Rodmell was first and foremost a commercial marine artist who was probably best known for his work for many of the major shipping lines including P&O, Canadian Pacific and the British India Line. He was born in Hull and encouraged to pursue art as a career from a very young age. In 1912 he entered the Hull School of Art and quite naturally found inspiration at the docks. The Mauretania II was a Cunard Liner, later to become a troopship in World War II, which was built in Birkenhead in 1939 as the successor to the original Mauretania. Her final cruise was on 12 September 1965, after which she was scrapped.