The Quiet Before the Storm

Perched high on a cliff, East Chop Lighthouse is located in a quiet residential area. Surrounded by a grassy area with a picket fence and benches, the idyllic setting belies its noble purpose. The perils offshore inspired a mariner to raise money to privately build the lighthous in 1869.


Be SMART in the New Year


West Chop Lighthouse

West Chop Lighthouse at Martha’s Vineyard.

Next year I want to paint SMART. I’ve got a long list of lighthouses to paint.

There are about 450 lighthouses in the United States and I’ve painted 15 of them since March. Many are inaccessible or located in remote locations which makes it challenging but not impossible. I was fortunate to visit four lighthouses on Martha’s Vineyard in one day without a car. It took planning and perseverance. Lots of things went wrong.

Edgartown Lighthouse

Edgartown Lighthouse at Martha’s Vineyard.

I want to paint all the remaining lighthouses on Florida’s west coast. But what’s my plan?

Well, I saw this article on “The Resolution Revolution” by Gary Scheiner of Integrated Diabetes Services. He said the key to being successful with New Year’s Resolutions is being SMART. I’m not into resolutions but I do like having a plan of attack for goals.

In the SMART system goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time Limited.

Gay Head Lighthouse.

Gay Head Lighthouse at Martha’s Vineyard.

He was talking about diabetes but I think the SMART plan can be applied to any situation.

It works this way:
I want to eat better/ I will limit my nighttime snacks/I will have one snack each night/ I will have only one snack on weeknights/which will help me control my nighttime blood sugar and sleep better/for the entire month of January.

East Chop Lighthouse.

East Chop Lighthouse at Martha’s Vineyard.

Finally, he says consider what will motivate you and ease the path toward goal achievement, and consider obstacles that might get in the way.

Oasis at Martha’s Vineyard

East Chop Lighthouse

East Chop Lighthouse appears to be floating in water. I guess my subconscious took over in this rendition.

Thirsty! After a scenic 2 mile trek, I was happy to see benches at the East Chop Lighthouse. I grabbed a bottle of water to quench my thirst and sized up my second lighthouse.

It reminded me of the Edgartown Lighthouse. Still… I noticed subtle differences in the iron works on the rail. This lighthouse was on a high cliff unlike the Edgartown Lighthouse.

Edgartown was a plush resort area, East Chop was located in an upscale residential area.

On the way, the bus passed nearby Oak Bluffs which appeared to be the heart of the island’s commerce.

I finished my sketch, and I began my walk back. I stopped to talk to another artist and hurriedly made my way to the bus stop.

Two more lighthouses to go and it was only noon. I was on schedule or so I thought…