Time in the past, I used to have a sailboat. Sailing was a good counterpoint to the
introspective world of a painter. The South West coastline near where I was living
provided good sailing waters, with many estuaries to visit to find new villages or isolated
beaches; other times I would cross the Channel and visit the French coast.
Here in LA I never wanted a boat, mainly because the sailing seemed less challenging
or interesting, although just up the Californian coast are the Channel Islands,
some desolate and with their own distinctive flora and fauna.
Now, I find myself wanting to again be on the water to visit these places.
With a friend, Malcolm, I am building a wooden sailing boat, much smaller than my UK ketch.
We think we have understood what makes boats float and how to design an efficient,
slippery shape; the maquettes have been made, with their Gothic scansions, their lines of
flowing liquid. I envision the profile of the depth of a valley where waters are brought
together, the visions now placed to one side for reference, for now we have started to
fashion the keel.
There are various factors which suggested the idea of making a boat. If I refer back to my
past work, the coastline has featured as a subject in a large series of paintings: the rock
structures as waypoints; the Propeller series; next, the wooden boat paintings, perhaps.
But as with the videos of the running motors, I want to show them working as Seagull
intended, pushing along a boat at times of no wind. So the venture is an art-piece and,
as with any work, I do not know what will come from it. Perhaps the boat will never be
completed, remaining but a skeletal form, only good to transport dreams, but then it might
function, remaining afloat long enough to sail to Catalina, an event that would await an
event. DE. '10