Sea paintings - 'The Law of Storms'
Three paintings based on drawings made near Burrastow, the west side of Shetland. 
A wild day of south-easterly winds, so strong I could hardly stand up, bringing vast waves crashing over the skerries.
It was the day I lost my rucksack holding all my drawings and materials; it was blown into the air and claimed by the sea. 

I have called these paintings the law of storms having come across a book by Henry Piddington, an English sea captain who sailed in east India and China, and wrote a book describing his studies in meteorology of tropical storms and hurricanes. From his observations of ships caught in storms he noted the circular winds around a calm centre ran anticlockwise in the northern hemisphere and clockwise in the southern hemisphere. He introduced the name 'cyclone'. His book 'The Horn-Book for the Law of Storms for the Indian and China Seas' was first published in 1844.

The book contained a 'Storm Card - a translucent sheet (originally made of horn) showing a diagram of a cyclone; this could be placed on a map enabling wind directions to be compared by any sailor in order to identify a cyclone, and having done so, take a tacking course to avoid it.

©2018 Janette Kerr