Thursday, March 31, 2016

Letete Lighthouse at Green Point

Letete Lighthouse
orig. watercolour, 21x29in approx.
see it in person at Sunbury Shores Arts from May 6-20, 2016

Now today's lighthouse is home territory for me and I have painted it quite a few times over the years. The Letete Passage has strong currents due to the high tides in our area and the ferry service to Deer Island runs through every half hour.
There is a sweet little museum in the main building which is staffed by friendly locals that share much of the local history and folklore. You can also make this your special 'home away from home' with their vacation rental on site.
Here is more info about the Letete Lighthouse and a couple of fun stories from the Lighthouse Friends' website:
Letete is derived from the French “la tete,” which means “the head,” and likely refers to the headlands that bracket the passage.
In 1878, Parliament appropriated $1,500 for the erection of a steam-powered fog alarm at Letete Passage in Charlotte County, and the following year, D. W. Clark constructed the fog alarm building and a reservoir to supply the needed water at a cost of $2,774. A fog trumpet of a new and improved design was procured from the Neptune Fog Horn Company of Quebec for $1,750 and placed in operation in 1879. Every thirty seconds during thick weather, fogs, and snowstorms, the trumpet would sound seven-second blasts that could be heard an estimated six miles with the wind and just two or three miles against the wind.
The biggest change to the station occurred in 1903, when a lighthouse was placed on Green’s Point, then also known on navigational charts as Mascabin Point. C. L McKeen of St. Andrews built the wooden octagonal tower at a contract price of $800. The lighthouse was constructed at St. Andrews in eight sections, which were then transported to the point by scow and assembled at a spot just northwest of the fog alarm building. Topped by a red, octagonal, iron lantern, the tower measures forty-three feet from its base to the top of its ventilator and originally exhibited a fixed-white light from a seventh-order lens.
In the fall of 1920, a new fog alarm building was constructed on the point to house a Class “B” diaphone, powered by oil engines. The installation was completed the following year at a cost of $7.338. Keeper Dines had little faith in the newfangled gas motors and might have given up as keeper if his son Prescott hadn’t pitched in to keep them operating.
Prescott Dines took over as keeper of Green’s Point Lighthouse in 1936 when his father Sidney retired. Though electricity arrived at nearby Letete in 1937, Prescott recalls that electricity didn’t reach the station until 1952 because a neighbor wanted to charge the power company $10 per pole to cross his land.
Prescott remembers one winter gale that blew his mother right out of a one-horse sleigh, depositing her on rocks six feet below. Thanks to a large buffalo robe she was wrapped in, she suffered no harm. “One of my mother's guests chose a very windy day to visit us at the Lighthouse and consequently, the Privy house,” Prescott recalls. “No sooner had the gentle lady finished her business and exited from the Privy - when an extra big puff of wind blew the little building over the bank and onto the rocks below.”
In 1962, a year before his retirement, Prescott, who weighed about 130 lbs., experienced the full force of the wind firsthand. “The wind was of gale proportions and it took complete and absolute charge of me. The next thing I knew I found myself down on all fours among the rocks, alone and much bruised. I made up my mind, then and there, that as soon as possible I would retire, while I still had two feet and legs on which to go.”
In the late 1980s, Green’s Point became a monitoring station for several other lighthouses in the area. While most of the nearby stations were de-staffed, four full-time keepers were needed at Green’s Point to cover all the lights.
After being fully automated since 1996, Green’s Point Light was officially decommissioned on September 8, 1999, though the fog alarm remains in use. Ownership of the lighthouse and station was transferred to the Green’s Point Light Association in July 2008. A Coast Guard monitoring station on the property has served since 2002 as a vacation rental to raise money to maintain the property.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Range Tower at Wood Island Light

Range Tower- Wood Island Light
orig. watercolour, 5x7in approx.
see it in person at Sunbury Shores Art, May 6-20
This little painting of a little lighthouse is one of the range towers near the Wood Island Lighthouse that I painted a few days ago (you can see it by clicking here).
As I am learning about lighthouses, as I paint them, Wikipedia is an informative companion for me. Here is what it states:
Leading lights (also known as range lights in the US) are a pair of light beacons, used in navigation to indicate a safe passage for vessels entering a shallow or dangerous channel; and may also be used for position fixing. At night, the lights are a form of leading line that can be used for safe navigation. The beacons consist of two lights that are separated in distance and elevation, so that when they are aligned, with one above the other, they provide a bearing. Range lights are often illuminated day and night.
In some cases the two beacons are unlighted, in which case they are known as a range in the United States or a transit in the UK. The beacons may be artificial or natural.

Operation of Range Lights:

Two lights are positioned near one another. One, called the front light, is lower than the one behind, which is called the rear light. At night when viewed from a ship, the two lights only become aligned vertically when a vessel is positioned on the correct bearing. If the vessel is on an incorrect course, the lights will not align.
During the day, the range tower lights may not easily be seen and therefore leading lights are often fitted with secondary visual aids, e.g. large red flags with wide black lines running down them. When both red flags and black lines line up, the navigator knows that the vessel is on the correct bearing. The structures are usually painted to make them more prominent.
Some major rivers, such as the Elbe River in Germany, have a series of leading lines. When it is necessary to make a turn, the navigator lines up the next pair of leading lights. This provides guidance from Hamburg to the sea, using successive pairs of leading lights.
Leading lights were used in England as early as 1763 to mark the Port of Liverpool.[3] The first set of range lights in the United States were privately established by subscription at Newburyport Harbor in Massachusetts in 1788.[4]
Leading lights are sometimes designed to be movable, allowing their position to be shifted in the event of a change in the safe channel; these include one at Hilton Head, South Carolina, the original Chatham Light, and the Nantucket Beacon, predecessor to the Nantucket Harbor Range.

