When asked why paint lighthouses, Len replied "I enjoy painting scenery and structure and the two seemed to go together." He painted a variety of things and Violet suggested he concentrate on a series so he chose west coast lighthouses. He has painted 25 of them, from Old Point Loma in San Diego to North Head in Washington.
Angel's Gate Lighthouse in Los Angeles Harbor was the first one painted out of 20 different ones. St. George has been the most popular with six different renditions, two of which were commissions. The Oregon Coast Magazine featured St. George in an issue and used one of his pieces in the article.
He concentrated just on west coast lighthouses because there were more east coast ones available and the west coast ones are different in design. The Point Arena lighthouse is a good example. It was damaged in the 1906 earthquake. The person who rebuilt it was a smoke stack builder so now it looks like a big smoke stack. It originally was similar to Pigeon Point Light.
Over the years many of the sentries of the sea have been decommissioned and are now in the hands of historical societies. We are fortunate to have several of these lights within a couple hours drive - Coquille River Light (Bandon), Cape Blanco and Battery Point in Crescent City. The Fresnel lens from the St. George Light can be seen in the Crescent City Museum.
Lighthouses are what brought Len and Violet to the Pacific northwest They traveled up and down the coast taking photos for Len to later paint on canvas. Len will be at Wright's Framing for the June Art Walk and will be happy to answer questions and share his information about lighthousesWest coast lighthouse artist, Len Burton exhibits work at Wright’s Framing in Brookings for the months of June and July. His showing will include original oil paintings and prints and wood lighthouse items. He will be present for the Second Saturday Art Walk June 8th to discuss and answer questions about lighthouses.