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Harbours and moorings are rewarding places in that they seem to appeal to the adventurous spirit in all of us.   To the artist’s eye, the boats and clutter that builds up around them, provide an exciting array of shapes and colours which can stir the imagination leading to successful paintings.   Deciding how to represent what has been the true appeal of the subject is a critical phase before picking up a pencil or brush.   Keeping a strong image of the finished painting in mind maintains the synergy between looking and responding all the way through to the finish.

Hopefully, the two paintings opposite illustrate my point about pursuing different levels of emphasis .   The top painting is my interpretation of moorings on the Suffolk coast.    It is about capturing the atmosphere of a hazy day during which I enjoyed the relationship of near and far aspects of colour and tone at a very subtle level.   At the same time, I was conscious of  a “rhythmic beat” in the seemingly haphazard arrangement of the posts and walkways.

The painting of a “chaotic” boatyard below that gives a wilder and more contemporary feel where the result is not so “restful” as the Suffolk moorings.  The rhythmic element is still there mingled in with a degree of abstraction in the foreground.   The emphasis is upon getting a general sense of  the shapes in and around the boats, allowing artistic freedom to prevail.

Unlike many artists today, I have no problem in being a free spirit and I frequently move comfortably between representational and abstract ways of  working — sometimes to the despair of gallery owners and critics!

Welcome to this selection of Maritime Paintings by

TOM WANLESS NDD  DAE  M Ed  Sen ROI  RBA (ret )