The Marine Art of Jack Woods | Marine Artist | Melbourne, Australia

Endeavour – Quarter Deck

Oil on Linen Board
60 x 45 cm

The painting depicts the view from the quarter deck of the Endeavour replica sailing off Wilsons Promontory en route to Eden

In 2006, after serving as a tour guide on the Endeavour Replica when it was in Melbourne for the Commonwealth Games, I was invited to crew on a trip from Melbourne to Eden. The sailing conditions were perfect as we rounded Wilsons Promontory with a fresh following breeze. For many of the voyage crew this was their first time sailing on a tall ship and the view from the quarterdeck showed the complexity of the extensive rigging and sails that were powering the ship through the swell and choppy seas of Bass Strait.

Watermark II & Shenandoah

watermark marine art jack woods shenandoah seapainting

Painting Oil on Linen Board
60 x 45cm
(Private Collection)

The painting shows the H28 class yacht Watermark II and the ketch rigged Shenandoah sailing off the coast at Blairgowrie in Victoria. Both boats have just tacked so they will clear the port mark, and shallow water at the southern end of Port Phillip Bay.

In 2019 I was standing on the Blairgowrie jetty watching the pretty ketch Shenandoah being relaunched after the annual slipping, when I met the skipper of another yacht who was helping with the slipping. This chance encounter led to an invitation for me to crew on his classic and beautifully maintained H28 and subsequently some great sailing around the bay.

Specifications – H28 Watermark II
Designer – Herreschoff
Builder – Walker
Rig – Sloop with cutter rig
LOA 8.8m
Beam 2.7m
Draft 1.32m
Engine Bukh 20hp

Taleisin & Wanderer V

Taleisin Wanderer V jack woods marine art seapainting

Painting: Oil on Board
91 x 61cm

The painting depicts two famous cruising couples meeting in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand in 1985.

Larry and Lin Pardey cruised the world initially in the 24 ft Seraffyn and then in the 30 ft Taleisin of Victoria, whilst Eric and Susan Hiscock similarly cruised widely over a forty year period in various yachts which were all called Wanderer. Both couples have written books of their voyages and sailing techniques.

In 1985 the two boats and cruising couples met off the Bay of Islands and Lin Pardey described the history of this meeting in her September 2009 newsletter.

More than 24 years ago, Larry and I sailed to New Zealand to rendezvous with Eric and Susan Hiscock. We had used their books as inspiration when we fitted out Seraffyn. Over the course of Seraffyn’s eleven year circumnavigation we had the privilege of meeting Eric and Susan in four different countries. When we went back to build Taleisin, an enjoyable correspondence grew. Then when launch date came Eric wrote, “Of course you’ll sail down here and show us this new boat.” It took us almost two years of enjoyable cruising before we made it to the Bay of Islands in the north of New Zealand.

The Hiscocks arrived two days later having just sailed Wanderer V across the Tasman Sea from Sydney, Australia (Eric was 77, Susan 73). The reunion was lovely. “Plan on staying in New Zealand for the winter too,” Susan told us. “That way you’ll get to really know how nice it is to sail around here.” She and Eric then marked our charts with their favorite anchorages.  

The painting was based on photographs that Lin kindly provided of both yachts which I then developed into the sailing scene, with the approaching rendezvous between the two boats.

This art site also includes paintings of the Pardey’s Seraffyn and the Hiscock’s Wanderer II and Wanderer III. There is a wide range of information about the Pardeys on their website.

Specifications Taleisin of Victoria
Designer – Lyle Hess
Builders – Larry and Lin Pardey
Length on Deck 29’6″
Beam 10’9″
Draft 5’3″
Sail Area 740 sq ft
Engine None – used 14 ft ash sweep for sculling

Specifications Wanderer V
Designer – Alan Orams
Builder – Orams Marine – Whangarei
LOA 39’6″
LWL 33’6″
Beam 12′ 3″
Draft 5′ 3″
Engine Yanmar 20 hp diesel

Tallship Sunset

marine art jack woods sunset seapainting tall ships

Painting Oil on Linen
60 x 45cm

This painting was based on my experience voyaging on the Tallship Enterprize, where one of the special moments was to experience the variety of different weather conditions, and particularly the picturesque sunrises and sunsets. Every sunset was so different with such a variety of coloured skies as the sun ‘kissed the horizon’

Seraffyn off Kronborg Castle

Seraffyn Kronborg Castle
Painting Oil on Board
60 x 45 cm

The painting depicts Lin and Larry Pardey in the cockpit of their reefed 24ft timber sloop Seraffyn, sailing past the Kronborg castle in May 1973

The scene is based on a photograph taken by Tom Nibbea, which he provided to the Pardeys and was included on the cover of their first book. Lin provided me with a copy of the original photo showing Seraffyn sailing in gale conditions and looking in her element, with two reefs in the mainsail, and comfortably powering through the challenging sea conditions. My painting expands the overall scene with the additional gaff rigged yacht sailing inshore and a broader interpretation of the sailing conditions.

