Cruising: A Sailing Artist

Julia Oleksy by Johnny Morant

On the Boat.

A view of the boat.

Travel is an absolute necessity for an artist. Johnny Morant has sailed the Mediterranean with a view to producing oil paintings for his fourth solo exhibition at Rountree Tryon Gallery, London, this September.

Together with Julia Oleksy, who quit her job in renewable energy for the five month voyage, the couple had no previous sailing experience.

“It was imperative that I gained my RYA Day Skipper qualification and VHF license,” says Johnny. “After which we began searching for a boat. We bought a 2002 Beneteau 393 in Lefkas, Greece.

“Through trial and error, will and determination (not to mention generous help from the local sailing community) we launched the boat and set about building our confidence in the Ionian.”

The couple managed every aspect of de-wintering, including extensive hull work. On the water they tackled many of the usual issues and running repairs without disaster.

As keen photographers they documented the trip with high quality images and a diary Blog.

“I sailed with my painting equipment and made small oil paintings and sketches along the way, in preparation for the resulting solo exhibition of oil paintings.

“Over five months we became proficient at handling our boat and enjoyed receiving guests onboard along the way. We visited many islands including: Lefkas, Corfu, Sicily, Sardinia and The Balearics before lifting the boat for winter in Spain.”

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