Swim hat: St Ives Cornwall

My friends at Sea Swim Cornwall invited me to design a swim hat.

Here it is:

I made two designs of St Ives Harbour, to show the East and the West of the Harbour.

The black and white is for the flag of Cornwall, which you see on the flag on one of the designs.

You can buy the hat, and many other great swimming-related items, from Sea Swim Cornwall: https://www.seaswimcornwall.co.uk/

Thank you to Tom Foreman of Sea Swim Cornwall for providing reference photos, ideas, inspiration, encouragement and practical help.

Here is me modelling the hat in Brighton last week.

I sketched the design on paper, then photographed it and laboriously traced it using “Graphic” which is a diagramming app.

Penzance small Boat Harbour

I ate a Cornish pasty watching the boats.

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The tower on the left is St Mary’s Church where I drew a picture earlier. The tower on the right is “The Bell Tower”. According to Trip Adviser, you can rent a holiday flat there.

There were people swimming in the harbour. Some one was getting dressed on steps next to the sheds in the picture. In an inner harbour, in front of Abbey Warehouse, young children dropped into the water from the road, and were recouped by a teenager on a paddle board.

Penzance and Newlyn, Cornwall


Here in the view from the windows of “Lovetts” in Newlyn. They served me avocado on IMG_2433toast, and a good strong coffee in a pottery cup. This place opposite is labelled “Barclay and Son”, the name cut in stone in 1916. Now it is labelled “The Strand” in less durable lettering painted above the door. It sells a compendium of miscellaneous objects, furniture, crockery, badges, old ship bouys. Also outside are some flower pots. The coffee shop proprietor walked across the road to buy one for a small plant. She just left the coffee shop door open, me drawing at the window, while she did so. This is Cornwall.

The next day I was to swim 10 kilometres. So I was pacing myself, and not embarking on epic walks. The next drawing I did was from the small courtyard at the back of the hotel in Penzance.


Here you see the roofs of the hotel and adjacent houses. The walls are hung with slates, like scales. The style of covering is called “shingles”, as in “a slate shingled wall”. You see one in the top left corner of the picture.

The two highest chimneys are splendid examples of the chimney-pot maker’s art. The one on the right has two downward pointing holes, and must have been hard to form in terracotta. Maybe I am the first person for decades to appreciate these chimneys and admire the workmanship.

The swim was an event organised by Tom and Jo of “Sea Swim Cornwall“. Forty assorted people swam in 4 different bays, around an island, and up and down a river, “The Gannel”. It was well organised, friendly and fun. And totally exhausting.

So the next day I strolled around Penzance and drew pictures. Here’s a view from St Mary’s Churchyard in Penzance.IMG_2495

Above the arch the stone tablet reads:


I work this out as: “This stone was placed here by Phillip Hedgeland, Master of Arts, a cleric (Prebend) of Exeter, who was the first vicar of this Church, St Mary’s.” If anyone’s Latin can offer a better translation, please let me know. On the side of the arch facing the sea was the date: 1883.

The picture, though, is really about the lamp-post. This looks like the one in the Narnia Stories. It is numbered 164AZ with a tag round its middle. After I drew it, I went to check it was a real cast-iron lamp-post and not a fibreglass replica. It was indeed a reassuring cold cast iron, and the maker had put their name in capitals in two places: HOLMAN & SONS PENZANCE”.

By the door of the church I encountered a beautifully engraved tombstone, with Art Nouveau flourishes. It told a sad story though:

In memory of HENRY M FUDGE,
who departed this life Oct 2nd 1822 aged 2 years and 5 months
also S S.F. EDDY daughter of Richard Sally Eddy of this town who died 23 June 1835 aged 1 month.

I drew this picture entirely in three colours: Prussian blue, Alizarin Red, and Indian yellow, from Watercolour box 1. 



Cornwall sketchbook

I just came back from 4 days in Cornwall,  swimming with “Sea Swim Cornwall”.

I also did some sketches.

Trevaunance Cove – quick sketch

Trevaunance Cove – sun on the sea
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Wheal Kitty: Tin mines in the rain

St Agnes: the sketch on location

St Agnes

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