Nelson based artist Sean Garwood was born in England and grew up in Western Australia. From a young age Sean was influenced by his father’s highly successful full-time painting career. Growing up on the coast near the Port town of Fremantle Western Australia and motivated by his father’s success, Sean would spend many hours sketching amongst Fremantle’s rich maritime heritage. The Garwood family has its own rich maritime history including being a descendant of Admiral Eliab Harvey, who was Captain of the Temeraire at the battle of Trafalgar. The earlier family name was Harvey – Garwood.
During Sean's time growing up in Australia his father was exhibiting his work throughout Australia and later New Zealand. Thoughts of becoming a full-time artist like his father were put on hold as the natural progression of a boyhood dream to become a Ship’s Master became a reality. After arriving in New Zealand at the age of 15 it took him only 6 years to become the youngest New Zealand Deep Sea Master at only 21 and at the age of 25 he was in command of a deep-sea trawler, with a crew of 45.
Sean gave up his career at sea in 2005 to follow his dream of becoming an artist like his father. He developed his own style of realism and tackled many different subjects including many still life compositions. A trip to Antarctica, supported by the Antarctica Heritage Trust resulted in a 2015 exhibition which was widely acclaimed and gained him national recognition, with NZ Post releasing a series of stamps produced from his Antarctica images.
With his abiding affection for the sea it was only natural that he would gravitate to marine subjects. He is meticulous in researching historical subjects, ensuring every detail of a ship’s rigging, the direction of wind and tide are all accurate. Sean’s experience and understanding the sea is clearly evident in his work and it has led him to become one of our foremost marine artists.