I had a lady visitor and her husband from Napanee area visit us at our new Paint Box Gallery home in Rockport. She was particularly taken with a Prince Edward county lighthouse piece entitled "Pulling in Winter", an oil on canvas measuring 12x30 inches. While she really liked the piece, she lamented that the space she had in mind for a light house painting was just not large enough to support the width of that painting. I gave her a brief history of the lighthouse... located ironically, very close to her own home town in nearby Prince Edward County.
The ensuing conversation we had dredged up my complete disrespect for government agency (in)action to help preserve remaining Ontario light house structures. They hold title... but refuse to maintain or release them to the public. They are simply allowed to fall into complete disrepair... and to moulder into oblivion. Such is the plight of so many wonderful heritage sites across this province.
Atfer hearing of the history of Prince Edward Point Light... Point Traverse Light... or "The Red Onion" ... as it was dubbed because of its striking red lantern house atop its 31 foot tower, she asked if might be persuaded to do something with it in a 16x20 inch format. I jumped at that opportunity simply because I had wanted to attempt my own "virtual renovation" of the site... by doing some research and applying artistic licence to come up with a new slant on an old idea. It was 1981... when I last visited Point Traverse and two major watercolours came pout of that foray. I was a pure water colourist working with a high realism interest.
So I thought that it would be a nice opportunity to "fly by the seat of my creative britches" and just have an afternoon of research and play at the easel... both activities that I find highly pleasurable! The research reveals that the light was built in 1881, serving continuously until being decommissioned and replaced by an electric light in 1941. It is a wooden structure with a pyramidal tower 31 feet high. The lantern room has been removed leaving only the wooden structure consisting of the tower and the adjoining keeper's dwelling area intact, For a time it was leased by Parks Canada to The Kingston Field naturalists to conduct seasonal migration studies and banding operations on migratory songbird and waterfowl. It is considered a major bird and wildlife region.... comparable in conservation value to Point Pelee on Lake Erie... yet it remains lonely... derelict and for the most part forgotten despite its navigational and conservation heritage value.
So Linda ____ , of Napanee... this one's for you my dear! Thank you for the inspiration- it was a fun project and I'm pleased with the outcome. Get back to me at (613) 659- 3925... if it catches your eye as well. No strings atttached as I indicated during our afternoon chat. But as I assured you... you have... "first right of refusal"!
I have include jpegs which well illustrate the "Now and Then". Every now and then... each of us should look back over our shoulder to see how and where our path way has led us to the Now. Perhaps... it might just shape something to help shape our... or someone else's Tomorrow!
"Red Onion" lantern room offering light and safety to Great Lakes mariners through these treacherous... storm and shoal-laden waters.
Reflects the presence of fall migrating Canada Geese heading southward... just ahead of winter' harshness!
This is "a back in the good ol' days" watercolour sketch dating back to 1981.
It best reflects the present derelict.... neglected condition and forgotten state of this wonderful piece of Canadian Maritime History!
Good Painting and Happy Summer to ALL!!!