who was then her Captain.

That version shows her when new, the other two in her old age, the best known being “Last Departure” which is sold however available as a signed print, numbered, on canvas for the look and feel of the real thing.

Cutty Sark still sometimes makes news. in the news, being on National TV on the 26th January 2005. Open to the public at Greenwich, London, Cutty Sark is currently the subject of a 12 million pound fund raising project, the most ambitious and high tech to date for an historic ship, to ensure her preservation into well into our future.

The eruption of Krakatoa, or Krakatau, in August 1883 was one of the most deadly volcanic eruptions of modern history 
The event has changed our understanding of natural forces.
There is a noteworthy description of that event,  Krakatoa Volcano: Facts About 1883 Eruption on the Live Science web site, another on Krakatoa – The Great Volcanic Eruption.

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Gordon Frickers © 03.10.2018

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