Friday, February 11, 2011

Another Art Update

The more you work at something, the more you learn. I have been working with the tile art for both the Whaleback and Portland Head tiles. One thing became glaringly clear. Tiles of any size with a mosaic pattern on them need to be impressionistic. Realism just won't fit, and even if it does, it will be impossible to paint because the detail will be too small.

Needless to say, some reworking has taken place. Here is what the tiles look like now:

Mind you, the line below the rocks on the Whaleback tile will be restored. I'm still playing around with placement on that one.

Note too that the names have been removed. They just took up too much space and interrupted the - what's a good word - flow of the art. I may put the names on the back, or assuming someone may actually want to mount one of these in a splash back someday, I may create a small card for each with a little history on each lighthouse. In any case, I wanted the tiles cleaner than text would allow.

Did you ever read "The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge" by Hildegarde Swift and Lynd Ward when you were young? It's a story of (you guessed it) a little red lighthouse that guarded the shores of the Hudson River and kept ships safe from the rocks. It was very proud of the job it did. When a giant gray bridge is built right over it, the lighthouse believes that it has become insignificant. When a beacon shines from the bridge to light the river, the lighthouse is convinced that it is no longer useful. Then one night, a storm endangers ships by gripping them in fog. A tug crashes on the rocks because it can not see the beacon shining from atop the bridge. The bridge calls out to the lighthouse to shine its light and sound its fog bell. When the keeper arrives, the lighthouse is lit and the bell sounds out. Then the little red lighthouse discovers that small does not mean insignificant. It regains its pride in its function.

I must have missed the part of the book that told the reader to travel up Riverside Drive in New York City to visit the little red lighthouse. It is, in fact, properly known as the Jeffrey's Hook Light. It sits beneath the George Washington Bridge and is a New York City landmark.

I know my tile project focuses on Maine lighthouses, but this one seems a good exception. The artwork is currently in process after having received several pictures of the lighthouse from a friend with permission to use them as I see fit.

It's a great story and was one of my favorites when growing up.

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