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John Stobart Discusses His Art "I've always been restless, and had to get things done," says John Stobart. For a moment his ever-moving hands are still, a bright-eyed gaze confronts one from under quizzical brows. After many talks with John Stobart, the artist who may be said to have taken the marine art world by storm after the first showing of his work in this country at Kennedy Galleries in New York in 1967, this account of his work was gathered, in his words, while he talked and thought about his art. If the word "I" occurs often, it was because I was asking questions meant to be answered that way, in personal terms!-M.M.

Above, John at work in his Georgetown studio. After his first "South Street, " John came hack to the subject to create "South Street by Gaslight," the inviting scene below, full of the life of waterfront shops and pubs and of the great ships stirring in their berths after a rainstorm, under a clearing sky.

By Maryanne Murphy Marine Art Editor Where was I born? In Leicester, England, on December 29, 1929. I went to school in Derby. Derby is in the middle of England, about as far away from the water as you could get. But I visited relatives in Newcastle, and my grandmother in Liverpool. When I was eight or so I would spend all day, I remember, riding the overhead railway which had an exciting view of over 30 miles of bustling harbor, and I found I could also ride the Mersey ferry a ll day by buying a one-way ticket and hiding in the ladies room during dock inspection. My visits to Liverpool were enticing, and when I returned to Derby I was starved for the excitment of the harbor. I think that the starvation of the subject rather than everyday involvement gave me this restless fascination I have for ships, sea and man . Somehow I could never quite concentrate in school. I enjoyed geo metry, art, and geography and did well in them, but I couldn't apply myself to English, and didn't get my school certificate. I was much more interested in the war. I was fourteen at the time I did a fantastic drawing of the Bismarck, every rivet was in place! I would also spend hours making ship models, and when I was thirteen I made a canoe. My friends and I would race our canoes on the Derwent River. I later built a 16-foot fishing boat.

My father, who was a chemist, recognized my interests and had the good sense to enroll me in the Derby College of Art. 1 had a brilliant teacher who concentrated on the fundamentals of drawing, and the traditional ways of painting. We were taught to paint with a pallet of five colors using fatty oil paints. The colors? French ultramarine, burnt siena, cadmium yellow, windsor red and permanent green. We used only these five colors to insure the continuity of colors on the canvas. You would be in trouble if you used fifteen different colors, so mething wouldn't blend somewhere. We were also told to go down to the museums to look at the paintings to see how the masters did it. (The Barbizon painters were my favorites-I like very romantic paintings.) Painting is a craft which you have to learn like woodwork or metalwork. You have to have the intention and the staying power. I had a very disciplined childhood, which no doubt prepared me . Well, I learned to draw and paint, and having accomplished that believed the world to be at my feet. After four years at the Derby College of Art I received my diploma and a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Art in London where I studied for five more years. My schooling wasn't completed until 1956, when I was 27. While 1

Sea History 011 - Summer 1978  

7 IN CLIO'S CAUSE, by RADM Joseph M. Wylie, USN (ret.) • 10 TALL SHIPS IN THE PACIFIC, by Peter Stanford • 12 CAPTAIN JAMES COOK, by Oswald...

Sea History 011 - Summer 1978  

7 IN CLIO'S CAUSE, by RADM Joseph M. Wylie, USN (ret.) • 10 TALL SHIPS IN THE PACIFIC, by Peter Stanford • 12 CAPTAIN JAMES COOK, by Oswald...

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