Category Archives: Right Thinking

Cape Mendocino Light and Virtue

Cape-Mendocino-Light

Another lighthouse re-creation painting by Frank is “Cape Mendocino Light” as the original first-order Fresnel lens is now on display elsewhere, replaced by the standard ugly electric beacon. Even the original tower is now gone, misplaced at the entrance to an entertainment center. Frank and Mary visited and sketched the various elements at their current resting places to combine them into the historic perspective presented in the painting.

In this 48” x 30” acrylic on canvas, Frank portrays a time when the original lens was in place, and  the full-on effect could be enjoyed along with the setting sun if you were to find your way down the path to the remote location at just the right time.

The Light Keeper has done well, as the light is on before sunset. He is free to enjoy the show as an enlightening experience well-earned by his disciplined work.

Ben Franklin, perhaps the most virtuous of the Founding Fathers of the United States, is often misquoted as saying “Lighthouses are more helpful than churches.” What he really said in a letter to his wife on July 17, 1756 after almost being involved in a shipwreck was, “ Were I a Roman Catholic, perhaps I should on this occasion vow to build a chapel to some saint, but as I am not, if I were to vow at all, it should be to build a light-house.”

Franklin was an inventor, scientist, and statesman. Among Franklin’s inventions was the beginning of the American society. Franklin led a life based on virtue, something almost totally lost on today’s entertainment based culture. Perhaps the pendulum will swing back toward the virtue of caring about others at least as much as we care about ourselves for starters.

No matter if you agree with good old practical Ben’s values, a good practice is repeating useful actions, like a Light Keeper at the same time every day, faithfully…as others might be counting on you.

Even if there are obstacles in your way, or others try to block your path, just get out there and do the right thing anyway. Most likely there will be those who will value and appreciate what you do. But, even if you are alone on your journey, it is your journey after all, so you have the power to make the right choices and find joy in those actions.

Respecting the Vital Work of Others

Del

This painting titled “Light Keeper” (oil and acrylic on canvas 24″ x 18″) is a portrait of a modern-day docent, Del, at the Point Sur Lighthouse in California. Apart from the cap he was wearing and his portrait, the rest is Frank’s researched imagination.

The drill for the Light Keeper over 100 years ago was to have the big light on a half hour before sunset, and keep it going until a half hour after sunrise. This painting depicts him running to make his appointed time with the setting sun.

It took a dedicated person to keep a lighthouse flame going so it would project its lifesaving light 20 miles out to sea. Light Keepers were highly respected by most for their critical, yet lonely work. Often isolated far away from busy towns, they would sometimes work through the night to keep the light burning and the emerging technology of gears and pulleys functioning to turn the massive lens shining its distinctive light code, revealing a specific place.

Keeping the light burning and the hundreds of lens prisms polished, was a very disciplined and courageous practice. It may seem romantic, being at the seashore and all, but the reality is that some of the Light Keepers went over the edge, either figuratively or literally, while fulfilling their lonely duties. Some landlubbers on the shore just took the Light Keeper’s work for granted, even scoffing at their value or disrespecting their lifestyle.

The captains and crews of the vessels plying the coastal waters had great respect for the unseen Light Keepers. These traders and builders of commerce showed their support for those protecting them from unseen dangers. It would have been unheard of to demean their vital work or cast aspersions on their lives.

Today, we all should show proper respect and consideration to those who labor to make our lives better. We need to give appropriate consideration to those who serve us with their skills, seeking to protect and serve those in danger, lest shame fall on us for being thoughtless and inconsiderate.

Reflection

reflection-lake

The painting above (approx. 20” diam.  acrylic on wood) was created by Frank for another of his patrons, a world-renowned landscape artist, and art collector. The name of the painting is “Reflection Lake” and presents the favorite view from within the wildlife refuge the landscape artist developed.

Reflection is key element within a healthy life affirming practice. As the stillness of the water improves the clarity of the reflected image of what exists nearby, the stillness of our mind improves the image we reflect within our mind of the reality around us.

Live Your Dream…

Dream-Vacation-Peace

We all have the chance to live our dream. It means making a lot of right decisions, focused on the right path of attainable goals.

One of Frank’s patrons returned from a South Pacific sailing vacation and commissioned Frank to paint a new work. She wanted a composite scene from several photos she took of her memorable time with a friend. Frank painted the “Dream” above, in acrylic on a 30” x 15” stretched canvas.

Live your dream. Be inspired by it. 

Just make sure it is realistic, and down the right path…you know which path is the right one. And, if you respect the dreams of others along the way, you’ll do very well in life.

 

May Your Trails be Crooked,

Mt.-Diablo

May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most dazzling view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.

Edward Abbey

The painting above “Mt. Diablo” is an original acrylic on stretched canvas (28″ x 22″) continued around the edges. You can select the image for a larger view.

Frank painted this canvas while working with his landscape teacher Charles White. Frank and Mary enjoyed walks with Charles in the foothills around Mt. Diablo in the San Francisco Bay Area. The views from the top are spectacular. Charles showed Frank the compelling nature of having a path lead the viewer into a painting.

Frank, normally a fairly solitary creative producer, is now involved in a new journey that requires new team members to assist with his current path to new heights. More on that in later installments here…

May you all be blessed with dazzling views by taking the right path