The Manly Ferry Collaroy

Feeling a little homesick from time to time, which I think is pretty normal. So I thought I'd post a painting I've been working on of the Manly Ferry, the Freshwater Class Collaroy to be precise.

There is something very romantic about Sydney's Ferries, particularly the Manly Ferry for people like me who come from the wonderful suburb which splits the harbour and the ocean. Port Jackson is one of the most beautiful harbours in the world and the daily commute is less of a chore for the folks who make it every day.

I spent a chunk of the 1990's catching the ferry nearly every day and miss the serenity of it... The drumming of the diesels and the bow carving through the water is almost meditative. A good book, your feet up on the rail... Once upon a time a bloke could enjoy a quiet beer on a Friday afternoon as well... I think that's gone the way of the dinosaur thanks to uptight PC'ism and idiot drunks sadly.

And the sight of Manly Cove itself, with it's Norfolk Pines, pleasure boats moored, and the old ferris wheel (and way before that the Fun Pier), and the crowd at the Wharf Bar enjoying the evening as the boat pulls into Manly Wharf...

It's one of the best feelings in the world; it feels like you have come home.

I felt for a long time like I really hadn't finished this painting; like it was unresolved... But now I look at it, probably feeling a little sentimental, and I quite like the messy, gestural nature of much of it. The water, chopped like the wake of another boat, the masts of the Ferry loosely described, the bald canvas around the smokestack... I really like it.

"An intellectual says a simple thing in a complicated way. An artist says a complicated thing in a simple way."
Charles Bukowski

I've always liked Bukowski's writings and I like the sentiment here: you can say a lot with a little brush stroke, and If I was to model the entire boat like a photographic record, it would be kind of boring and static. Sometimes good things happen by accident, and compositions can be ruined by overworking.

For a few weeks there I felt like the sky needed a few clouds in it; but then again, I seldom recall the cloudy days and choose to remember the sunny blue sky days...

And I hope you'll forgive me - as beautiful an area as it is - when I think of my home I tend to look through rose coloured glasses, and imagine the sun is always shining on Manly...

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