If you Google “lighthouse in a storm” and then select the art category along the top, you’ll probably find an image of Frank’s Pigeon Point Lighthouse painting from one of the sites displaying his work near the top of the results. Pigeon Point is probably the most photographed lighthouse on the west coast due to its classic shape.
You can see the lighthouse driving along California Highway 1, 20 miles south of Half Moon Bay and 27 miles north of Santa Cruz. Heck, you don’t even have to leave your car, or even slow down to snap a picture of this beauty…such a shame. You should have to walk to enjoy this kind of setting…all the cars just ruin the effect of this cathedral.
Frank painted this work both “plein air” at the site on a sunny day, and then back in his studio for the storm effects. (You can click-through the picture to get a more detailed view.) Frank’s landscape teacher thought the painting too dark to become popular.
When traveling the Pacific coast, Frank and Mary were struck by the stories of lighthouse keepers, and their dedication to working the lights to protect the lives of people traveling along the treacherous shores.
This 48″ x 30″ acrylic on canvas painting “Racing the Storm at Pigeon Point” above is part of a series of lighthouse paintings by Frank. In this series, he re-creates settings from over 100 years ago, when the lights were critical life savers, while including some contemporary views and stories as well.
There were no electronics to guide the ships. The critical mechanics of the lights were driven by weights, pulleys, and gears. The Light Keepers kept the lights burning with oil and kerosene before electricity, sending beams of light over twenty miles out to sea. A daily practice of hard work by the Light Keepers was absolutely critical to keep a light working.
Frank has found his painting copied on other sites and even used in a YouTube video…but he is OK with that, as long as those that use his work share their profit from it with him.
Today, we should show our greatest respect to those who labor to make things of value to our lives, and treat them with fairness.