Barque "James Craig" from the main t'gallant yard

Hugh Cross

Carey Bay, Australia

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Wall Art

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Artist's Description

This is the view that crew have when working aloft, looking down the sails below them to the deck far below. The men in a line to the left of the deckhouse are hauling on the fore-royal halyard to set it. Hence I titled this work, “Hauling on the fore-royal halyard”.

With the original sized crew of just 15 or 16, it would take 2 to 3 hours to set all sail – that’s all 21! Today we sail with 35 deck crew so that we can get it all up more quickly on day sails taking passengers to sea every fortnight.

I painted this in gouche on watercolour canvas as a study for a larger work in oil or acrylic – which I’ve yet to do. It was my first gouche painting, so I am rather pleased with it. Particularly as the reference photo, my good friend David had taken with my camera, had the yards braced to the other tack. However, for the purposes of the composition, I wanted them to be on the starboard tack to show off the rather nice slots of blue between the sails.

Artwork Comments

  • Michael Matthews
  • Hugh Cross
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desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

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