Sunday, 27 February 2011
THE FIFTH AMENDMENT!
I reckon that's the number of times that I've made alterations to this painting over the six years since I first produced what I thought was a good representation of the MV "St. Clair".
She was completed in 1960 by the long-since-closed Hall Russell's shipyard in Aberdeen. She was the third ship to bear the name for the North of Scotland, Orkney and Shetland Steam Navigation Co. Ltd., and she turned out to be the last before this firm was taken over by Coast Lines Ltd in the mid-1960s, and this company was absorbed into P & O Ferries early in the 1970s. She was also the last side-loader on the route (the next "St. Clair" being the first ro-ro ferry), and consequently she was the last ship to use Victoria Pier for loading and discharging of passengers and cargo. I took my first trips to the mainland as a student on this ship, and I have many happy memories of wild nights on board.
The painting has spent most of the time since 2004 on the wall of the Lounge in Lerwick, and every time I looked at it, I knew that it needed more work done on it. The fifth, and, I hope, the last, changes were made to it about a week ago. I altered the sky, the angle of the horizon, the distant Sumburgh Head, and the sea behind and in front of the ship this time. I've been looking at the work off and on for the last week, and, for the first time, I have a sense of satisfaction about it. I hope and believe there will be no sixth amendment to this particular painting.