For the past few weeks I’ve been busy painting scenes around me here in Ramsgate Marina. I brought my boat here earlier this year, but have only recently been able to stay onboard for a spell. Having just finished a couple of commissions, and with other projects being delayed, I started looking around me for something to paint.
I must admit that it has been more of a challenge than I expected. When you specialise in one subject for such a long time (portraits and figures in my case) every step in your work flow will have been optimised for that subject. So when you tackle a novel subject, it is rather like starting over again.
These wonderful red brick arches that loom over the marina, have begun to haunt me, as I struggle with finding a way to describe them. It has led to some soul-searching: why am I painting them; what exactly am I trying to say; what is the point?
This self-doubt isn’t that unusual for me. I believe it is healthy to constantly question yourself, and to have a clear objective in mind when you embark on a project.
So what am I doing with these paintings? I suppose I’m looking for a story; something to describe my time and personal experience here in Ramsgate. My experience staying on a boat will be different to the typical day tripper. You quickly become aware that it is very much a working port, home to Border Force vessels, an RNLI station and assorted fleet of work boats. Having sailed here, I am ever mindful of the wrecks marked on charts of the harbour approaches. And the latin motto PERFUGIUM MISERIS, carved into the lighthouse at the end of the pier (translates as “refuge for those in need”) seems really quite poignant now.
So, I’m still exploring the area, looking for stories to tell. If you are from this area, and know of any interesting places, characters or stories that need telling, please do get in touch.
If you are interested in buying any of the paintings in my galleries, don’t hesitate to send me an email (address on Contact Page)