Bradley Harness - Artist

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Canada's First Warship - HMCS NIOBE 1910

24" x 36" acrylic on masonite board, unframed - 2001

Artist Notes: Canada as a nation was created in 1867, and until 1910, the British Royal Navy looked after Canada's coast lines.  As the first World War approached a great naval debate took place and the Royal Canadian Navy was born.  Her Majesty's Canadian Ship (HMCS) Niobe and Rainbow were the first two vessels transferred from Britain to the fledgling Royal Canadian Navy.  Niobe was the larger of the two and was a cruiser.  She served in the world war to follow and was badly damaged in 1917's Halifax Explosion, the world's most powerful non-nuclear explosion, caused by a steam ship colliding with an ammunition ship in the harbour near downtown.  Thousands died, and 10,000 were left homeless.

This image of Niobe was painted from a black and white photo and is one of my personal favourites.

Canada's First Warship - HMCS Niobe 1910
$600
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Setting Sail Off Bronte Harbour, Oakville

16" x 20" acrylic on stretched canvas, finished edges, ready to hang - 2006

Artist Notes: I love to sail! I started off as a boy of 11 years old in Sea Scouts in Bronte (now part of Oakville).  So whenever I get the chance I enjoy watching the yachts sailing out on Lake Ontario, Lake Erie or Lake Huron.  This seen is at Bronte Harbour, at the outer harbour breakwater, with a sailboat catching a stiff breeze as she has her genoa and mainsail set, heading out for an afternoon on the lake.

Setting Sail Off Bronte Harbour, Oakville
$500
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Steamship EMERALD, Georgian Bay, 1899

16"x 20" acrylic on stretched canvas, finished, edges, ready to hang - 2008

Artist Notes: Emerald green, like the hills of Ireland, the steamship Emerald was built at Collingwood's shipyard and served as a connection from Collingwood's train station to that of Sault Ste. Marie.  The ship was made of wood and had a single propeller, with a boiler making steam for the turbines to turn the propellers.  She carried four or five dozen passengers and made the run across Georgian Bay and past Manitoulin Island, through the North Channel (the best sailing area in eastern North America today) islands and mountains to arrive at The Soo, where passengers would disembark for the train that ran to Thunder Bay and west to Winnipeg.  These ships lost favour with passengers as the rail lines were extended to cover the entire route.  And yes, Lake Huron looks that blue! It is known as The Blue Water.

Steamship EMERALD, Georgian Bay, 1899
$500
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Royal Canadian Navy Torpedo Boat, Italy, 1943

16" x 20" acrylic on stretched canvas, finished edges, ready to hang - 2002

Artist Notes: Canada's navy expanded rapidly during the Second World War, adding all sorts of ships and vessel types.  It grew from 3,000 men and 13 ships in 1939 to over 100,000 men and over 300 ships by 1945.  It ended the war as the third largest Allied navy in the world, after the US and UK.  The vessel pictured her is a motor torpedo boat, specifically one known as a Fairmile D.  Canadians crewed dozens of these in the Mediterranean and North Seas.  Canadians were instrumental in developing hit and run tactics for fast attack craft. The Canadians were known as the Pirates of the Adriatic - the sea between Croatia and Italy, where these little ships fought high-speed gun and torpedo battles against their Nazi counterparts.  They were made of wood and had little armour protection.  Aviation type fuel was highly flammable, and dozens were killed in the MTB flotillas.

Royal Canadian Navy Torpedo Boat, Italy, 1943
$500
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Lake Ontario Regatta Off Bronte Harbour

16" x 20" acrylic on stretched canvas, finished edges, ready to hang - 2006

Artist Notes: Any sailor worth his salt will readily accept a chance to race in a regatta.  This one was being held off Bronte Harbour and shows yachts with their spinnakers flying in light breezes, despite the small white caps.  After this shot the winds increased and the "parachutes" were taken in!

