Dedicated to the memory of my son Theron.
I grew up about as far from a lighthouse as humanly possible, possibly never seeing one until 14 or 15 years old. I graduated high school and went off to college to be a doctor. But as often the case with career plans, this was not to be. Somewhere along the way I decided to become an artist like my older sister. I attended Southern Methodist University in Dallas and changed my major from medicine to graphic design. As SMU was not widely known for its graphic design program, I had to take many art related electives to fill out the required hours to graduate.
So as it happened I took several courses from the late Jerry Bywaters and was greatly influenced by his water color style. Jerry Bywaters studied and taught art at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. He also traveled extensively throughout the world. These experiences influenced his work and supported his efforts to raise the consciousness of art in Dallas. In 1932, Bywaters helped found the Dallas Artists League. He served as the Director of the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts from 1943 to 1964 and advocated the value of new art throughout his life.
I started the lighthouse collection with a poster to give to friends at Christmas. I traveled to Martha’s Vineyard many times and observed the lighthouses. Through the circumstances – that of caring for a sick child, being in need of some insurmountable project to occupy my time, and give myself something else to think about – I settled on lighthouses in America, all 900 of them. I decided on a poster for each still in existence and even some that no longer exist. I would make them all the same size and quality. And the years went by, ironically as my son did not get well, I eventually finished the last lighthouse at the same time he passed away. Perhaps as a friend of mine stated I had become the Maxfield Parrish of lighthouses. While not implying that I am in any way equal to Maxfield Parrish, I attempted to present lighthouses historically and accurately at the time of construction, with some added drama.