THREE LITTLE BOATS AGAINST THE TIDE
All my paintings (but one; Sea change) have their source in real places. Although this one was inspired by a real place it was not in the Northeast of England. This painting was conceived on the top of Conway Castle. We had spent a few days in Llandudno with Andy and his son. While there we had a look round the fabulous castle. I was standing on top of one the towers looking out over the bay, at banks of yachts moored by shore all very beautiful and elegant; but closer in, and looking much less romantic. I was instantly drawn to them. They suggested so many narratives. Who had left them there? What was the occupation of their owner? They spoke to me of work not leisure. Living in an area where tourism is growing, and beauty of the environment is becoming more important than the industry that used to reign supreme, I love real live objects in the environments I paint.
Alongside this there was the force of the water that these boats where standing against. Hanging on to one sole anchor. Their tenacity was magnificent! It was obvious to me that The Godhead was here in this scene. Three in one; for us the power is in the anchor and the first version of this was a little water coloured sketch that has these words running through the water: 'We have this hope, a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters the inner shrine behind the curtain, where Jesus a forerunner on our behalf, has entered, having become a high priest for ever according to the order of Melchizedek.
This little painting is packed with meaning for me. I love the boats because they are ordinary work a-day boats. I was drawn to the strength of the anchor, while Andy sees the strength of being held together in the painting. For him it says we are stronger together. For both interpretations the safety is in the anchor that holds us against the tide that could wash us out to sea.