Storm blowing by Chicago harbor light

detail of a white lighthouse and red sailed boat as a storm approaches chicago in a painting by kathryn sassall A storm can blow in to any place at any time. This particular one came as a brooding dark sky  reflected off of Lake Michigan below. The clouds sweeping across the sky. A lighthouse can be a clue of dangers below or close by or part of a harbour entrance. These boats were heading back towards harbour to anchor up. Shelter from the storm needed as the water turned into a sea of  unsettled waves. Just minutes before it had been blue and sunny with just a darkness in the distance. The storm flew across the lake fast and low.

The Chicago Harbor Light was state of the art in its day, 1893. It’s stood on the end of the breakwater surrounded by rip-rap since 1919.  A listed ironwork structure which is automated. The buildings below the tower are a fog signal room and boathouse. It is a clear beacon even in the daytime due to the white of the building.

I was strolling on Navy Pier. Distracted by the motion and shouts from the swing chair ride I was aware of a sudden change in temperature. I looked up and noticed the change in the water. The clouds looked full.  The rains had not started to fall but did follow.


This painting captures the moment  I noticed the weather change across the Lake. The dark maroon sail filled with the winds that blew the storm clouds. The darkness was brooding. An energy was created.  I chose to capture this by using a warm tone of the roof of the lighthouse buildings. The burnt orange background setting off the green hues. What dangers lurked in the water? impressionist painting detail of a boat on lake michigan in a storm

expressionist painting of stormy lake michigan chicago with sail boat and lighthouse

Storm £190
45 x 34 cm
Acrylic, brush application A2 (59.4 x 42 cm) acrylic paper

45 x 34 cm [13.60″ x 18.00″]
Brush applied acrylic paint on 59.4 x 42 cm (A2) acrylic paper.

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