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First Canvas Boards 1978

First Canvas Boards 1978

This is being posted as a part of an ongoing discussion with Donald F Meek and others about first works.

1978 was the 10th Anniversary of the Wahine and that was what was painted. the titles are what I wrote on the backs at the time. the bottom painting was done in September and the top one not too

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Thanks so much for showing us these, Martin, and for your comments on other pics. I had a very good correspondence with Emmanuel re. the 'Wahine', as I was so shocked by this tragedy, and I was still thinking about it 40 years later. Shows you what an impact it made on my young mind. The 'Wahine' was built on the Clyde, just across the road from my 'digs' when I was student at Glasgow University, and I couldn't believe it when I heard that she had come to a terrible end. I thought she was a beautiful ship, with a wee touch of the QE2 in her design - same era - and I felt proud that we Scots had built her. I have found artwork on the 'Wahine' (some other fine pictures on this website) very therapeutic, as these disasters tend to haunt me, especially when I have an interest in the ship concerned. Emmanuel's book on the 'Wahine' is a most respectful, elegant and moving tribute to all concerned on that terrible morning. Hard to read it without tears. I said to Emmanuel that I hope to make a model of the 'Wahine' - she was such a lovely vessel in my eyes. The 'Rangitira' was somewhat similar, though not Scottish built (!). I felt the designs of both ships had managed to combine 'functionality' with very considerable 'elegance' - not easy with car-ferries. Thanks so much for sharing these very moving depictions - which must have been sore to paint. Donald
 

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Hi Don,
Thanks for your toughts. As you will see in my post I have my own connection with the Wahine. I have never seen any local tonnage that could described as "elegant or beautiful".
Emmanuel's book is often refered to for my research and he did will for the length restriction he faced. I bet it would have been a hard edit job.

Both these paintings have error of one kind or another. I am currently working on an up dated version of "Abandon Ship!" using what I know now.

Did you see the launch? That is something I'd love to try painting. I understand that famous Scottish comedian Billy Connelly worked at Fairfields as a welder and he has been said to have been greatly saddened when he heard of her loss as she was one of his ships.
 

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I find your paintings very moving.They express your feelings and to me that is the most important quality in a painting.They will lead me into examining the story of the disaster.
I was a schoolboy when the PAMIR went down in the atlantic in the 50s and I was so moved that I chose that as a subject for my artwork exam.I only had ten seconds to absorb the TV photo of her in her prime the rest was imagination.
I wish my parents had kept it.Thanks for your comments I do appreciate them.
 

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Many thanks Scorcher,
Another reason for my work on the Wahine is to show what was not able to be photographed.
especially the early hours of the event. The one looking out over the bow was inspired by the discussions I have had with the Captain's godson son.

He told my how the master open one of the bridge windows and stuck his head out to try and see anything that may help them get their bearings.

When he saw the light ahead they went astern and onto the reef.
http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/148990/ppuser/1557
you can read the full account here: http://www.thewahine.co.nz/wahine.html

Do you still have the Pamir art work?
 

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Hello again Ngaio 62. Thanks for the links.I am not a technically minded person but after reading about those delays and "teething problems" my first reaction was; not a great advert for UK shipbuilders.She was a good looker though.
I have some slides of the RANGATIRA at Falmouth and can see the resemblances.
I was disappointed in my parents not saving my PAMIR painting.
I was only 14 but it was the best I had done at that time.I do think it important that parents should save their childrens earliest works.
Best Wishes.
 

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