His Marine Painting

Dad had always had a lively interest in fine painting, especially the wonderful work done in the 1800s by John Constable and a myriad of lesser-known artists working in the same genre, right up to the 1920s-30s, overtaken by the rightful popularity of the Impressionists, and only then to degenerate into all the other “ists” and “isms” right up to the present day.

The marine commissions for Airfix lead to a couple of full sized paintings of sailing ships inspired by the work of noted sea painters such as Montague Dawson, whose marvellous brushwork in depicting the sea was inspirational. This prompted dad to try selling his work in West End galleries and literally with a cache of pictures under his arm, dad walked into the Malcolm Henderson Gallery in Bury Street, which specialised in marine paintings.

Malcolm liked his work and asked him to supply several paintings for a five man show he was organising, which dad was delighted to do. The exhibition went well but Malcolm wisely advised dad not to give up the day job just yet until he felt confident dad had been given sufficient exposure to ensure a steady flow of commissions.

Under Malcolm’s guidance this led dad to a new career which has lasted over the past thirty five years, leading to specialising in United States marine subjects for which there was a ready and appreciative market.

A great accolade for dad was to be elected to the Royal Society of Marine Artists in 1976 and follow in the footsteps of such great contemporary names of the genre as George Ayling, Arthur Burgess, Derek Gardner, Frank Mason, Keith Shackleton, Borlase Smart, Leslie Wilcox and of course Montague Dawson.