Retiring from a company for someone who has demonstrated passion and heart in their work, continuously over four decades is a tribute to the individual. By way of appreciation the retiring employee is often presented with a gift, usually something special that recognises their decades of service.
The newly commissioned piece shown below was presented to such a special person. Mick Farrell spent most of his working life as a worldwide shipping expert in the chemicals industry. Mick originally from Chester, UK, joined Shell in his late teens and over the next four decades, took various roles and challenges within shipping.
In 2016, he decided to leave his employer after 41 years to enjoy his retirement with his family. I know Mick well and was lucky to be given the chance to be mentored by him during my time at Shell.
This piece was painted especially for Mick and was presented to him at his farewell in London, in November 2016. The piece captures all the meaningful elements, related to shipping with a flavor of China where Mick had had been involved for many years.
After my usual research before I settle down to paint, I decided to paint a Chinese Junk boat and an old wooden boat, resting on the water, ‘watching’ the sunset.
Chinese Junk boats originate from HK, but have a special meaning between UK and China. Many Chinese used the boats as transport travelling from Chinese coastal areas to South East Asia in the early 20th century. The old wooden boats used to be the main transportation means around the East China River too.
The bright purple and pink light symbolises a peaceful and relaxing retirement life for Mick.
"I was delighted to work with Michelle Ma to find a unique present for an esteemed colleague on his retirement. Her creativity and thoughtfulness meant that we were able to find a subject matter that was meaningful to our team and colleague, as well as connected to Michelle’s style. The resulting painting is stunning and we were proud to present it, as our colleague was surprised and delighted to receive it. Thank you Michelle”. - Catherine Hall, General Manager, Marine, Shell Chemicals ( The lady in pink in the above photo )