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26.000 x 16.000 inches
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Painting - Watercolor
By James R. Williamson
The pull that brings us to the seashore is almost as strong as the moon�s pull on the ocean itself. The incredible beauty found along the Pacific Coast of America is astonishing. When I conceived �Windswept Shore� I wanted to bring this beauty to the attention of the viewer. Put down the cell phone, get out of the car, stop working and make a pilgrimage to the seashore. It is good for your soul. Immersed in the splendor of the coast you become aware of the natural beauty that surrounds us. Where sea and shore meet, among the inland waterway of the Pacific Northwest, is to many the most dramatic place in the universe. Visitors to the shores of Fort Worden State Park and Point Wilson are given a visual treat that few other coastlines in the world can offer. Panoramic views of the inland waterways are spectacular and renew the visitor with a sense of wonder.
�Windswept Shore� is situated on the Olympic Peninsula at the northeastern most point, approximately two miles north of Port Townsend. This low, broad sand-spit extends over a half mile into the water and marks the entrance to Admiralty Inlet from the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Here, the main shipping channel narrows and makes a sharp turn to the south into Puget Sound.
Nearby shoals, heavy rip-tides, and persistent fog influenced the placing of a lighthouse on Point Wilson in 1879.
The Chemakum Indians named this pointKam-Kam-Ho and the S�Kallum Indians called it Kam-Kum. Captain George Vancouver of the British Navy named Point Wilson on June 6, 1792, in honor of a colleague, Captain George Wilson.
The idea for the painting �Windswept Shore� was inspired by the large grove of pine trees located in Fort Worden State Park, along the sand-spit. The park has over two miles of shoreline on Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Point Wilson is a dividing line between these two bodies of water, and gives the park two distinct beaches. It is enjoyable year round to stroll among the many windblown trees, heavy brush and tall sea grass, soaking up the Northwest environment of wind and waves, as gulls ride the breeze.
The view of �Windswept Shore� is overlooking the Strait of Juan de Fuca through coastal pine trees with a headland in the distance. The section of beach from Point Wilson to the headland immediately west is called Kinzie Beach. North Beach, stretching from Kinzie Beach westward, around the headland, to North Beach County Park, is a wilder less visited beach, strewn with rocks, driftwood and tall sea grass.
�Windswept Shore� overlooks North Beach, to the headland immediately west, and out towards the Strait of Juan de Fuca. These natural elements together create a saltwater shoreline in a grand setting.
The Strait of Juan de Fuca is the principle outlet for the Georgia Strait and Puget Sound, connecting both to the Pacific Ocean. It provides part of the International Boundary between the United States and Canada. It was named in 1788 by the English Captain John Mears of the ship Felice for Juan de Fuca, the Greek sailor who claimed to have gone on a voyage with Spanish explorers in 1592 to seek the fabled Straits of Anian.
The United States Geographical Survey defines the Strait of Juan de Fuca as a channel. It extends east from the Pacific Ocean between Vancouver Island, British Columbia, and the Olympic Peninsula, Washigton, to Haro Strait, San Juan Channel, Rosario Strait, and Puget Sound. Its Pacific Ocean Boundary is formed by a line between Cape Flattery and Tatoosh Island, and Carmanah Point (Vancouver Island), British Columbia.
Because it is exposed to the generally westerly winds and waves of the Pacific, seas and weather in Juan de Fuca Strait are, on average, rougher than in more protected waters inland. The weather on Point Wilson reveals the intensity of these strong winds in the creation of a grove of resilient pine trees.
January 18th, 2012
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