Monday, October 24, 2016

The Many Moods of Nauset Light

I am besotted with Nauset Beach and its lighthouse! So much history lies there, plus the handsome Nauset Beach Lighthouse. It once stood at Chatham as one of the twin lights. In the 1920s, after the Three Sisters Lighthouses were discontinued, the north tower at Chatham was barged up the shore to Nauset and erected on the beach. Erosion threatened it, and in the 1990s it was moved back to its present location. It's one of Cape Cod's most photographed lighthouses and also famous as the icon of Cape Cod Potato Chips. Not long ago, the company paid to have the lighthouse repainted!

National Park Service Poster

I've been collecting material on Nauset Beach for many years. A part of my collection that most intrigues me is the many ways Nauset Beach Lighthouse has been portrayed by painters. Have a look! What follows are paintings with captions. They might inspire you to do your own Nauset rendering!

Al Woodford did this gentle, rural scene showing the lighthouse in its new location, along with the relocated keeper's house and the oilhouse. But where's the red and white beacon?

Albert Swayhoover viewed Nauset Light in its old location with a sand fence and shrubs. I love the muted tones of the background. If I had to guess, I'd say he did this painting in November. The lighthouse is bit too stubby and fat, though.
This charming view is from Alfred La Banca.

Alice Kaplan did this rendering. Nice colors, and the sunlit side of the tower is a focus for the scene. I can't quite pinpoint this view, however. Is there a road behind the lighthouse and dwelling in their new location? Perhaps as the road curves around the site, we get this view.

The lighthouse seems to float in the clouds in this Annie Flynn painting.

C. Pinkard caught the view from the Nauset Beach parking entrance. I once stood here, as seen in the next photo from about 1998. If you look closely, you'll see lighthouses on my sweatshirt.

This is a similar view from a slightly different angle. It's the work of artist Charles Cooke. The red side of the beacon is spot on!

This is possibly the lighthouse in its old location painted from the beach side. Or it may be a view from the new location. Last time I was there, I did not see much shrubbery around the new location. This is a lovely painting though. Nauset is famous for how the light plays on it throughout the day.

The lighthouse seems to set higher in real life than in this Dana Wheeler painting I'm nitpicking I know. I do like the bright colors.

So many artists choose this view. I hope the house isn't cut off in the original painting. Nice details. The trees in the back look a bit dense. Maybe they've grown up since I was at Nauset last. Painting by Claire Klaum.

Debi Hinshaw chose the same popular view. She has fewer details than other artists.

Here's Dianne Lanning interpretation. Her lantern is a bit small compared to the gallery. I do love the clouds!

George Jacobs did a wash with pen and ink outlines. He didn't forget the beacon. I like it!

Harold Durand White painted the lighthouse in its old location. I visited Mary Daubenspeck when she owned the lighthouse, and it looked just like this as I drove up. I have a postcard of this painting somewhere in my collection.

This is a lovely impressionist rendering by John Glass. It would look perfect on the wall of my front sitting room!

Hall Groat Sr. painted a peek through the woods at the lighthouse. I can imagine this being the view author Edward Rowe Snow might have gotten as he walked Cape Cod in his youth. This painting has such a nice composition.

Tom McCarty did an afternoon rendering, with sunlight bold against the tower and dwelling. His shadows are perfection!

Wouldn't this look nice over a sofa or a console table? Larry Lerew painted this long view of the lighthouse, dwelling and oilhouse, plus some nearby objects. I've always liked pen and ink over a wash. I've done a few myself...but not Nauset Light. Perhaps I'll dig out my watercolors and give it a go.

Colored pencils are always a fun medium. You can do them anywhere. Whenever my daughter does with me on a trip, she takes her pencils and sketches as she rides. Sue Field sketched the back path to Nauset Light.

Sally Rice captured the full sweep of the lighthouse on the cliff and the beach. This appears to have been done when the lighthouse stood at its old location and before eroision had become too troublesome for it.

Lee Gorman Smith zeroed in on just the top of the lighthouse and part of the dwelling. I like the detail on the beacon.

Marguerite Bride's painting is so amazing--great color combo, nice details, and the tower accurate. Those soft touches with the bare or nearly bare branches make this one look so real. I'll take it!!

I so love this one by Joel Popadics. It reminds me of so many visits to Nauset in the late 1980s and early 1990s, before the tower was moved. There are many memories on that piece of cliff, some of it now tumbled over the side. I walked here with Pam Nobli and Mary Daubenspeck. The park rangers at the Cape Cod NS also walked here with me and then took me to the VC to see images of the lighthouses at Nauset. The small gray building below the dwelling was once the gift shop. Some of my books were sold there, and I bought goodies for myself.
Beautiful, stories Nauset Beach and and its lighthouses. My research file on them is fat. Might there be a book in the future?

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