From Top Left: Sand in your Toes; Violet Sunset (SOLD) Between Sand and Calm; Down on the Sand

Whilst the inspiration came from a particular place: the final pictures are purely abstract and evolve naturally rather than through any conscious thought process.

One of our favourite anchorages is Pearl Bay north of Rockhampton.  It’s one of the most remote areas in Queensland inaccessible by road, and also one of the prettiest anchorages.

The entrance, islands and reef inside the anchorage are backed by a massive wall of green creates a safe and intimate setting.     It is so remote however, that at certain times it is used by the military for bombing exercises!   Nevertheless, and despite the occasional Chinook helicopter, there’s a special atmosphere here.  In this series my main focus was to represent this mood. The painting’s upper areas use windows and screens as a metaphors for concealment, mystery and intrigue.  Elsewhere happy motifs of water, sand dunes and people populate the scene.


I take photographs of mangrove roots, strata lines in rocks, funny headland shapes, but rarely is a photograph used as a reference to paint anything.  I’m mainly interested in painting how a place feels rather than how it looks.   One of the main advantages of sailing is that you go slow.  In travelling at 5 knots (or miles if you like) per hour, your brain really takes in the minutae.  Places that really look similar suddenly take on a personality of their own by curiosities in nature.  I find that really helps get the imagination going.


I made a list of words to describe the atmostphere of the place and went from there.  It also helps that I’ve got a spacial memory, so for instance when I’m on the helm, I rarely need to look back on charts or the navigation system to guide me into an anchorage, I can easily recall what it looks like and how to make the approach.  I find this really helps in painting too.


Aboard Island Girl the sea at 360
Under Sails of white somewhere extraordinary

Via hidden entrance left:  secret inlet.
around islands spiky topped, cascades of green

Between tides, sand and calm;
under anchor Island Girl 
Alone, save for rocks and trees,
ancient tapestries.

Adjacent to starboard; transparent tulle:
a Dugong whirlpool!   Plus coral over there;
Staghorn, brain and plate; crimson snapper, flake.

Regarding sunset: all pearly pink and violet;
besides moon and sun circlets:
metallic mountain silhouette.

Across shimmer and surface 
Below horizon forever sharp and thin
mysteries within, as
the sea always has space for jewels.


Pearl Bay Sept 2023
Karen Rogers