One of the little Wood Islands Range Tower Lights

Friday, March 25, 2016

Wood Island Lighthouse - PEI

Wood Island Lighthouse PEI_Simone-Ritter-Art_2016_watercolour_21x29in

Wood Island Lighthouse- PEI

orig. watercolour 21x29in approx.
on display at my upcoming show May 6-20, 2016
A couple of years ago we went to visit Prince Edward Island. We had a great time and the kids enjoyed the full time attention from us parents without the distraction of phone calls or other business. It really was a good time and they still talk about those three days. We vistited end of October and most of the tourists were gone, so we discovered a quiet PEI.
Kids and Dad flying a kite in PEI while Mama                   is painting the lighthouse

Here is Wood Island Lighthouse, which was one of the very last open attractions and I remember the woman on the entrance was so welcoming and friendly. Friendly volunteers and staff make for a memorable visit and with PEI I can attest to this. We had brought kites and the kids and Markus flew them while I perched down on my little painting chair, doing a small plein air painting of this light house.
Wood Islands plein air sketch, 5x7in approx.                                    NFS

If you come to the East Coast, PEI is for most people a must. Its red sand beaches, warm waters and water parks, along with Anne of Green Gables shows draw crowds every summer. Lots of festivals and special events with music and food are scheduled every year.
The rolling hills landscape is quite different than New Brunswick and Nova Scotia and make for a unique flair. Go, check it out if you haven't had a chance to do so yet- or if you have, please share your story below, I'd love to hear your insider tip PEI!
Easter is coming, the holy Triduum days are here, I'm wishing you a blessed Easter time! Thanks for stopping by!                                                                                                       Simone

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Long Eddy Lighthouse


'Long Eddy Lighthouse', Grand Manan, NB

orig. watercolour 5x7in approx
On Display May 6-20, Sunbury Shores, St. Andrews, Canada
'Inspirations- Man Made and Human'

Today's Lighthouse is the Long Eddy Lighthouse on Grand Manan.
If you love nature and still pretty undiscovered coastline, visiting this island is for you!
Located in the Bay of Fundy, a 1.5 hour ferry ride from the main land, Grand Manan Island is still dominated by the fishing industry. You see lots of wharfs, fishing huts, windy roads, fishermen working, rustic clapboard houses, undisturbed nature and wild coast lines.

View from our cottage, the moon rising

Grand Harbour Light (Ross Island LIght) has since collapsed, so sad..

You can see many working wharfs

Some days are foggy but warm, making for moody scenery

long, undiscovered beaches

in the distance you can see the fog rolling in-and-out 

I have enjoyed painting the scenery during every visit I made- smelling the salt air, listening to the fog horns in the distance, buoys with bells that warn of shallow waters, purple wildflowers swaying in the breeze and the simple pleasure of staying right by the water in a small, rustic cottage, roasting marsh mallows in a fire right by the beach- what could be more calming and beautiful to the heart!? Plein air artists have enjoyed the wild romantic setting and come year after year to soak in, create and capture its beauty on canvas to share with the world.
My dad and kids enjoying fire by the beach
The summers are short here on the Canadian East Coast, and even shorter on the Islands around it. But man, do they put on a show! If you get a chance, take time to discover them! Bring your camper or rent a cottage (and with the US dollar so strong, Americans really get a steal of a deal this year travelling to Canada).
I've included some photos of my trips to the island to whet your appetite;-) thanks for stopping by!


Monday, March 21, 2016

Solo Show, a New Series and Egg Rock Light

East Coast Lighthouse #1:

Egg Rock Light (Mount Desert Island, Maine)

orig. watercolour, 21x29 in. approx.
On display May 6-20, Sunbury Shores Arts, St. Andrews, NB, Canada
I haven't posted here in a while, but have been busy 'behind the scenes'. Here is what's been going on:
After my camper-a-day challenge this January, our family took a little vacation to soak up some sun in Mexico (first time ever and it was just a wonderful break). On the third day there, I got a phone call from our local Art Center confirming my spot for a one-woman-show beginning of May... Needless to say, I've been going full-tilt on getting myself set-up and organized!!
My dear hubby has agreed to be the teacher for our kids to free me to paint. I have moved my studio out into one of our guest rooms to have peace and quiet without distractions. It has worked out well so far and I'm making head way.
The next few weeks I'll keep you posted on paintings I'm working on that will be at my exhibit

'Coastal Inspirations- Man Made and Human'

from May 6-20, 2016.

Vernissage Reception is Friday, May 6, 2016 at 6pm

Sunbury Shores Arts and Nature Center, St. Andrews, NB, Canada
Over the winter, I have also put in hours sketching -I will tell you all about it at later posts. It surely has been a busy, art filled winter this year- yey, makes my heart sing!
About today's painting: During trip to Bar Harbor, Maine for our 10th Anniversary we took a 'lighthouse boat tour' and I was clicking away with the camera. This Lighthouse was one of the featured one of that day. Egg Rock Light was constructed 1875, marking the entrance to Frenchman Bay, near Winter Harbor. It is important for the increased seasonal ferry traffic and it stands 40 feet tall. I like the dominant play of light and shade in this painting. I kept the shadows a cold, redish-purple to balance all the blues in sky and water.
With this, I wish you a great start into this week, all the best and 'stay in touch'! Thank you for your interest!