Monday, January 12, 2009

Yaquina Head Lighthouse

A light in the dark WIP
12 x 18 soft pastels on Kitty Wallis White
by Miki Willa

I really like lighthouses. When I was doing some reading about Andrew Wyeth, I learned that he, too, liked lighthouses. For him, they seemed to represent guidance and security. They were a refuge, as they were in the past for sailors caught in the dark in a storm. To me, the lighthouse represents loneliness and hope. In the past, the light keepers job was often a lonely one, but an important one that gave hope to otherwise lost souls. I have painted a number of lighthouses, but I think this is the first one I have done that gives vision to my feelings.
This is the Yaquina Head Lighthouse in Newport, Oregon. Construction began on this building in 1871. It proved to be a very difficult task, as the lighthouse is on a high cliff surrounded by large sea rocks. Two small boats were lost during construction, and a larger ship was damaged. The lamp was not lit until 1873. Today, it is a popular tourist attraction. Hardy souls can even climb to the top. If you are planning on taking photos from the top, be aware that you cannot go outside once you are there. This is also a wonderful place if you are interested in whale watching. There are usually representatives from a local whale watching group to help spot. They are a wealth of information about other forms of sea life, whether fish, birds, or mammals.
If you visit this beautiful spot, plan to get there so you are finished in time to have lunch or dinner at Szabo's Steakhouse and Seafood on Hwy 101, just across the light from the road leading from the lighthouse. We stopped there for lunch because it was recommended, and I want to pass on the recommendation. I would describe Szabo's as a tavern with great food. We were there in the dead of winter on a weekday, and there was a steady stream of customers. We had the halibut and chips, which we thoroughly enjoyed.
About the painting: I have noticed that I am using quite a bit more gray than I did in Hawaii. Do you think that living in the Great Northwest has any influence on that? I do, and I am really enjoying it. I was always trying to use grays in the tropical island paradise, but they rarely fit. This painting was done intentionally minimalist. That is the reason it is still a WIP. I am afraid that if I go after finishing it today, I will add way too much detail. I do have some lines to straighten out, and some edges to fix, but I am going to resist unnecessary details.
Tomorrow, I am going to the Seattle Art Museum with my husband and sister. I am looking forward to this treat. I will let you know what wonderful things I see.

1 comment:

Tom said...

Powerful Wyeth like seascape.