My on-line diary began in the 1990's from my studio in the North of England. After a lapse of ten years, I resumed posting from my present studio on the Caribbean island of Dominica.

From the far beginning, the intention has been to give an insight into my working methods, and to share the triumphs, trials and tribulations of work-in-progress.

My diary pages are followed by thousands of artists, art students and art lovers in over 50 countries.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Early this month, legendary Master Mariner and owner of the Brigantine Romance, Arthur Kimberly, died at the age of 89. 

I was first met Art Kimberly while at anchor in Road Harbour, British Virgin Islands, in the 1980’s.  His ship was anchored close to my gaff cutter Born Free.  Capt. Kimberly slowly rowed around my vessel and cast a critical eye over her. 
On completing his circuit he hailed me with the words, “Who designed her?”   
Nervously I replied, “I did”. 
He made a second circuit and asked, “Who built her?” 
With trepidation I answered, “I did”. 
He scrutinised my vessel all the more critically on his third circuit and asked, “Who rigged her?”  Apologetically I answered, “I did”. 
His parting words were, “My God, she’s beautiful!”

Soon afterwards I learnt that Romance was for sale.  She was a ship I was prepared to give everything I possessed for, including my right arm and the shirt off my back.  I asked my good sailing friend Fritz Seyfarth, to come and look over her with me.  Fritz, normally more romantically inclined than even I, brought me to my senses with the words, “Roger, she’s a mistress that neither of us can afford.”

I painted a picture of her when she was hauled out for repairs.  It sold, like the ship, to her new owner.  Sadly, I don’t have a copy but here’s her photograph.

                                Wrap me up in my oilskins and jumper
                                No more on the docks I'll be seen
                               Just tell me old shipmates
                               I'm taking a trip mates
                               I'll see you someday in Fiddler's Green 


  1. The boat looks enormous : you would have needed a crew of hundreds to sail her. (I have not forgotten your link problem and I will be in contact with you about it soon)

  2. I must down to the sea again,
    To the lonely sea and the sky;
    And all I ask is a tall ship
    And a star to steer her by...

  3. Some friends of mine sailed on this boat many times with the old captain.
    I once did a painting of the ship for them.
    I tried to join her crew once, but it did not work out.

    I follow Alan's blog, that is how I ended up her.