Baragoola Versus the Sun, by Paul Connor

You could call Paul Connor the kayaking artist of Sydney Harbour. I interviewed Paul this week at his Balmain home and we walked down to the waterfront at Mort Bay where he launched his kayak. Strapped to the bow of his kayak is small wooden box containing a basic painting kit including gouaches and brushes.

Living close to Mort Bay and loving to paint en plein air (he established the NSW Parliament Plein Air Painting Prize a couple of years ago), Paul regularly shoulders his kayak and pops it in the water just near the old Colgate factory which is now a very up-market apartment block.

I would like to share with you the photos I took that day, of Paul launching his little boat and being photographed by Katrina Tepper, the Daily Telegraph photographer with whom I was covering the story that day.

Paul’s paintings, full of light and atmosphere, are on view at the Depot Gallery in Danks St, Waterloo, until October 2.

I enjoy Paul’s paintings because they are full of the joy he has in exploring the tiny inlets of Sydney’s inner harbour. They celebrate the tug boats and slipways, the slop of the water against the sea wall, the oyster-encrusted wharf pylons and (as in the image above) the old Manly ferry, the Baragoola.

There is a touch of Huckleberry Finn about these paintings. And about Paul, too, I suspect.

Elizabeth Fortescue, September 28, 2010

Paul Connor getting ready to go painting on his kayak

Paul Connor launching his kayak

Paul Connor in his kayak

Katrina Tepper taking photographs of Paul for the Daily Telegraph

Paul Connor's painting kit, which he straps on to his kayak's bow

This image (above) is not of Sydney Harbour, but it is beautiful and it is in the exhibition, as well. It is called Dordogne Reconstructed.