This website shows some of my paintings, as well as information on many of the lengthy voyages of the historic cruising yachts, so you can share some of the history and challenges faced by these adventuresome sailors.
About the artist
At the helm of Waitangi sailing alongside topsail schooner Enterprize
I have been involved with boats for most of my life from the times I went fishing with my father in a small runabout and then on to sailing dinghies including Sabots, Gwen 12s, OK dinghies, windsurfers, and some traditional keel boats including double enders, ketches, a Bluebird and over the past 15 years the Top Hat Waitangi, which has just been sold. Over a 10 year period I also crewed as a volunteer on Melbourne’s Topsail Schooner Enterprize, and recently I have returned to the Albert Sailing Club to have a go at sailing on a 14ft Impulse dinghy.
Over the years I have also built a number of small model yachts including replicas of the Spray, the Tumlaren class, the beautiful ‘J’ boats as well as the old fishing smacks.
I have always had an interest in painting and although my business career limited my time to paint, it did provide me with an opportunity to visit many art galleries around the world and to view the originals of many marine artists including Thomas Hoyne III, John Stobart, Winslow Homer and Montague Dawson. One of the most impressive exhibitions I attended was at the Royal Exchange Art Gallery in London with a display of a large number of Frank Wagner’s paintings of superbly detailed and lively views of yachts of the early 1900s.
My paintings are mainly in oil, and cover a range of scenes from the beautiful America’s Cup yachts to the small sailing dinghies of current times, as well as seascapes in which I try to depict the many moods of the water. A particular theme that I am specialising in is the early small cruising yachts that ventured thousands of miles across the oceans, before the advent of all the modern technology, with owners who either sailed solo or with a minimal crew. Before painting these yachts I read the books of their voyages, study the yacht’s lines, and other intimate details of the rigging and fittings. By the end of the painting I feel that I am also aboard the vessel and experiencing part of the voyage with the air whistling in the rigging, the spray in the air, and the warmth of the early morning sun taking effect after a cold night on watch….
Although my main focus is on the smaller yachts I’m also interested in other vessels and seascapes. I really enjoy painting and consider myself fortunate to have the time to continue my interest in sailing and to be able to portray, and share my love of the maritime environment.
I am a member of the following art societies:-
International Society of Marine Painters
Australian Society of Marine Artists
Australian Guild of Realist Artists.
About the paintings
These marine paintings generally fall into three categories.
Firstly the long distance sailors where the paintings are based on historical research of a wide range of material and whenever possible from discussions with people who had some connection to the event being depicted. Historical photos and sketches are used as a reference for the final work.
The next group of paintings are those which relate to my own experience with a broad reference to current subjects and sketches, or historical information, including photos, which I have taken over the years.
The final group are a small number of paintings based primarily on historical photographs which I will have credited after the painting description.
Any additional information on the history, or whereabouts of the yachts or crew of the vessels depicted is always welcome – please email me at email@example.com