My interest in ships and the sea has been lifelong. Going back to my earliest memories.
I can recall being fascinated by the activities of my paternal relatives, fishermen our of Montrose on the east coast of Scotland.
I was raughr rhe rudiments of sailing a small lugsail beach boar by my grandfather when I was ten years old.
My father, David Mearns, took me to see vessels being built or under repair in dry-dock and taught me to row in the River South Esk, rhus whetting my appetite for things maritime.
He had settled in Dundee, where there was a well established ship building industry.
My grandfa ther, also D avid Mearns, was rhe master of the steam drifter South Esk, regisrrarion number ME 195,
which carried our a rescue in a fierce three-day storm in the Norrh Sea saving rhe crew and their vessel,
the steam drifter Yarmouth. As a result, he was awarded the RNLI Silver Medal in 1913, in due course left to me.
My uncle, Andrew Mearns, was also a fisherman, harbour pilot and lifeboat coxswain ar Montrose.
His son Andrew rook me on a trawling trip where I gained experience of fishing life.
As time went by I took increasing interest in the movement and texture of the surface of the sea, all the while trying to improve my drawing skills.
I didn’t seriously consider that I should make a career of marine painting and I studied to become a mechanical engineer.
My wife and I left Britain in 1970 with three young sons, traveling by sea to Australia, where we settled in the beautiful port of Hobart, Tasmania.
About 1975 I returned to painting seriously. Six years later I was invited to hold a solo exhibition of my work and thereafter have had annual exhibitions.
Since 1981 we have traveled extensively through Australia and to New Zealand, the United States,
the United Kingdom and Europe to make studies of vessels from small work boats to large sailing ships.
We attend traditional wooden boat festivals and make the occasional trip on sailing ships when possible.
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