Lake Ontario Regatta Off Bronte Harbour
$500
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War of 1812 - British schooner Lady Prevost In Action Against American Schooners On Lake Erie

16" x 20" acrylic on canvas board, unframed - 2009

Artist Notes: Canada and the United States may be buddy-buddy now, but that was not always the case.  Numerous times the US government eyed the Canada provinces hungrily.  The last invasions and battles by official US forces (there were others in 1838 and 1866) took place during the War of 1812-15.  The initially small British regular forces and Canadian militia (citizen soldiers) held back the larger but poorly trained and led Yankee forces.  By 1814 the Americans had replaced old tired leaders with young trained ones and things got serious. Fortunately Napoleon was defeated in Europe and a flood of British reinforcements arrived that year.  The British and Canadians seized more lands of their opponents but as Napoleon escaped and resumed the European wars, the British settled for peace, with both sides giving back any gains.

The naval war was largely one of a shipbuilding race, with first one side then the other having the upper hand. On Lake Erie the British naval commander was pushed into an early battle he wasn't ready for - he lost.

Prior to that battle, this ship - HMS Lady Prevost, and armed schooner of 14 guns - was engaged in this action on the lake against two smaller Yankee armed schooners.  The outcome was inconclusive.  Lady Prevost surrendered after being badly shot up in the Battle of Put In Bay in August of 1813.

War of 1812 - British schooner Lady Prevost In Action
$400
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Canadian Corvette WEYBURN - Coming Home - 1945

16" x 20" acrylic on canvas board - unframed - 1990

Artist Notes: This class of warship was the backbone of Canada's Second World War navy.  The Corvette.  Based on a whale catcher design the Canadian and British navies produced many corvettes to face off against German U-boats (submarines) that were crippling the cargo ships running between Canada and Britain.  British corvettes were named after flowers, Canadian ones after towns.  This one is HMCS Weyburn (named after Weyburn, Saskatchewan) is seen coming alongside in Halifax after her last wartime escort run in May 1945.  They were camouflaged and 175 feet long, with a crew of 85.  Armed with one 4" gun, a 40mm and 20mm anti-aircraft guns and many depth charges, they filled the gap and were manned by thousands of new Canadian seamen and officers.  One remains as a museum: HMCS Shawinigan, a museum ship in Halifax.  Well worth the visit!

Canadian Corvette WEYBURN - Coming Home - 1945
$400
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Canadian Naval Gunners Gulf War - 1991

16" x 20" acrylic on canvas sheet, unframed, unmatted - 1993

Artist Notes: Here we have three anti-aircraft gunners operating a 40mm gun aboard a Canadian warship in the Persian Gulf in 1990-91.  Canada joined the Coalition to oust Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein after he invaded Kuwait. Two-dozen countries participated and Iraqi military and naval forces were soon disabled.  But attacks on Allied warships in the gulf did take place.  These guns were ironically taken out of storage and quickly refurbished and fitted onto the Canadian warships sent to the war zone. They were last used in the 1960s aboard Canada's last aircraft carrier, HMCS BONAVENTURE.  They have a range of about 2 nautical miles and a rate of fire of 80 rounds per minute.   The gunners are seen in their anti-flash gear to protect their skin from flash burns.

Canadian Naval Gunners Gulf War - 1991
$400
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HMCS Regina Alongside

16"x 20" acrylic on canvas sheet, framed - 1994

Artist Notes: After the huge growth of the Royal Canadian Navy in the Second World War, most of the ships were sold off for other uses.  Those retained in Canadian service eventually were replaced by the St. Laurent-class of frigates, which were hugely upgraded to incorporate a helicopter flight deck and hangar.  These ships pioneered the operation of large anti-submarine helicopters from relatively smaller warships.  By the 1990s, those ships were replaced with the Halifax-class patrol frigates, one of which is seen here alongside, HMCS REGINA. They were larger and much more capable than the ships they replaced and are among the best frigates in service anywhere in the world.  They will be replaced in the next decade.

HMCS Regina Alongside
$500
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Schooner Empire Sandy Off Toronto Islands

16" x 20" acrylic on stretched canvas, framed - 2000

Artist Notes: This canvas shows a lovely old schooner, the Empire Sandy, sailing out past the Toronto Islands and Gibraltar Point.  The ship is a mainstay of the city's sail charter squadron and a treat to visit.  On this day the weather was overcast, and the annual Toronto International Airshow was cancelled, leaving little to admire save for the Empire Sandy.

