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Posts tagged ‘Boats’

Oxford-v-Cambridge: Punting Pleasures

While the archetypal image of Oxford and Cambridge may be a gown-donned student, mortar-board on head, rushing around on a bicycle with a book under the arm, another is the slightly more tranquil pursuit of punting. Whether it be on the calm, narrow bends of the River Cam in Cambridge, or on the tranquil and bucolic waters of the River Cherwell in Oxford, punting in either city is the ideal way to experience their charms from a unique and consistently stunning viewpoint.

Punting in Oxford

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Much like taking a trip in a gondola in Venice, floating around on a punt is truly unique. Because the punt is traditionally a flat-bottomed boat designed for use in small rivers and shallow waters (hence the ability of the punter to steer the punt forwards by propelling a pole against the river bed), passengers enjoy the experience of lying back almost at the same level as the waters which immediately surround the punt, giving one the impression of skimming the surface of the water much like the ducks and swans which will invariably swim alongside you.

As these photos show, punting in either city is both a popular and a beautiful experience. Though in so far as the cities compete, I must give Oxford the gold medal in this race. For in Oxford I was able to punt relatively cheaply and with the tranquil luxury of having very few people around. By contrast, in Cambridge the cost was so exorbitant – and based on being ferried around in a shared punt with at least half a dozen others – that I decided to give punting a miss. One should never be made to punt with strangers. And probably just as well we gave it a miss, given the frequent collisions we bore witness to as the punts came around the narrow bends near St. John’s.

Punting in Cambridge

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But whether it be in Oxford, in Cambridge or in both, if you have the opportunity to indulge in a little punting, I urge you to do so. It’s so rare these days to have the chance to truly unwind, and watch the world around you from the unique and somniferous perspective of water.

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© Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm, 2019. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

Norms Palma Series: Paseo Marítimo

It may be mere weeks until Christmas, and while the streets of Palma de Mallorca are finally alight with the most impressive panoply of festive fairy lights and bustling with late night shoppers, by day, when the sun remains shining, Mallorca remains a summery affair. Once you are next to the water, enjoying the rays of clear sunshine refracting across bobbing water and dazzling the many white boats resting in the city harbour, you could so easily be in the summer. I guess it is that reason alone which makes Mallorca so popular in the winter as well as in the summer – for now is the time to reap the rewards of both seasons.

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Norms in the Port of Palma (2016 ©Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, pen on paper)

This is very much how the sun-loving Norms feel, whose great joys in life include a chief enjoyment of the water, especially in good weather. And what better way is there to enjoy both fire and water than on a day of bobbling about on the Mediterranean. Why, to gain the pleasure of the mariners life, a Norm doesn’t really need to leave the harbour. Which is just as well, since Palma’s harbour is rather congested at the best of times, and a Norm may find it a simpler affair to enjoy his or her boat whilst still moored in the city waters. And why not, since from there they can enjoy the magnificent view of Bellver Castle in the background to boot. Now that’s what Norms call a sailor’s life.

© Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm, 2001-2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. For more information on the work of Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, head to his art website at www.delacybrown.com

My Palma: 6 months, 157 buildings and 205 boats

I interrupt my weekly digital exhibition of gouaches in my Ocho Balcones collection to present, with a considerable degree of excitement, my newest oil painting: The Bay of Palma. Started back in April when I found a typical little postcard of this typical view of the sprawling bay of Palma de Mallorca, I couldn’t resist the temptation to paint this city I have so come to love on the largest scale possible. So starting work on an immense 152 x 101 cm canvas, I set about painting what must be one of the most complicated painting projects of my art career.

Just the cathedral alone took endless hours of laboured work and adjustments of proportion, let alone the city which surrounds it and then those dreaded boats. Ah the boats… how I agonised over painting these seemingly innocuous white forms, correcting shadows and trying to paint masts with a shaking hand. But once 205 of them were done, I stood back in pride and admiration at what I had a achieved: a landscape which is both a typical view of this most admired of cities, but which was nonetheless technically difficult to capture, both because of its size and its detail. But I am delighted with the result.

