Aurora Australis was built in New South Wales, Australia, in 1990. She is Australia's p rimary research and service vessel in the Antarctic and is capable ofbreaking ice 2 meters thick at a speed of3 knots. She is ftequentfy seen in her home port ofHobart, Tasmania, between October and April each year. as the work progresses I feel that it is important to be aware of the way in which the medium is helping to develop the work almost unexpectedly. The completed painting is a result of my own intentions and exploiting the sometimes unexpected results of watercolour. I do not feel , nor ever want to feel, that I have mastered the medium. Consequently, although I draw my subject carefully, use photography, maintain consistency with the direction of light and effects of wind, preserve the harmony of the subject with the elements, and keep in mind the basic ideas and mood of the painting, all of which inspired me in the first place, there is excitement in knowing that the finished painting always varies somewhat from these beginnings. ,!,
This painting of the modern racing sloop Sailabiliry in the Sydney-to-Hobart race captures the excitement ofocean racing.
Mr. Mearns Lives with his wife Sheila in Hobart, Tasmania, in a home overlooking the harbor. They and their three sons enjoy sailing and traveling. Biff is a member ofthe Australian Society ofMarine Artists and has exhibited with the Royal Society of Marine Artists in London. 22
SEA HISTORY 92, SPRING 2000