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  South Haven Michigan

When Richard first set this challenge, I did not have a picture of a lighthouse and e-mailed him that I didn’t live near one.  Wellllllll, when my sister found out about the challenge, she said, “Oh. I have lighthouse pictures from my travels.”  She brought her photo album over and suggested I do a series of small ones.  Thank-you, Kim! I painted on cartiera magnani paper and used the same palette of colors for each painting.  So, that’s the story and that’s what I did. 🙂

  Point Betsie  Frankfort, Michigan

  Camden Harbor,Maine

  Lubec, Maine

Breakwater Light   Rockland,Maine

If you would like to view all lighthouses that artists completed for this challenge, click here and then on each comment as they are most likely artists who have work posted.

I found two other lighthouses in my travels who may not have painted them for the challeng as they did not reference his challenge. They are here and here.

Now I’m off to see all the others! 🙂


  1. Leslie, my first thought when I came here was OMG, what an overachiever. How many lighthouses can one paint for a challenge. But then I remembered you told me your sister liked lighthouse paintings and of course if they are for your sister you are allowed to paint as many as you want! 🙂

    All of them are great and I must say that I really like the composition of the first one and how it’s in the distance past the trees! Also love the striped one from Maine.

    • Thank-you, Carol. Yes, it was a labor of love for my sister.I have to admit, however, I liked the challenge of it all because I was painting one of these at the same time as trying to paint more to post. My sister is getting good with her picture taking, thus the shot of that lighthouse through the trees. I painted that one, first, to inspire me.

  2. All right show off you had to go, and do multi-great paintings, Although they look amazing, I’m beginning to not like you! LOL

    • It was a sister thing, Ryan! You do sister things, you know! 🙂 Thanks for the great comment and I’ll chuckle for some time about this comment.

  3. These are all so amazing, Leslie. I tried to pick a favorite, but I couldn’t. They are each so unique and wonderful! I did grin the biggest at the stripedy one from Maine. Very storybook! I have a girlfriend who collects lighthouses, so I know the labor of love thing. She gets lighthouse paintings from me often! 🙂

    • How could I guess that “YOU” might like the stripedy one? 🙂 You are right, though, it does look like it fits in a storybook.
      These were a first, for me. I have never painted a lighthouse before.

  4. The Quoddy Head lighthouse in Lubec is one of my favorite lighthouses and you did a great job with it. The ones on the breakwater in Rockland and in Camden harbor are also really well done. I’ve taken a lot of photos of lighthouses in Maine lately, but can’t seem to transfer them into paintings…

  5. Enjoyed all the paintings in this post, Leslie. My favorite is the South Haven one. The view from behind the great looking trees creates such depth. Also, when considering the other paintings as well, the water and skies look vibrant with hints of motion to them. thanks

    • Thank-you, Adam. Have you been to the South Haven one? I know you are from Michigan, so just wondered. My sister said we went when we were little but I don’t recall. My sister will be pleased to read your comment, as well. She is is the photo reference photographer for these. 🙂

  6. These are wonderful…of course I instantly want to be there.

    • I just read that you are in Georgia in a beautiful place. 🙂 Thank-you, JRuth!

  7. Wow Leslie, these are awesome! You caught the feel of each one. Leaving South Haven, I stopped for one last look back and stood under that tree. I feel its shade over me looking at your painting. There is something about a Great Lake sky and you captured it with Point Betsie. I also feel the sun bleached sand, – so bright you want to squint. Your water, in the Camden painting, shows the depth – you can tell its the ocean. I like your sparkles of light starting at the coastline and going up. Both of those treatments make me feel the motion in the picture – I’m back on the boat! Lubec – someone commented – “storybook” – exactly! When we finally arrived at this one we turned the corner and thought we had left the country or entered another time. Rockland is a working harbor. When you get up to this lighthouse (long pier walk out) you feel its’ weight and age. You captured that in both the building and your treatment of the cement, stones, and bare ground foundation. You chose the right colors to remind me that I felt this one could be haunted!
    Leslie, I may not get back to these much loved places anytime soon. Thank you for giving me a way to get to them any time I want. They are absolutely wonderful, and so are you for creating them! Thank you!!!
    And – thank you Richard for inviting the lighthouse challenge. I’m going to go look at the others!

    • Hey everybody! The above comment is from my sister who challenged me furthur to do these.
      Thank-you for your comments, Kimmy, and thank-you for adding a special insight into each of the lighthouses you shared with me. I will treasure this experience always. I can’t believe I actually did it.

  8. What a great representation of your many styles of painting! I want to jump into the water in Camden Harbor, Maine. The color, ,movement and backdrop are incredibly inviting.

