by Ian Collins


Ian Collins charts the voyage James Dodds has made both from the literal to the poetic and from shipwright to painter, printmaker and fine-press publisher. Richly illustrated with pictures spanning more than three decades of inspired endeavour, the biography adds a supporting cast of artists, poets and other nautical characters.It also includes a wider study of “boats the sea has made” – vernacular vessels from the Shetlands to the Scillies and across the Atlantic to New England which punctuate the artist’s intriguing story.

‘Tide Lines is a book so beautiful to look at you may think you don’t need to read the text, but Ian Collin’s story of James Dodds’s trajectory from boat builder to celebrated artist is fascinating, insightful and elegantly told’.
Esther Freud

James and his father, Andrew Dodds

James up the Solvig’s mainmast. c.1974

Invitation card with Fish in a Basket linocut, 1984

James at the Jardine press in Stoke By Nayland, c.1986

IAN COLLINS offers the perspective of a writer steeped in the art of East Anglia. His engaging text is informed by a decade of writing about James in exhibition catalogues and regional books, and also draws on the artist’s own biographical notes.

TIDE LINES… marks on the shore left at the tide’s highest point, made of whatever flotsam and jetsam, litter and treasure, the sea flings up. The tides’ lunar cycle could also be a metaphor for the ebb and flow of the creative process. The line between land and sea is constant and ever changing, and this state of flux and fixture is the place that art inhabits. From the small craft of the shore line James Dodds has created a truly seaworthy art.

Solidarnosc. 1982. Oil on canvas. 72 x 120in (183 x 385cm)
Salthouse Altarpiece (Cromer Crabber) triptych. 2008 Oil on linen. 36 x 108in (92 x 275cm)
Memories of St Monans. 2011. Linocut, edition of 150. 20 x 28in (50 x 70cm)



“Tide Lines is a joy from start to finish and in these miserable days is one of those rare books that make one glad to be alive.”
Ken Worpole, caughtbytheriver.net

“James Dodds: Tide Lines manages to be several things at once – an affectionate family memoir, a beautifully-produced art book and a celebration of the world of the sea and the coast and those who make a living on it.”
Trevor Heaton, Eastern Daily Press.

“This is a book to treasure, relish and enjoy on many different levels.”
PW, Classic Boat

“It is not often that art is able to curtsy to craft –
but James Dodds’ fabulous and strangely moving paintings of wooden boat building
are a superb testament to the skills of marine craftsmen.”
Felix Dennis, publisher, poet and art collector.

“Magnificent. A re-vision. The marvellous as he has shown it.”
Seamus Heaney on James Dodds’ response to his poem From Lightenings viii.

240 x 300mm, 216 pp.
300 illustrations in full colour
Jardine Press & Studio Publications 2011
ISBN 978-0-9565495-3-2

Hardback special edition with enclosed signed print £150