Well hello, sailor!


Savvy old school sailors


‘The fame of heroes owes little to the extent of their conquests and all to the success of the tributes paid to them.’

– Jean Genet (1910-1986)


Portrait of Jean Genet by Richard Avedon


I have a bit of a soft spot for sailors.


Rona Green, Rusty Steel, 2009, linocut, ink & watercolour, 38 x 28 cm, edition 13


Several of my pictures salute the sailor man including Greasy Rhys, as well as his mates Rusty Steel and Topsy Turner.


Rona Green, Topsy Turner, 2009, linocut, ink & watercolour, 38 x 28 cm, edition 13


Part of the inspiration for these works is the flash of master tattoo artist, Norman ‘Sailor Jerry’ Collins.


Norman 'Sailor Jerry' Collins (1911-1973)


An example of Sailor Jerry tattoo flash


I am certainly not alone in my admiration of the sailor – other fans include:


Herman Melville, author.


Friedrick Ledebur as Queequeg in the 1956 movie adaptation of the 1851 novel Moby Dick by Herman Melville


Jean Genet, novelist, playwright, poet, essayist and political activist.


Querelle of Brest by Jean Genet


Otto Griebel, artist.


Otto Griebel, Ship Boilerman, 1920, oil on canvas


Paul Klee, artist and musician.


Paul Klee, Sinbad the Sailor, 1928, watercolour on paper


David Bowie, renaissance man.


Aye aye, David Bowie!


Tom of Finland, artist.


Tom of Finland, Sailors, 1985, pencil on paper


Jean Paul Gaultier, fashion designer.


Advertisement for Jean Paul Gaultier's 'Le Male'


One of the things that particularly tickles my fancy about Navy culture is sailors nicknames.

Crew mates are given monikers such as ‘Chalky’ White, ‘Nosey’ Parker and ‘Smokey’ Cole.


John 'Dusty' Rhodes and Bindie


The following print is a tribute to my great uncle, John ‘Dusty’ Rhodes (and it’s a tip of the hat to Bindie as well!).


Rona Green, Dusty Rhodes, 2011, linocut, ink & watercolour, 76 x 56 cm, edition 23


You may have noticed the 8 balls on Dusty’s hands – these are a reference to the character Bean, in the movie Cadence.


Charlie 'Bean' Sheen (pictured left) in Cadence


It’s time for me to sail away so i’ll leave you in the capable hands of Turbonegro, performing their song Sailor Man…



And here’s a bonus sailor:


A hirsute seafarer


Hold fast!


Precocious pets


‘Our perfect companions never have fewer than four feet.’

Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette (1873-1954)


Colette and four legged friends


Pets are a favourite subject matter of mine.

The following prints are a set of portraits I created in homage to my pets Freddie, Byrd, Shane and Googie.


Rona Green, Lagomorphia, 2005, etching



Rona Green, white Byrd, 2005, etching

Byrd and Shane


Rona Green, pretty boys, 2005, etching



Another artist – whom I adore – who was also inspired to depict pets was Lucian Freud (1922-2011).


Lucian Freud, 1947


Lucian once said ‘A painter’s tastes must grow out of what so obsesses him in life that he never has to ask himself what it is suitable for him to do in art.’


Lucian Freud, Girl with a Kitten, 1947, oil on canvas


Lucian Freud, Girl with a White Dog, 1951, oil on canvas


Lucian Freud, Eli, 2002, etching


Lucian Freud and Eli with gallerist William Acquavella in front of the painting Portrait of the Hound, 2011


Lucian’s brother, Clement Freud (1924-2009), a broadcaster, writer, politician and chef, was also an animal fan.


Clement Freud and Henry, 1966


So much so that he featured in a series of dog food commercials in the 1960’s: