"Hacetas Head Light'
20" x 16"
acrylic on canvas panel
framed or unframed
catalog # 0204
"Hacetas Head Light"
Having painted several lighthouses already, none of which was my own design, I desired to fulfill a vision I had. The concept was, the West coast, facing north, the Pacific ocean on our left, with the sun going down. The lighthouse, sitting on the cliffs, would be white, which would reflect the multi-colored sky. Sort of a Thomas Kincade style.
I looked in my book on lighthouses and found one that had the layout I saw in my mind. It is "Hacetas Head Light", situated on the Oregon coast, on a very remote, practically inaccessible rocky cliff. I drew out the scene on a piece of drawing paper and began painting with my, at the time, art teacher, Brian Dietz.
For one reason or another, the composition was not finished under his tutelage, and left to sit in my unfinished works. In 2022 I pulled it out, after completing "Pemaquid Point". One thing that Brian suggested was to do several paintings of similar subject, which helps to get familiar with how to illustrate the object, and makes the work go faster.
I liked the sky, and the rocks jutting up out of the ocean. The dark and lights of the cliff was in place, with good texture. I added the foam of the waves coming in to the base of the land, exactly as it is in the book photograph, and looks very real.
I had quite a time deciding where to place the lighthouse. The original placement was too close and made it look too large. If I followed the photo, the buildings would have been way far away in the distance and we wouldn't see them at all as the focal point of the painting.
With much drawing and redrawing, cutting out paste-on lights, adjusting the diagonal line of the cliff edge and repainting what I laid in during Jack Ragland's class, I finally got the composition to a minimum amount of problems and the lighthouse situated so we can see it nicely without being too bulky and overpowering.
In my imagined version, I wanted to paint a green light . I had seen a light being replaced in a lighthouse (I don't remember where), and the glass was tinted green. It was very beautiful, with green and gold facets reflecting light. Jack pointed out that green light shining across clouds, would look unnatural and like there was a chemical cloud, so I abandoned that idea and kept the light from Hacetas Head lighthouse faint and soft.
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