Saturday, February 23, 2013

A Fishing Fleet

"A Fishing Fleet Sailing Out" - watercolour - 25 x 36 cm


Fishing at sea is a dangerous occupation, even with modern vessels and communications. I can only begin to imagine how tough it must have been in past times. In their sailing boats they were at the mercy of the wind and couldn't be sure of reaching a sheltered harbour quickly. They didn't have the luxury of modern weather-forecasting either.

Something about this piece reminds me of the watercolours that Winslow Homer painted at Cullercoats. He spent a few years there living with the fishing community and recording their lives. Some of the most memorable images for me are the women waiting on the shore and looking for their menfolk returning.



"Fisherman's Family (The Lookout)" by Winslow Homer


"Returning Fishing Boats" by Winslow Homer


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Traditional Boats

"A Fifie Taking in Sail" - watercolour - 18 x 26 cm
 
 
In the days of sail, when boats were built locally, each part of the British Isles had its own traditional design. I don't know much about boats but I doubt whether modern vessels have so much local character. One of the most common boats on the East Coast of Scotland was the “Fifie”, a sturdy wooden vessel with a long, broad hull and two masts.

It occurred to me that my mother would have been pleased to see these paintings. She used to paint seascapes in oils, under the name of Mary Lowe. She loved the Dutch seascape and landscape paintings of the 17th Century and she worked in a similar style.


"Fishing Boats in a Harbour Mouth" by Mary Lowe - oil - 18 x 26 cm