    I sometimes wonder how many different expressions are working through you when I see the various styles you create?

    • Hey everybody! This is my other sister! She is the one who challenged me to illustrate her Yoga book:
      Thank-you, Nancy. The Camden Harbor water was difficult to achieve as I spend so little time painting water. I painted all those little shapes in and it looked weird. Where the water is lighter, I washed clear water over the colors and where you see the yellow greens, I washed diluted washes of those colors through and it began to look more like what I wanted. Thank-you for the comments on style. So many of my paintings are on a “whimsy”, as you know. I may never have a distinct style. Is it important? I don’t really know.

  9. The South Haven is my favorite. All others are beautifully done. It’s just that I don’t think I’ve ever seen one built out on a pier. Oh the stories contained in all the pictures but the South Haven one just hits me deep!

    • Thank-you D.S. I think the South Haven one is interesting because it looks so lonely out there at the end of that stretch of pier. It appears so small and does such a big job! I learned so much while painting these and love that they make you think of stories that might go with them.

  10. Wow! I can’t really say which is my favorite….but I’m very much taken with Camden Harbour Maine and Breakwater Light Maine. And I still say, the quality of the draughtsmanship in your paintings could translate to very well to print! and you could sell them over and over again!
    Good work Leslie!

    • Thank-you, thank-you, Lynda! That is such a nice thing to say. That Breakwater Light one is interesting. My sister said she felt a haunting feeling while there. It is either very very old or I can sense that, too. She said she had to walk way out on a long stretch of land to get to it.

  11. Leslie, What a wonderful idea (doing a series of small paintings). All of these are full of charm and vivid color… and rhythm and movement…great!

    • Thank-you so much, Linda. I liked the waves crashing on yours and Richards. …never even imagined doing that.

  12. Oh, heavens. Thank goodness I don’t have to pick a favorite. They are all so wonderful and all for such different reasons! The waters range from angry to peaceful. The lighthouses are all so varied. What a great challenge. Can’t wait to go see the others!

    • Thank-you, Kate. Just out of interest, are there any lighthouses along your Big Sur coastline?

  13. Wow you really get into a challenge I love them
    If I had to choose a favorite it would be Breakwater light just because it is a little different. Great work

    • Thank-you, Richard, for a wonderful challenge and giving us enough time to do it in! I agree with you that the Breakwater one is different, eerily so. Loved your wave crashing on the shore of yours!

  14. Okay. Okay….okay…..okay. WHAT!????!!!! You are an artistic frenzy of DELIGHT!!! You painted ALL of these for this challenge? I’m, once again, blown away! These are WONDERFUL! I grew up on an island with a beautiful old lighthouse. I LOVE lighthouses and ALL of Your paintings are so beautiful. I am literally sitting here with my jaw wagging. Okay. I’m now going to go look at Your beautiful paintings again, and then I’m off to check out some of the others. Wow. Thank You and Cheers and Namaste. 🙂

    • Thank-you, Bliss. Your enthusiasm and praise never fails to bring a smile to my face. I have begun to learn that you are “about that” as I read your comments and visit your site. It does not go unnoticed and I thank-you, again. I love the idea of you growing up on an island.

        • blissbait
        • Posted June 22, 2010 at 1:11 pm
        • Permalink

        Hello! I just have to tell You…Got everything prepped yesterday. I’ve just now put on my favourite music, laid out the drop cloths, poured my cup, set up the board….and am about to start putting on the first strokes. You’ve become a teacher to me. Even though water-colour isn’t my medium, I read Your posts and learn from You. You are such an accomplished artist but remind me that it is a journey, all~ways. Experimenting, playing, learning, growing. There are many beings who accompany me whenever I set out to do anything…people dancing in my head, and You have become one of them. That’s pretty cool! Thank You!!!! Have a Great One. I’m off!!! 🙂

      • I can hardly wait for this. I send you positive energy for a glorious experience filled with “Happy Accidents”!!!!!!!

  15. I like your top one and the second down, best. But most of all I lOVVVVE the tree in your top one! I’m afraid I’m not a lighthouse fan, so didn’t go for this challenge, but I do love your paintings. And I shall visit the other artists versions and see how people did.

    • I had never painted a lighthouse before so this was a first for me. I rather enjoy the challenge of something new. It was a bonus that my sister took an avid interest in the challenge. I like the tree, also. It makes that painting more about the vision and the place than the lighthouse and I think the second one has a little more of that feel, also. Thank-you for taking the time to view them and I noticed you traveled and viewed all the others. You are a good blogger friend and I thank-you. 🙂

  16. Hi Leslie
    I’m following you around your blog trips and am enjoying the light houses you find. I find it amazing the variety.

