Born in Sydney in 1934, Warwick grew up in Mosman, a suburb surrounded on three sides by the beauty and activity of Sydney Harbour.
Thanks to the combination of location and his father’s career in the Customs Department, his highly developed skill as an amateur artist, and the sharing of his wealth of shipping knowledge, it’s hardly surprising that Warwick developed an early interest in shipping, drawing and painting which led to his later development as a Marine Artist.
This love affair with ships spans a lifetime and encompasses childhood schooldays where he effortlessly won World War 2 with pencil on paper, enjoyed the many youthful adventures on and around the harbour checking out the “latest arrivals”, the “hardship” of magnificent years of ferry travel to his office in Sydney which saw many changes to the harbour’s waterfront and ship design. Part time art studies at the National Art School East Sydney (and later Newcastle), experimentation with various art mediums, techniques and subjects the challenge of preparing for art exhibitions, competitions and commissions added to his development, as well as attracting a growing interest in Maritime History.
Warwick ~ “I count myself fortunate over the years to have seen thousands of ships of all types and sizes. Remarkably their names, style, colour and relative size still generally linger in my grey matter, which is enthusiastically updated with new arrivals. This passing parade encompasses examples of the age of steam, sail and motor, the era of great ocean liners, liberty ships and migrant ships through to the current breed of cruise ships and functional cargo vessels, all interspersed with evocative “small fry” such as coasters, tugs, yachts and trawlers. For me all have a wonderful common link – artistic interest.
When painting marine subjects, particularly ship portraits my primary focus is to temper the subject’s realism with elements of its perceived strength, grace, beauty and character which brings into play the inspiration I derive from observing the elements in order to create a fitting environment within which the subject can ‘live’.
Whilst my realistic works range over contemporary and historic ship portraitures, maritime events and seascapes, they also extend to landscapes and historic architecture especially that found in rural Australia. My preferred medium is watercolour where I delight in the creation of subtle washes and glazes sometimes also incorporating the use of graphite, ink, charcoal and pastel to suit the subject.”
Warwick has been awarded numerous prizes and he is represented in public and corporate collections including the Royal Australian Navy, Australian Defence Industries, Tooheys Ltd., Wallenius – Wilhelmsen Lines, Port Waratah Coal Services and Carrington Slipways.
He has been a Member of the Australian Watercolour Institute since 1984 and is a Foundation Member of the Australian Society of Marine Artists, Past President and Patron of the Central Coast Watercolour Society, Member of the Newcastle Maritime Museum.
Warwick periodically writes and illustrates articles for Australian Artist magazine and delivers public interest talks on aspects of Maritime history.
He now live at Marmong Point, Lake Macquarie adjacent to the City of Newcastle, which incorporates the world’s largest Coal Port.
– Australian Watercolour Institute 75th Anniversary 1923-1998. The Beagle press 1998
– The Australian Watercolour Institute, Phillip Matthews Book Publishers 2006