Clive McCarthy’s paintings have grown out of first-hand experience gained while helping to repair the boilers of ships, including the P&O liners SS Canberra and SS Arcadia, and the SS Norway (formerly SS France), one of the last truly classic ocean liners. During his spare time he painted impressively detailed pictures of the towering cruise liners suspended surreally out of the water in the massive dry docks of Southampton and Brest. He also spent time drawing the men who laboured in the cavernous boilers of the ships on which they worked and, while afloat, he made studies of the massive seas and threatening storms that filled his horizon.
McCarthy, now 66, lives in Newport, South Wales. He has worked as a painter & decorator, a building labourer and a boiler maintenance technician. From a young age, he had always wanted to paint and eventually managed to obtain a place as a mature student studying Graphic Illustration at Newport and Birmingham. After art school he taught for a while but education budget cuts put him out of work again until he found a job repairing boilers on ships out of Southampton. It was a job that would take him on a long journey around the world, and one that would ultimately provide a new focus for his painting.