    I hope someone else will offer a challenge may be in the fall. (hint hint)

  17. these are great leslie.
    There’s nothing wrong with doing a series.
    I simply didn’t have time to do a piece.
    Are there winners because you should be a strong contender

    • Thank-you, Richard. All winners, here, all done for fun and to see everyone’s take on lighthouses.

      • that’s always the best way.
        Now i have just completely off the cuff.
        Decided to do a challenge of my own. lol.
        I’m posting another comment here to give encouragement.
        Because i sense it is something you might shy away from.
        I mean no offense.
        I actually think if you took part you might suprise yourself.

  18. They are totally cool, Leslie! Although you made me feel guilty painting so many while I have been slacking and did none :D… I absolutely love the mossy tree on the first one!

    • Thanks, Alex. You should not feel guilty. I did not have to prepare for travel out of the country and there would only have been one painting had it not been for my sister’s special request.

  19. These are really amazing, Leslie 🙂
    Loved them very much, well done!

  20. woah! u r sooo good! do u regularly accept challenges from other people too? lol… im tempted!

  21. Wow your super talented now that I am trying to paint I see how hard it can be at times but you make it seems so easy. Great art work as always 🙂 Your work are very inspiring.

    • Alonso, thank-you so much. I know it is hard, especially when you are first trying to get the feel of watercolor. I thought your first watercolor was wonderful. I hope you are going to stick with it.

  22. I am drawn to the second and last ones ! You have a way with rocks, and hillsides, and colors… these are fantastic !

    • Thank-you, Isabelle! In those two I was most challenged by the sky in them. I was lucky enough to have spent some time, earlier this year with a photo that a wonderful photographer allowed me to use of a sky in Big Sur:
      As I worked the skies in the two paintings you have mentioned I tried to remember what I had learned from those studies. I guess it shows that everything we open ourselves to comes back, ten-fold, later.

  23. dear leslie,

    i am engulfed with the beauty of the lighthouse paintings of yours. i especially like the lighthouse paintings for the drama and the heartwarming spirit of high sea adventure it evokes. beautiful, beautiful paintings. i get so much inspiration today by looking at these wonderful colors and expert brushstrokes.

    you are indeed blessed with a skillful hand, mind and heart!

  24. Hey, Leslie!!! Long time, no blog comments. Life’s been crazy. I still haven’t posted my lighthouse work and I was so disappointed when I realized the date had passed. However, I love your pieces, especially the one of Pointe Betsie. My family has been all over western Michigan and Pointe Betsie is one of the lighthouses we visited as well as the lighthouse at Luddington, which is the lighthouse I chose and will post tomorrow. I hope all is well!

    • Hi Neighbor! Oh my…..I wondered as I kept visiting your blog and no new post. You have had your plate full. I am so sorry for the misfortunes and happy for the good things you were involved with. So, welcome back! ….and you have not missed the challenge, you know we will visit you! Can hardly wait! Thank-you for the visit and a wonderful comment!

  25. Leslie, your lighthouses are so, so beautiful!! The colors are so vivid. I really like the water in the Camden Harbor painting. Very well done!!
    I also love lighthouses! I can see the light blinking at night from my living room across False Bay ( Slangkop ( snake head )lighthouse at Kommetjie, Western Cape in South Africa

    • Thank-you, Jan. That water, at one point in the painting, looked absolutely awful. Then I got the bright idea of washing other colors over the wave shapes and learned something new! Water is water and flows running into itself over and over. Voila! Use the water that I use to paint and run my shapes into each other. It was also rather freeing from the tedious way I had to render each choppy wave. I was hoping you had seen Richard’s challenge and entered one, also.

  26. No more awful water! Now you’ve got it! Great stuff, Leslie. I love it when you tell about your art that you enjoy so much.

  27. I like all these lighthouse paintings. There IS something special about lighthouses isn’t there? I would like to make a lighthouse painting one day too.
    I love the tree at the top
    – very elegant.

    • Hi Sonya,

      At first, I thought of several fellow painters who said they don’t paint lighthouses because the art world is full of them. However, when my sister became so excited about my using her photos for reference and challenged me furthur to paint them small, I really got into it. I saw each lighthouse as a lonely building out there doing an enormous job for the ships and boats with their warning lights. I began to try to find similarities and differences in each and had more fun in creating these than many paintings I have done. That tree? I fell in love with it’s branches and bark. Thank-you, Sonya, for this comment.

One Trackback/Pingback

  1. By More Lighthouses for Sister! | Leslie White on 31 Aug 2014 at 4:41 pm

    […] five of them for the challenge. You can see the paintings I did from those references by clicking here.  For a while, now, she has wanted me to paint two more of the lighthouses she has visited.  I […]

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