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Chatham Light

Sometimes it appears to me that lighthouses have a personality. Chatham Light, guarding the far reaches of Cape Cod in Massachusetts, strikes me as being proud – exhibiting both the foot soldier’s humble utility and the austere dignity of the captain of arms.

The tower, standing sentinel-straight over its complex of red-roofed outbuildings, has been rebuilt several times after fire and punishing storms. Now – made of brick and steel – it looks as if it could stand forever.

When I saw Chatham Light under a brooding, ominous sky, I sensed the fury of the storms that periodically pound the Cape. There was urgency to my painting; the wind was kicking salt spray into the air and rain threatened to wash my canvas clean. I worked feverishly to capture the dramatic mood and the spare beauty of the scene while the weather permitted.

Chatham Light –┬álike so many lighthouses – stands on a desolate, hostile shore that one might almost be tempted to describe as “God forsaken.” But the message of lighthouses is really quite different – it is that, regardless of appearances, no place is truly “God forsaken.” God’s guiding hand is everywhere visible, and His message of hope and consolation applies with greatest force when the storm rages around us.

  • Established as a light station in 1808, Chatham Light depicts what has long been an important landmark on the Cape Cod coastline. In the 19th Century, hundreds of ships would sail past the light each day.
  • Always the Painter of Light, Thomas Kinkade has painted this scene in the late afternoon as dusk is falling, and the lights of the surrounding buildings as the lighthouse itself are lit.
  • Thom chose to paint Chatham Light in late winter, when the famed silvery light of Cape Cod was at its best.
  • The ocean around Cape Cod has claimed countless ships in her rough seas. The Chatham Lighthouse was built to protect mariners from the perilous and shifting Massachusetts shoreline.
  • Symbols of protection and safety, lighthouses parallel our relationship with God – His protective light guides us through the stormy seas of life.
  • Chatham Light is part of Thom’s East Coast Series of the Plein Air Collection.
Title Chatham Light
Published June 2004
Subject Location Chatham Lighthouse in Chatham, Massachusetts
Collection East Coast Series II
Classification Plein Air Collection

Image Size

18" x 24"

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