Tony attended Falmouth School of Art, and afterward worked for local builders and decorators. He was also a sign writer who was commissioned by the RNLI to paint names on their lifeboats, one of which was the ill-fated Penlee boat, the ‘Solomon Browne’. On 19th December, 1991 she went to the rescue of the crew of the M.V. ‘Union Star’, which had engine failure during a severe gale in Mount’s Bay and was blown onto rocks at Boscawen Cove. All persons aboard both vessels were lost, despite heroic efforts of the lifeboat crew, who managed to get four onto their craft before she succumbed to the waves. The ‘Union Star’ capsized onto rocks west of Tater Du Lighthouse.
In 1978 Tony Warren established himself as a professional artist/painter, specializing in marine subjects. His studio was not far from Falmouth Customs House, and it became a meeting place for locals who shared a common interest in the sea. He worked in a variety of media, including oils, but his forte was watercolours. Tony had a love of the sea and of all kinds of vessels that he portrayed as he saw them or learned about them from authentic sources. He didn’t always get things structurally right concerning the ships and boats he painted, but he captured atmospheric moments sometimes indicative of the time of day, the nature of the weather, the strength and direction of wind, and various moods of the sea.
One of his paintings is appropriately displayed at Falmouth Fire Station, namely, Blaze on the ‘Tulla’, which shows firemen dealing with a fire on the ‘Tulla’, while the lifeboat stands by. Another of his paintings, an acrylic on board, namely the Fire Crew Attending a Blaze, is at the Truro Fire Station.
Tony passed away in 1994 at the age of 64, but his paintings and prints continue to give joy to their many owners, including me.
Tony Warren’s Sketchbook
Your Paintings – Blaze on the ‘Tulla’
Beaufighter Paintings – The ‘Lock Ryan’ Schooner
Penlee Lifeboat Disaster
Solomon Browne Remembered
Falmouth School of Art
Customs House, Falmouth