Tuesday, August 16, 2011

From Silver Lake

From Silver Lake, 24" x 36", oil on linen

There are few places I love better than coastal areas and indeed many of my paintings depict those areas. Most of my coastal wildlife, landscape, and seascape reference comes from a small island off the North Carolina coast called Ocracoke Island. The name derives from the Woccon tribe of Native Americans who lived in the mainland tidewater and came to the island for seafood feasts in fair weather.

Ocracoke Island, established as a port in 1790, has a rich history. Sir Walter Raleigh landed on the island in the late 1580's and Edward Teach (Blackbeard) was captured and subsequently beheaded  in 1718  as he and his ship hid in waters behind the island. The only access is by ferry and the island community is still small, charming, and life is leisurely. There is not a great deal of the resort type construction you see in other coastal towns and the National Park Service has preserved over 5,000 acres on the island, including 16 or so miles of beach. So there is a great deal of natural beach and marsh area on the island. In fact, I would say most of the island is undeveloped.

The painting above is looking across Silver Lake towards the Ocracoke lighthouse. Silver lake is a beautiful small harbor which is surrounded by the town of Ocracoke. I was intrigued by the rustic old waterfront building and dock which rests below the view of the lighthouse. I wonder how long the old building will be there. Even though many of the old structures still remain, I am sure that money and shiny new buildings will win the battle in the end. It seems to  most always end up that way. But for now Ocracoke is still a small piece of paradise to me, a breathing space in a insanely busy world. I hope it stays that way for my grandchildren to see.

Thanks for you visit - I do so appreciate it!

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