Sunday, October 2, 2011
Blakeley 'Rocks', 8x10
One evening nearing dusk I noticed these 'rocks' in Blakeley Harbor and was taken with the glow of sunlight off their surface. Normally I don't think I'd post this one as it was a good exercise but doesn't go anywhere artistically, in my humble opinion. So why did I post it? Read on.
There was a time in the Pacific Northwest when giant trees dominated the land. Their trunks were large enough that people hollowed them out and made homes in them. The felled logs needed to be sawed up for shipment and this is where the story gets interesting.
Blakeley Harbor, now a sleepy bay with a few homes around it, was once the home of the largest sawmill in the world. The harbor was the site of a large community with hotels, stores, ship building, homes and businesses. That is all gone but the pier posts which you can see in the painting.
OK. Now the 'rocks'. Sawmills run on saw blades which often need sharpening. The business that did all the sharpening was on the boardwalk above the water....now gone. These 'rocks' are actually piles of the metal that was filed off the blades.
Now wasn't that an interesting history lesson? We are all surrounded by ghosts of the past that, most of the time, we are oblivious to.
No wonder those rocks were glinting in the setting sun.