People who know me know I enjoy drawing boats…but as it’s #ThrowBackThursday I’ve another artist’s boat drawings which I was lucky to see on the wall in Southwick Hall, May 30th 2016. They were drawn by Norman Wilkinson CBE during D Day. These are framed pages from his sketchbook. Zoom in to see the writing …there are notes about colour and exact timings….for me this artwork has so much more appeal than any studio work produced from it. I’d happily take these sketchbook pages home with me to look after!
Wilkinson was already well known as the inventor of the WW1 ship’s Dazzle camouflage. I had been able to draw a restored version of a Wilkinson ship during my time on HMS Victory during my MA. I drew from the Great Cabin window …a view of HMS Illustrious’s final crew assembly on board prior to its decommissioning, with the Dazzling – HMS M33 in the foreground! My pencil drawing later evolved into one of my MA final painted installation pieces as a view through a gun port, so I’ve added it to my #TBT post as I didn’t do Instagram, FB or Twitter at that time. D Day will be commemorated in the coming days both here in Portsmouth and more widely. I find the direct link to D Day events by Wilkinson’s striking drawings particularly affecting.
#TBT #boats #RoyalNavy #DDayLandings #NormanWilkinson #marineart #RSMA #drawing #sketchbook #WinsorandNewton #PortsmouthHistoricDockyard #HMSJervis #HMSM33
I found this online which explains more about Wilkinson and D Day….?
Passage from a Portsmouth New article……TIM KING, a former naval correspondent with The News, recalls an interview with the Southsea-trained artist who invented a revolutionary method of camouflaging warships, about his time during the D Day landings.
“Suddenly, as the mighty fleet ranges on the Normandy coast, all hell breaks loose.
Amid the turmoil, the flashes and roar of thousands of guns, shouted orders and crump of exploding shells, a man stands apart on the bridge of the destroyer HMS Jervis, oblivious to the mayhem of battle.
Striving to keep his balance on the plunging deck, Portsmouth-trained marine artist Norman Wilkinson calmly pulls out a Windsor & Newton sketch pad and rapidly records the panoramic scene as conflict rages from horizon to horizon. At lightning speed, he fills page after page with his pencil…
At the top page he scribbles: ‘06.24. Sun catching small cloud.’ On the next page: ‘06.25 – opened fire.’
Exactly what Norman Wilkinson CBE saw from Jervis’s cramped bridge in the next 60 minutes before H-Hour off Port en Bessin, was revealed at HMS Dryad, Southwick, where Allied Supreme Commander General Eisenhower and naval operations C-in-C Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsey had their HQ.”