Last of the Few -Dungeness Fleet
16" x 20"
Oil on Gesso Panel
This is my latest painting off the easel and came about as a result of a small painting trip to Dungeness with my wife Catherine and stepdaughter Sam a couple of years back. I have fond memories as a child of many cold days and nights trudging across the shingle banks to go fishing with my father and his friends. In those days there were many fishing boats to be seen along the tops of the shingle. The Dungeness fleet was a well known business between many well known families. The Oilers and Richardsons being two I think I remember, they may still be a part of the Ness today.
When we went there I had forgotten how the wild unspoiled landscape had supported a community seemingly so isolated on this the most South Easterly point in the U.K. As the winds raced across the shingle banks, families survived in small huts and homes that had little or no protection from the channel gales, yet this is how it has been for many hundreds of years if not longer. In the shadow of nuclear technologies now abandoned and decommissioned these families carry on their daily business. Sadly, the sea for many is now no longer an option because of new laws and seemingly unfair legislation. Their fishing boats, the sea, and traditional way of life are becoming a distant memory.
Anyway, painting this image has bought all my memories flooding back, so guess what, I am packing the van and spending a couple of days exploring certain aspects of Dungeness, some of the old decaying fishing boats, that lay forgotten on the stones, and last, but not least the well known house that once belonged to Derek Jarman.
The only problem I have is that the weekend is looking bad weather wise, so I shall go tomorrow instead and maybe get a few days during the next week or so.
Anyway, I hope that you like the painting. Watch this space as they say for more paintings relating to the wilds of Dungeness.