While most are asleep in their cabins, a sailor sits working in repair bases with his satchel of painting supplies.
CAPTION: Leading Seaman Geoff Anthony displays his watercolour painting of HMAS Choules at Garden Island, Sydney. Story and photo by Private Nicholas Marquis.
Leading Seaman Marine Technician Geoff Anthony prefers anonymity, labelling himself his own biggest critic.
Having exhibited for many years, he chooses not to stand by his own work at gallery openings.
“I just wander around. Some of the comments you hear are just plain cruel,” Leading Seaman Anthony said.
“The purpose of art is to make people stop and think. If they go a step further to make a comment it doesn’t matter if it was bad or good – I’ve made them stop.
“My art has worked regardless of their negativity.”
His painting of HMAS Choules was commissioned by a friend whose first sea posting was on the landing ship dock and isn’t his first naval painting.
“He said he’d like to have a collection of all the ships he was posted in,” Leading Seaman Anthony said.
“I mainly do Navy but have done a few that are not. Some are for home or for friends.”
Watercolour was his chosen medium due to its difficulty and said that once he starts, he becomes lost in the moment.
It’s the silent hours of the night that speak the loudest, inside a repair base he can unroll his equipment that is tucked away and reflect.
“I’ve been painting and drawing since longer than I remember. It’s one of those things I’ve always done,” Leading Seaman Anthony said.
“To me, art is a genuine thing that keeps me focussed and level at sea.”
Leading Seaman Anthony recently had three of his artworks displayed in the 2023 Adelaide Fringe Festival, Defending the Arts.
CAPTION: Leading Seaman Anthony’s watercolour painting of HMAS Choules. Photo by Private Nicholas Marquis.