Further information on Lin and Pardey’s voyaging in both Seraffyn and Taleisin can be found on their website which includes their wide range of books and other information on this famous cruising couple.

Designed by Lyle C. Hess
Built by Larry Pardey
Rig: Cutter
Length Overall:  24ft 4in
Beam: 8ft 11in
Displacement: 10,686 lbs
Engine: None – used 14 ft ash sweep for sculling

Williamstown Dockyards 2014

Painting Oil on Canvas
91 x 61cm

The painting depicts HMAS Adelaide(L01) and HMAS Canberra(L02) during the final stages of fitting out at the Williamstown Dockyards in 2014, as the sun sets behind these ships, symbolising the impending closure of this historic dockyard due to lack of on-going contracts.

In May 2014 I was returning to Docklands on the tall ship Enterprize, after a filming session near Sandringham.  As we crossed Hobson’s Bay there was a brief period where the two Canberra Class Helicopter Landing Dock ships, of the Royal Australian Navy, were silhouetted against the setting sun. The ships were lying next to each other in opposite directions, giving the ‘banana’ boat type appearance.  I took a series of photos hoping to eventually have a go at capturing the dramatic sky and dockyards in oils.



dragon sienna classic boats marine art jack woods seapainting
Painting Oil on canvas board
18 x 12in

This painting depicts the Dragon class yacht Siena competing in one of the races in the 2017 Classic Yacht Association of Australia Cup Regatta, held at the RYCV. Siena is in a pursuit chase surfing the waves as she passes the yellow Tumlaren Dingo, and on the port side the Tumlaren Zephyr.

I had been invited by the skipper of Siena, to join the crew in this race, and it was a thrilling run as we chased the two Tumlarens, passing them shortly before we reached the next mark, and the beat back to the finish line.

Specifications – Dragon Class
Designed Johan Anker – Norway 1929
Crew 2 to 4
Draft 3ft 11in
LOA 29ft
Beam 6ft 5in

Racing – Albert Park Lake

racing albert park lake Impulse dinghy seapainting jack woods marine artist
Painting Oil on Board
91 x 61cm

Impulse Dinghies have commenced their race at Albert Park Lake in Melbourne, as the Sabre dinghies manoeuvre at the start line, waiting for the starting signal, from Albert Sailing Club’s pontoon start boat, Ariel II, in Autumn 2017.

The painting was developed from my own experience of sailing on the lake and includes some of the active members boats of the time. The white buoy in the foreground is well known to the club members as the ‘yellow’ gate mark which is significant in the final stages of the race.

The single handed Impulse dinghy is a restricted one-design class, 4m in length, with a minimum weight of 47kg and a standard sail area of 7.8sqm. The dinghy was originally designed by Arthur Caldwell in Melbourne Australia during the mid-1970s as a home built plywood sports sailing dinghy that could be sailed on Port Philip Bay

HMAS Sydney

HMAS Sydney marine art jack woods seapainting
Painting –  Oil on board
91 x 61 cm

The painting depicts the HMAS Sydney(FFG 03) an Adelaide class guided missile frigate which was launched in 1980 and decommissioned in 2015. She was the fourth ship with this name and operationally was involved in Australia’s responses to various conflicts including the Fijian coups d’état and the Bougainville uprising. She was also deployed on five occasions to the conflicts in the Persian Gulf.

I completed this painting in relation to an exhibition which had a theme ‘ The relationship between Humanity and the Sea’.  When I heard that this ship was to be decommissioned I thought about all those sailors who had lived on the ship for a long period and how they felt about the decommissioning and loss of their ship, and water based home.

Adelaide class guided missile frigate
4,100 tons
29 knots

(Painting developed with reference to several RAN photos)

Enterprize on Slips

Enterprize slips duke and orr marine art jack woods seapainting
Painting Oil on Board
60 x 45cm

Every one to two years Melbourne’s Topsail Schooner Enterprize is slipped at the Duke & Orr’s shipyard at Docklands. Prior to the slipping volunteers assist with much of the maintenance work including removing, checking and tarring running rigging; insitu checking and tarring of standing rigging; checking all the sails; scrapping and re-varnishing all spars, and many other jobs needed to ensure Enterprize looks and operates as well now as when she was launched in 1997. For further information refer to the Enterprize Web site.

I felt the mix of the traditional tall rigger, sitting amidst the solid horizontal support beams and the maze of vertical structures, including an elevated walkway, created an interesting painting composition.

Further details on the Enterprize are provided in some of the other paintings of that vessel