A Brixham sailing trawler moored at Padstow. 'Smiling Morn on a silver sea.'
An open edition giclee print. 22.5'' x 14.5'' approximately
The painting is of Padstow around about 1910. Most of the buildings are the same although the large red brick building which stands on the quay these days was built just a few years ago, it is the same shape as the original warehouse but will need another 100 years to weather so that it blends in.
The inner harbour is now a floating harbour with tidal lock gates, before that there was a wide open vista to the estuary beyond. All the boats in the painting were local boats or regular visitors. The ketch moored alongside the quay is a Brixham smack the "Smiling Morn." Fishing boats regularly used the harbour when they were working the grounds off the North Cornwall coast into the Irish sea, the harbour sometimes being packed with boats from other ports such as Lowestoft, Grimsby or Brixham.
The topsail schooner ghosting past Langford's quay is the "Gypsy Maid" a local boat and typical of many working boats that plied the coasts bringing all the goods by sea.
I painted it in the morning with early mists just lifting and the activity on the quay just starting, with the baker on his rounds chatting to a customer and a fisherman loading his punt with fish baskets. The sound of the seagulls' cries echo off the surrounding buildings, with the clunk of rowlocks drifting across the water as a boat is rowed out of the harbour. The fisherman in the foreground is one of today's fisherman who was eating his breakfast as a seagull sat on the side of his boat waiting to snatch the slightest crumb, or the whole pasty! Some things have not changed at all!