Describe your business?
Started about 25 years ago when I began selling very small limited edition copies of wonderful nautical scenes that had inspired me through my life and 37 years in the Royal Navy. This then morphed into selling originals which now comprises 80% of the day’s work.
Finding the originals – at auction or from private sellers – negotiating their purchase and attending to their condition (sometimes truly awful!), researching the story of the picture and looking for family or other links to the picture, and then finding a buyer. It can be quite fascinating and takes me, usually via the internet, to people all over the world. My client base is pretty predictable: mariners (or ex mariners) of every type in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA. And would-be mariners too who love a painting of a rough sea but who went for a nice steady career behind a desk and who were home every evening for supper but who wished perhaps that they had run away to sea after all!
How much do you enjoy art fairs?
Initially it depends on the simple admin basics such as ease of parking to unload a car full of fragile pictures, the ability to get those pictures to the hanging wall without too many steps to climb and over officious “assistants” who quote health and safety restrictions as they obstruct your way….! Once set up, chummy with next door exhibitors and with the supply lines to the nearest cappuccino established, what makes for enjoyment of course is lots of mates and familiar clients who have just received their city bonuses coming along and grabbing the paintings off the wall! There is a lot of fun to be had when the overall atmosphere is right – which it will be here in the Mall Galleries of course!
Is this what you wanted to be when you grew up?
No, most definitely not. I was off to sea to win fame and glory fighting for Queen and Country!
Rum ration, lime or lemon, or a girl in every port?
All of the above. Prefer limes to lemons.