Schooner Empire Sandy Off Toronto Islands
$500
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Shore Leave In Newfie John, 1944

16" x 20" acrylic on canvas sheet, framed - 1996

Artist Notes: A classic scene in any naval port city, sailors on shore leave. This pair is walking along Water Street in St. John's, Newfoundland, known as Newfie John.  The island was still a British colony during the Second World War and British, Canadian and American warships and cargo ships from all over the globe were regular visitors. Four years after the war ended, the colony joined Canada as it's 10th province.

Shore Leave In Newfie John, 1944
$200
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Minesweeper HMCS Middlesex Escorting Convoy, 1945

8" x 12" acrylic on canvas board, unframed - 2002

Artist Notes: This ship is one of the warships built later in the Second World War. It is an Algerine-class ocean minesweeper, HMCS MIDDLESEX. She served largely as an escort to convoys between Canada and Britain and then also after the war for a number of years.  The Algerines were a vast improvement over the Bangor-class minesweepers, which were plentiful in the RCN during the war but which suffered from shortcomings, such as a shorter range, insufficient crew accommodations, and lighter armament. They were meant for coastal work, whereas the Algerines were meant to sail the oceans.

Minesweeper HMCS Middlesex Escorting Convoy, 1945
$200
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HMCS IROQUIOS Ready To Replenish At Sea

16" x 20" acrylic on canvas sheet, framed - 1994

Artist Notes: Here we have the Tribal-class destroyer HMCS IROQUOIS coming alongside a supply ship at sea in the early 1980s.  Towards the end of that decade this four-ship class was extensively modified to carry medium-range anti-aircraft missiles, a different gun, and had a totally different funnel and mast as well as better sensors.  Replenishment At Sea (RAS) is indicated by the red and yellow flag fluttering from her mast on the starboard side.  As this risky operation proceeds, dozens of seamen will rush out and begin laying out gear for a jackstay (to transfer stores and people) and also for receiving fuel hoses from the supply ship.  

RAS-ing is exhilierating and well-received by the crew as food and mail, not to mention ammunition, new personnel, and fuel are all transferred in under an hour.  

HMCS IROQUIOS Ready To Replenish At Sea
$500
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Destroyers HMCS Skeena Alongside In Halifax, HMCS Saguenay Outboard - 1942 

16" x 20" acrylic on canvas board, unframed - 1993

Artist Notes: The Canadian Navy of 1939 was small - 13 ships and barely 3,000 men.  It was to grow rapidly in the next five years.  But in the early years ships like these pre-war destroyers Skeena and Saguenay would be heavily relied upon to escort dozens of convoys carrying troops, food, raw materials, ammunition, fuel and more to help keep Britain from falling into the clutches of Hitler.  Skeena would end up being wrecked on the rocks of Iceland after a storm sent the ship inshore. Saguenay ended up as a training ship by 1944.  They were replaced by bigger and better destroyers in their convoy escort role.

Destroyers HMCS Skeena Alongside In Halifax, HMCS Saguenay Outboard - 1942
$300
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RCN Motor Launches On Patrol, Off Gaspe - 1942

16"x 20" acrylic on canvas sheet, framed - 1991

Artist Notes: The Second World War saw a long and tiresome battle take place in the Atlantic Ocean as German warships and U-boats (submarines) tried and almost succeeded in severing the lifeline of convoys from Canada to Britain.  The U-boats tried sinking merchant ships in different areas, and ships were sunk in the St. Lawrence River in Quebec.  Here we see a patrol of Fairmile motor launches hunting subs on a bright morning.  These vessels were 115' long, wooden, and armed with smaller calibre guns, machine guns, as well as depth charges.

RCN Motor Launches On Patrol, Off Gaspe - 1942
$300
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HMCS HALIFAX At Sea With Helicopter - 1988

16"x 20" acrylic on canvas sheet, framed - 1992

Artist Notes: This is an aerial view of the lead ship of the Halifax-class of patrol frigates in 1998.  It  is from an artist rendering and the actual ship was slightly different. The Cormorant helicopter shown was never bought for these ships after all.

HMCS HALIFAX At Sea With Helicopter - 1988
$300
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