For former shipyard employee Colin H Davidson, the task of launching himself into the art world as a full-time painter has been anything but plain-sailing because of his arthritis and colour blindness.
But the talented east Belfastman is now on the crest of an artistic wave, having overcome the odds to build a buoyant career out of painting evocative scenes from his 13 years in his old one at Harland and Wolff.
And he does it all from a studio not far from the yard.
He works from a shed at the bottom of his east Belfast garden, where one of his latest creations is the major prize in a new interactive competition at Belfast's historic waterfront.
The Maritime Mile treasure trail with its 18 stops and quiz questions has been established to attract more visitors to the waterfront, which Colin insists is one of Belfast's most spectacular hidden gems.
The 59-year-old largely self-taught artist, who added the letter 'H' in the middle of his name to avoid confusion with the renowned portrait artist Colin Davidson, said: "I have a touch of arthritis in my hand.
"And I have to take breaks from time to time. I can work for about three or four hours, but when I drop my brushes or my pallet knife I know that it's time to call a halt for a while.
"In my early days I also realised I had a slight colour-blind imbalance with some green and brown colour tones."
Colin's love affair with art started at school thanks to his admiration for Thin Lizzy album covers designed by Irish artist Jim FitzPatrick, who famously designed the graphic portrait of revolutionary leader Che Guevara that has become an iconic poster around the world.
He added: "I started to do similar work on jotters at school and reproduced Thin Lizzy drawings on friends' schoolbags. I'm also embarrassed to admit that I also used to employ my skills to forge school dinner tickets!"
Colin went on to serve a four year apprenticeship as a mechanical engineer at H&W from 1977 to 1981 before moving around different departments for another nine years.
And now he uses his memories of those 'special' times to create his paintings of the yard featuring some of the men he worked with, including a number of colourful characters.
He said: "One guy - 'the man who walked with intent' - pops up regularly. He used to float round the yard all the time with a drawing under his arm but nobody ever knew what he did.
"Another man was called Buckets because his real name was Phil McCann and anyone who had a limp was known as Nail in the Boot.
"Then there was Polyfilla who was called Phil McCracken but some of the other names would be unprintable."
In 1990 Colin left H&W to become a tool design engineer with the nearby Bombardier aerospace company who, he says, promised a healthier future for him. Father-of-two Colin was still painting in his spare time but gave it up for three years because he thought his art 'wasn't going anywhere.'
However, Colin's wife Libby encouraged him to rekindle his passion for art and suggested that he should bring his shipyard memories to the canvas.
"She said I should start painting some of my recollections of the yard because all I did was bang on about them," he explained.
"I wasn't sure that anyone would want to hang paintings of cranes on their walls and I thought it was a ridiculous idea. But how wrong I was."
After 26 years with Bombardier, Colin took a voluntary redundancy and early retirement package at the age of 55 in 2016 "which was too good to refuse".
And again with the gentle persuasion of his wife, he decided to go full tilt at becoming a full-time artist.
And his leap into the unknown has paid off handsomely with his paintings now in private collections throughout the British Isles, the USA, Canada, Hong Kong, Dubai and Australia.
But little did Colin know that one of his most high-profile local commissions would bring him back full circle to the very place he had worked for H&W.
He explained: "I was asked to paint eight large pieces for the new Titanic Hotel and I'm humbled and grateful that they're hanging in what were formerly my old surroundings of Drawing Office 2
"They were all themed from my personal history working at the shipyard and the new commission for the Maritime Mile is also being based on my experiences back then and more recently from walking and cycling through the Titanic Quarter.
"I get a lot of inspiration from my visits there. I take a sketch book with me and if I see something I haven't painted before I make a quick drawing."