Dhows on Gold Leaf

Gold Leaf
Arabian Dhows – Oli on Gold Leaf

There’s a story on how I ended up doing a Painting of Dhows on Gold Leaf. In 2010 I was involved in a painting of a very large Biblical scene which was to go in a church building. It was a massive project and painting, executed on 5 panels of gold leaf in oil paints. The client gave us several small boards coated with gold leaf to experiment with. So I decided to do my own paintings on this unusual and expensive surface.

I did two quite different scenes, one of the Grand Mosque in Oman, the other of some Arabian Dhows at low tide in Sur, Oman. I sold the Grand Mosque to a client in Oman, however, this one of the dhows is available to purchase. Other original paintings and prints of the Gulf can be seen on my website.

The reference came about on our first trip to Our in Oman in 2007. A client took us to Sur which was still recovering from the cyclone which hit the coastal town a few months earlier. Despite the devastation there were still a number of dhows birthed at low tide. I made some sketchbook watercolours which have been a source of inspiration.

Sur is famous for its dhow building. There is actually a dhow museum there which I haven’t visited yet. The journey to Sur was through the desert on a main road. However, on the way back our driver decided to take the shorter coastal route so that we could visit some wadis. Unfortunately, they too were damaged by the cyclone. Many palm trees were uprooted which was so sad to see.

At that time, much of the coastal road was off road which made the journey interesting.

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