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Story by Roselle Tenefrancia

“I love to paint sailors’ memories onto their own charts. The old paper chart still holds such fascination. I find that when people see my work, they are not just looking at the painting; they are identifying and remembering the places on that chart they have raced or cruised past – or may have anchored for a night or two.” – Del Morrison, sailor and artist

A couple of former Brisbane and Gladstone Yacht Race competitors, Trevor “Trusty” Gourlay and Kerry “Dicko” Dickson, have revived their sailing memories with recent paintings by Del Morrison. Trusty and his wife, Deb, commissioned a painting of their boat, The Liquidator, on their old navigation chart, while Dicko received a painting of the Brisbane to Gladstone 2019 Yacht Race for his 80th birthday.

The Gourlays commissioned Del to create a painting of The Liquidator. Trusty Gourlay sailed and won his first Brisbane to Gladstone race on Incredible, which ironically was the sistership to The Liquidator, the boat that he and his wife, Deb, purchased some 35 years later. The painting of The Liquidator was designed to include the chart of Mooloolaba where she sailed for over five years. It includes the distinctive pink of their asymmetrical spinnaker, the regular crew who sailed her, and locals will recognise the Mooloolaba Lighthouse and water tower in the background. Deb is also a world-class paddler, so the painting includes paddlers coming out of the entrance of the Mooloolah River.

Del was also commissioned to create a painting for Dicko’s 80th birthday. Dicko first competed in the Brisbane to Gladstone race in 1981 on Coast Watcher with George Watson as skipper and navigator. His next ventures were with Rudyard Kipling and Ocean Venturer, both owned by Peter Holm. His fondest memory was having the honour of sailing with Peter’s father, the late Ivan “Skipper” Holm, creator of Laurabada. He describes the experience of sailing with Ivan as wonderful.

As a sailor herself, Del is able to transform sailing and boating memories into her art. “I love to take the experiences of sailors and create lasting memories of their adventures on the ocean,” she says. Her love of sailing started as a young girl sailing with her father. She has raced in the Heineken Cup in the Caribbean, the Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race, the Australian Women’s Keelboat Regatta in Melbourne, and many other long and short distance races in Australia. She also has helped deliver boats overseas and within Australia. “The experience and knowledge allow me to depict the details of a boat, its hull and rigging, angle of sail, and the effect of the wind on the water, and have inspired me to capture my experiences and those of other sailors through my art.”

The exciting part for Del is that everyone’s memories are different. “It is great to work with clients and custom design a painting using their selected chart and a photo of their boat,” says Del. “I was so pleased with a client’s reaction to his painting saying he was ecstatically happy with it! The chart was relevant to where the boat has sailed, and the painting just ‘nailed’ the boat. It brought back wonderful memories of the great times he and friends had on the boat.”

Del can be commissioned to create custom made paintings. Clients can even choose either a painting where the boat is going downwind with the spinnaker flying or upwind on a starboard or port tack. These unique paintings make wonderful gifts, which are often given by a partner, son or daughter, to the sailor in their family.


To discuss designing and commissioning your own painting, enquire at or go to the website





Published in print July-September 2021


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