Category Archives: commissions

The Oxfordshire Winter Pod

The Oxfordshire Pod

A commission that I completed a few weeks ago. It was for Beccy Mullett’s birthday – this is her and the rest of her winter swimming (and cycling) ‘Pod’, and her friends who are also in this picture commissioned me to draw it for her. Beccy is in the foreground, left of centre. Below are also some of the photos that I put this together from.

I shall be at the Swim Serpentine Event (Hyde Park, London) on September 22nd if anyone would like to ask me about having something similar done, always happy to talk if you have an idea you’d like made into an artwork.

This is  a digital drawing, and one of the useful things about that is  that I can make multiple prints if required – I only make prints of commissions for the people who commission them, but in this case I made up a large mounted print of this drawing for the birthday girl, and another 7 small ones for each of the other swimmers, who also gave her this as a present.

The Oxfordshire Winter Pod

The Oxfordshire Winter Pod

Some of the source photos

Some of the source photos

Rachel's Dart 10K - The Finish!

Rachel’s Dart 10K – The Finish

I have recent drawings that I can’t show you yet, so here is a commission I did a few months back – this is Rachel Ray’s Dart 10K swim. The Finish! A nice change for once to be able to say I’ve done that swim, I don’t have to imagine what it’s like, I was there (though in fact not the same year, and I think we may not have had quite such a muddy finish…).
Digital drawing.

Rachel's Dart 10K - The Finish!

Rachel’s Dart 10K – The Finish!

Yellow 'Swim Wild and Free' hat

Swim Wild and Free!

Yellow 'Swim Wild and Free' hat

Yellow ‘Swim Wild and Free’ hat

…were the words that Outdoor Swimmer Magazine came up with as a slogan on a swimming hat that they asked me to design. Here’s what I did with them…

If you fancy one of these they are available from Outdoor swimmer – not from me – go to https://outdoorswimmer.com/swim-hats, or subscribe to the magazine and you get one free with the beginner’s pack: https://www.mymagazinesub.co.uk/outdoor-swi…/promo/swimpack/
You can also get one by buying the May issue, but they have nearly run out, so that is only available for another day or so, if that.

(I don’t think they are available in that particular green, that’s just a mock-up image I did against a random hat colour…)

Simon Griffiths from Outdoor Swimmer is modelling the hat, photos by Katia Vastiau

sketch

sketch

People with hats and outdoor swimmer magazines!

People with hats and outdoor swimmer magazines!

Simon Griffiths, modelling new hat!

Simon Griffiths, modelling new hat!

image mock-up

image mock-up

My artwork is on the Sea Wall at Clevedon!

Clevedon Swimmers design

Clevedon Swimmers design

Well it’s not often you find someone nips into your local swimming spot and cements your artwork to the sea wall!
Three pictures I created for the Clevedon Marine Lake in the summer of 2016, lovely to finally see them on the wall. I haven’t actually had a chance to go and see them in real life yet and get photos in a bit of decent sunshine, so here are also the original designs so you can see them in their full detail.

Swimmer tiles being installed on the pumphouse

Swimmer tiles being installed on the disused pumphouse – or whatever this thing is next to where we get in..?

Nearly finished...

Nearly finished…

The Clevedon Swimmers tiles installed

The Clevedon Swimmers tiles installed

Crabbing panel

Crabbing panel

Boating panel

Boating panel

Boating at Clevedon design

Boating at Clevedon design

Crabbing at Clevedon design

Crabbing at Clevedon design

If you are interested in how these came to be, the original bid for lottery funding to restore the lake mentioned installing artwork, as part of the improvement of the lake, but it was no more specific than that I think. By the time Jo Tasker was lake warden I had started drawing a lot of the goings-on of swimmers at Clevedon, and other places where I went swimming and Jo asked very nicely would I like to create a picture that could go on the sea wall. My first idea was there should be 4 pictures, one for each season, but then it turned into 3 pictures, one for each activity. It made more sense, or there would just be swimmers in each picture!

And so finally they are up, all of a sudden! Swimmers, boaters and crabbers. Especially pleased that they had the good sense to put the swimmers picture next to where we swimmers change as that’s my favourite. I had to invent people for the other two panels, but the swimmers: I know all these people, they are real!

Lucy

I usually swim with Lucy at Clevedon Marine Lake. A fantastic and free facility but the lake is topped up by the muddy brackish waters of the Bristol Channel on the highest of tides, and if you can see as far as your feet through the water it is a remarkable and rare event.

Lucy asked me to paint a painting of her swimming, so we went off to Vobster with my camera, and I took lots of snaps and this painting is the result. We were just about lucky with the weather – the sun deigned to shine between the November clouds for a few minutes, but the water is lovely and clear anyway, so it’s always good for photos.

This is painted in watercolour with fragments of aluminium leaf for the bubbles.

Lucy at Vobster

Lucy at Vobster

Close-up detail of painting

Maeve Mulcahy - Fastnet to Baltimore swim

Maeve Mulcahy, first woman to swim Fastnet to Baltimore

“Many years ago, a very wise young man, Owen O’Keefe, a.k.a. Fermoy Fish, said to me, always remember if you’re the first to do a swim, nobody can ever take that from you, no matter how long it takes you to do it” Maeve Mulcahy

Some time last Autumn I was honoured that Maeve asked me to draw a picture commemorating her achievement, the first woman to swim Fastnet to Baltimore, a 10h 45m marathon completed on 1st September 2017. Her friends: fellow swimmers and crew, Anne and Eoin were important characters in the drawing, and although the water looks calm, and I gather it was for much of the time, the account which you can read here is of a long hard swim.
So this is Maeve, her crew, the Fastnet Rock and lighthouse in the background, and their Myrtle Turtle flag flying from Radiance.
There’s also a short video of the swim here.

Maeve Mulcahy - Fastnet to Baltimore swim

Maeve Mulcahy – Fastnet to Baltimore swim