Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines commissioned me to produce some paintings for their ship The Enchantment of the Seas. They gave as their brief, "As the style of the Windjammer Café is very nautical - it was felt that work of this nature would be best - there are already two large boat sculptures in the space so the paintings should contain views across water with colourful lighthouses and life rings, they should be whimsical, nautical, fun images"

Key words:
Royal, Caribbean, cruise, enchantment, windjammer, nautical, views across the water, lighthouses, life rings, colourful, whimsical, fun.

Royal - superior, dignity, glorious, noble
Caribbean - exotic, warm
Cruise - romance, travel, style, vacation, exclusive, luxury
Enchantment - delight, enthrall, magic, bewitch, sirenic, charm
Windjammer - elegant sailing ship
Nautical - sea, diving, sailors
Views across the water - seascapes, reflections
Colourful - pattern, primary colours, decorative
Lighthouses - tower containing a beacon / source of light for guiding ships
Life rings - circles for throwing
Whimsical - quirky, different, fantasy, humour
Fun - lively, interesting, enjoyable, memorable, happy

To create images using my interpretation of the keywords in such a way that the paintings fit with RCCL’s image of style, class, sophistication, luxury, elegance, quality and originality - or as tall an order as any tall ship. RCCL is not a cross channel ferry service nor a motorway service station and requires something special, something more than decorative space fillers, something thoughtful, inspiring and memorable - in other words art.

Realism, surrealism, Magritte, and the satisfaction of making an interesting painting: If it’s not interesting for me why should I expect it to be so for anyone else?

(Click on the thumbnails to see a larger version and then click on the painting / panels to see details.)

Coming Into Harbour

81 x 119 cm - oil on canvas on aluminium

A view across the water, the Captain training his binoculars on a clipper going into the harbour, what could be more nautical?

Coming Into The Harbour

The Quoits' Champion

3 panels each 60 cm x 70 cm - oil on canvas on aluminium

A quoit is a ring which is thrown at a peg so as to encircle it, this a game which is often played on the deck of a ship. If we put one hand over one of our eyes and try to reach out to grasp something we will find that it’s difficult to judge the distance. The Quoits' Champion seems to have eye problems because he can’t judge the distance to the lighthouse - or has he? The perspective makes it look like the headland is a long way off, that the lighthouse is closer and that the Champion is standing just in front of us. But the Champion is the champion because he knows that the lighthouse is not in the distance but on the same plane as he is, in fact he is only one metre away from it because the lighthouse is on the same two dimensional plane as himself - this is after all a painting. He’s the champion because he has fooled us into believing that the Quoit’s peg is a long way off.

The Quoits Champion

The Lighthouse

3 panels each 54 cm x 70 cm - oil on canvas on aluminium

The only difference between a light bulb and a lighthouse is the scale (including the scale of the electricity bills) as both preform exactly the same purpose which is to guide us in the dark. A lighthouse is a building which houses a light, so it seems quite normal that a lighthouse should have a giant bulb on the top of it; and equally natural that it should have a light shade. A lighthouse is there to be seen, a lamp is there to see by.

The LightHouse Bulb

Bird's Eye View

3 panels each 60 cm x 70 cm - oil on canvas on aluminium

In Hemmingway’s The Old Man and the Sea the old man caught a huge tuna which was eaten by the sharks before he could get back to harbour. In this painting the sea gulls flying high have noticed that the fisherman has just caught a fish.

Bird's Eye View

The Light Park

3 panels each 54 cm x 70 cm - oil on canvas on aluminium

If one lighthouse will work then twenty five will work much better, no? But of course that might be a bit vulgar and an eye sore so the best solution would be to disguise them by painting them sky blue with little fluffy clouds on so that during the day no one can complain ... and then at night - whoa ha! It’s party time folks!

The Light Park

In The Studio

Royal Caribbean International

Paintings for The Enchantment of the Seas