Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The Towers at Bannerman's Island

Approaching Bannerman's Island
5x7", Gouache

Bannerman's Island is supposedly haunted, treacherous to reach by boat due to strong currents, and covered with poison ivy. Although it is off limits to the general public, that description makes you wonder why anybody would want to go there anyway! The island has a fascinating history, and the last owner built a huge armory castle along the shoreline, with a residence castle at the peak of the island. He began constructing towers in the water to form a grand entrace, and sunk all kinds of debris around the perimeter to deter trespassers. A huge fire gutted the structures. Some of them are held up only by the poison ivy vines growing up the sides.

You can imagine the thrill I got when I was asked to go by boat out to the island to do a painting for an auction to benefit Bannerman Castle Trust, the organization charged with renovating the exquisite structures. I jumped at the chance. I took some pictures along the way, knowing that painting there on location was not something I'd be able to do again very soon!

I had hoped to return to paint there again this year, but wasn't able to arrange the date. This is a small gouache painting on Arches hot press watercolor paper, done from one of those photos I took on my expedition.


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