Searchlight Shelter

10" X 8", oil on panel.  Sold, private collection.

Along the Bayside Trail at Cabrillo Monument, there is this interesting large metal enclosure built deep into the hillside.  It's the Searchlight Shelter; more about that further down. 

To show a step in the process, here's how I started this painting on site, quickly noting some color and value relationships and placing landmarks in a composition that I was happy with.  Then, using a photo reference at home, I corrected drawing errors and fleshed out the color.  Now you're probably wondering, what the heck is this thing?

Click on the image to see a readable enlargement.  The searchlight was on rails, of which there are remnants visible coming out the front of the enclosure.  The rest of the track is gone, the cement retaining wall has eroded away/been buried by sandstone erosion, but the shelter remains and its former path is an integral part of the Bayside Trail.  In addition, the area has become a case study in the effects of habitat disruption, to help us learn more about the importance of preservation.


Climb to the New Lighthouse

Looking up at the "new" lighthouse (built in 1891) from the shore below.  The cliff is not too high, but steep enough such that the only way to climb it is with the help of that rope.   8" X 6", oil/canvas panel.

Ever wonder what a foghorn looks like?

Those openings are the "speakers", and the concrete slab probably helps project and disperse the sound.  And it is LOUD, audible for miles.

The lighthouse and the foghorn do all they can to warn mariners away from the rocks below, but every so often, there's someone who disregards the warnings.  That's when this happens:

A fiberglass carcass on the rip rap.


Below the "New" Lighthouse

This portion of the shore is not open to the public, so I'm fortunate to have access to it via a very kind member of a Coast Guard family in residence there.  The shore is really pounded by the ocean, being right on the tip of the point, so large boulders (known as "rip rap") have been put down to slow the erosion.  There are substantial colonies of endangered Brown Pelicans here, and they frequently cruise past with their wingtips just clearing the waves.   6" X 8", oil/canvas panel. Sold, private collection.



I have a thing for reptiles:  I just love them.  This very young Western Fence Lizard was catching some rays to warm him/herself in the sun.  They are plentiful at Cabrillo (an important element in the food chain), often spreading themselves out flat on a warm spot.  Sometimes they stop right in the middle of the path and fall asleep in the sun.  You can almost touch them before they wake up and scurry away.  10" X 8", oil on panel. Sold, private collection


kathrynlaw.com, and Paint-Out

I've got a website now, a real one!  Took a while to get it going, but it's coming along.  Check it out at KathrynLaw.com and let me know what you think!  New business cards on the way.

Saturday's paint-out at Cabrillo Monument was spectacular.  Fourteen painters and some of the most beautiful weather of the year, made it a day to remember.  We've already begun planning future painting events for the Park.  Here are some photos of painters in action. 


Emerald Building show and Upcoming Paint-out

I have a show of 10 paintings from the Cabrillo Artist in Residence project, showing in the display window of the Emerald Building in Downtown San Diego, at C Street and Columbia.  Around the corner are four still lifes in another window.

Old Lighthouse Parlor

10" X 8", oil on panel.   The interior of the Old Lighthouse was also the living quarters for the lighthouse keeper and his family.  In the late 1800's when this was an active lighthouse, the lighting was by lamplight, so probably never very bright inside.  It's been kept pretty much as it was, almost a time capsule.  I'm looking at it through a plexiglass viewing window, and the dark atmosphere is probably pretty true to how they lived.  

6" X 8", oil/cp.  These are the brass oilcans that the Keeper used to replenish the oil that illuminated the Fresnel Lens atop the Old Lighthouse.  They are beautiful objects.