Painting of HMS Belfast – Artist’s Thoughts

©2013 - Cathy Read - HMS Belfast - Watercolour and Acrylic - 40 x 50 cm

The Warship, in this painting of HMS Belfast, looms large on the Thames. Dwarfing the buildings on the South bank. The architecture would be impressive on its own, without the nautical comparison. Even Tower Bridge seems small, as does the minuscule City Hall. It’s a matter of perspective, yes, but also it’s a matter of the scale of the ship and its significance in history. There may be other larger ships. Indeed, there are, but let’s focus on the one in front of us, for now,

London’s Warship, is a remnant of a past. We’re not prepared to forget just in case it be repeated. Although some might say we are forgetting. Forgetting how we fought with our allies, turning our backs on allegiances to those we fought hard alongside to achieve a common goal. Others might say we’re standing on our principles. I wonder, I know what I think and only time will tell if I’m right or not. Politics is complicated and simple soundbites will never give a true picture of what is really happening. It’s a lengthy topic and one beyond the scope of this post. So I’ll move on.

The ship is a monument. It’s dark elegant lines, proudly displaying the English flag. Standing still in the water, guns aimed at a point, miles away. The water below choppy from the passing boat that we’re on.

The buoyancy of large ships has always fascinated me.

How can something so big still float? I know the science, but still I marvel that a ship of that size and made of iron, sits in the water. Apparently, as light as a feather. I’m sure it even bobs in the right weather conditions. The three white anchor chains are testament to the strength required to keep the ship from leaving its permanent moorings on the South Bank.

Above, the sky displays a crumpled arch created by the cling film technique used during painting. On the Bank itself, three tower blocks stand square and solid. In contrast to the flowing lines of the ship.

Those white chains pulled taught in the current. A single anchor ic hanging on the side of the ship. Ready to be deployed, should its strength be required. The ship may be old, but it’s still alive, and is ready to do battle with whatever might come, its way in the future.

Painting of HMS Belfast by Cathy Read in Watercolour and Acrylic - 40 x 50 cm
©2013 – Cathy Read – HMS Belfast – Watercolour and Acrylic – 40 x 50 cm

This Painting of HMS Belfast has now been sold. Other paintings of the ship and the Thames are in my London Portfolio.

Curious to see more London Paintings?

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