ART by the SEA

I include below images of just a few of my pen and watercolour sketches of a variety of waterfront scenes in different parts of Europe to which I have travelled.  Click on any one to view a slide show of all the images and locations in larger format . . .

Mock Battle

09.Arundel (35)


When Normans fought
As Normans did
Upon their mighty battlefields
When once upon a medieval time
Warriors vied in combat
Life was hard
Was short
Was brutal
Living was for the nearly dead
And death was bones amongst the grass

Now we are pleased to read our books
Our Idylls
To watch staged tourneys
Of legend
of honour
and Medieval Romance
With little sense of cut and thrust
of jab and slash
of block and parry
a jousting game
bereft of passion
foam-tipped swords
and rubber blades
plywood shields
and plastic helms

men of steel
of acrid smoke
and blood-red trenches
barbed wire and bursting shells
we might know how you felt
on the fields of Passchendaele
the trenches of Mons

Verdun and Arras
The beaches of Dunkirk and Guam

If only we
And these toy soldiers
Shared the hurt
And owned the blame
Of those who gave
Their all for victory

09.Arundel (49)


09.Arundel (48)

The photographs were taken by me during a mock medieval battle display by modern-day enthusiasts of the period.  This was presented on the top of the giant keep of Arundel Castle, West Sussex, on my recent visit there in October.






‘The Three Hares’ … WHB – fibre pens – Feb.2017


Three hares, three ears, How can that be?
Look at the picture you will see.

And yet I know that they have two,
So look again … and so they do.

Chasing each other in a circle,
A never ending race eternal.

This ancient image can be seen
In many places you’ll have been.

In Devon churches they are found,        
You only have to look around.

Germany too has these three hares,  
You may come across them unawares.    


All over Europe and in France
You’ll see them do their threesome dance.

They’re found in China and Japan,
And even in Turkmenistan.

In synagogues and Buddhist caves,
New Age revels and Gothic raves.

In Devon where the tin miner inhabits
They  oft are called the Tinner’s Rabbits.

From east to west and west to east,
Along the Silk Road as trade increased.


They travelled wide in many guises,
Large and small, in varied sizes.

Yet no one seems precisely sure;
Why they are there is still obscure.

What does it mean to have three hares
Cavorting with six ears in pairs?

Yet only three that we can see,
It seems an oddity to me.

They can be seen as an illusion,
Which often leads to much confusion.

Or is it just they are a puzzle,
Certain to test your thinking muscle?

Some say they have a great affinity
With the Christian symbol of the Trinity.

Or they the three realms do unite
Earth, Sea and Sky together aright.

Others say they pledge fertility,
And that does have some credibility.

Certainly they are mysterious rarities,
Perhaps these hares were ancient deities.

I don’t suppose we’ll ever know,
It’s a mystery of long ago.

A puzzle with no attribution,
No context and no resolution.

But most of us will think, “Who cares?
Let’s not end up splitting hares!”





On The Waterfront

Six of my Pen & Wash paintings – all of European coastal towns . . . 


Hydra, Greece, one of the Saronic Islands in the Aegean Sea  …   WHB


Blackpool, Lancashire, England  …   WHB.


Le Touquet, Normandy Coast, France  …  WHB


Oporto on the River Douro, Portugal  …  WHB.


Cobh and St.Colman’s Cathedral, nr. Cork, Eire  …  WHB


Yachting in the Aegean Sea, Eastern Mediterranean  …  WHB



France – Sketches


Le Pont D’Avignon  .  . .   WHB  2015

Another collection of my sketches, mostly using pen, ink and wash with a few in pencil.   This time all are based on my various tours of France over the past 20 years.  Clicking on any one thumbnail picture will bring  up a slide show in a larger format.

The sketches, from top left are of:
Haut Konisberg from St,Hyppolite, Alsace;   Boulbon, Provence;  North Brittany coast;  
Chateau de Chambord, Loire;   Domme, Dordogne;    Isle de Grois, Morbihan, Brittany;
Pont Aven, on the South Britatany coast;   Autumn in Provence;    Chapelle Saint Sixte, Provence;   Le Mont Saint-Michel, Normandy;   Vacqueyras, Southern Rhone;   Vaison La Romaine, Vaucluse, SW France.