Bay of Palma Water

I am therefore proud to share this painting exclusively on The Daily Norm along with a few shots of some of the many details which fill the work. I hope you like it!

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© Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm, 2001-2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. For more information on the work of Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, head to his art website at www.delacy-brown.com

Arrival – Painting the moment when the Mallorca Move sunk in

In the time since we arrived in Mallorca a little over 2 months ago, I have been constantly creating. Such are the benefits of stepping into an intrinsically creative role as Artistic Director of an amazingly dynamic company. But the time for painting for my own personal collection has not been so profuse. Yet I knew that I was going to paint very soon after we arrived. It was in fact on the Tuesday following our arrival on a Saturday evening that a painting first appeared in sharp focus in my mind.

We had stepped out on a walk one afternoon in search of water. Living in a city next to the sea, an awareness of the ocean is continuous, and yet an immediate proximity with the water is not always so easy. Here in Palma, before you get to the sea, you need to traverse roads and parks, jogging lanes and a busy harbour. But on that afternoon, we walked our way through one section of the harbour, passing yacht clubs and huge boats being renovated for the summer, only stopping when we came to the water’s edge.

Arrival (2015 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, oil on canvas)

Arrival (2015 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, oil on canvas)

There, sitting with my legs flopped over the harbour edge mere inches from the surface of the water, I gazed directly into the sinking sun before me as it plummeted behind the hillside silhouette and the outline of Bellver castle sitting atop the city. The sky was glowing more and more yellow, and as the light darkened, the water became more like silky liquid ink, and the reflections upon it were golden. It was in this moment that I allowed myself to dream, to wander from reality into a moment of a pure epiphany; a time in which it dawned on me for perhaps the first time how our lives had changed for the better, and how we had moved to a paradise of Mediterranean harbours, of white gleaming yachts, and sunshine.

And there it was. An image of that same view floated into my mind. It was always intended to be a simple image – just the water, the sun, the reflection, the sunset and the cluster of white yachts bobbling upon the water. Yet in that simplicity there is carried a weighty realisation – that we had made the big leap to a new life and a new beginning – It was the moment of our true arrival.

© Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm, 2001-2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. For more information on the work of Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, head to his art website at www.delacy-brown.com

Natale Italiano | Naples – Photography Focus: Ripples of the Riviera

I may have thought the ripples and watery reflections of Venice were great, but in the sun-drenched marinas of Naples, we were given a ripple spectacle like Venice on ecstasy. Boats in vibrant primary colours of yellow and red and blue scattering a kaleidoscope of colour into the water, yachts with their proud white masts punctuating the cerulean ripples reflected below, and the sunshine glinting over the sea like a carpet of crystals – this was photographically seductive, ripple-ravishing heaven.

No doubt it was the timing of this visit – a sunny stroll on an otherwise cold December day – which made the experience of dipping into the sensations of the summer all the more special. Breathing air which is tinted with warmth feels like indulging in a glass of heavenly nectar after a day when wretched thirsty work has left the mouth parched; being by the sea when all of the senses have become numbed by the smoke, the rush and the monotony of city life is like a face splashed with freshness on a hot clammy day; feeling the rays of the sun filling the skin with its vitamin-filled goodness is like applying a glinting layer of gold to a dull pot of steel.

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Not only did this reconnaissance with the summer make us feel optimistically alive, and produce some stunning photos of the water, but it also seemed to have the world out to enjoy the weather in unison. And so this little set of photos includes not just the incredible effects of mother nature’s fusion of sunshine and water, but also glimpses of Neapolitan life, as fishermen go about their business by the waters edge, and locals come out from their winter-clad houses to enjoy the hope that the fine weather brings.

All photos and written content are strictly the copyright of Nicholas de Lacy-Brown © 2014 and The Daily Norm. All rights are reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.