Digest>Archives> May/Jun 2014

Lighthouse Artist Bev Schreiber Dies


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Noted lighthouse artist Bev Schreiber, whose unique style of lighthouse paintings has adorned checks, puzzles, prints, posters, and bookmarks, has lost her battle with cancer.

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Bev, who started her painting career on the northwest coast, then lived for a longtime in Connecticut and finished her life back on the Pacific Northwest where she was dedicated to the preservation of the Mukilteo Lighthouse in Washington.

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After the death of her husband in the late 1990s, Bev had many hurdles to overcome. She recalled to a local reporter that she was left with no life insurance, no income, and no idea how to support the younger of two sons, so she fell back onto what she knew best - her painting - which would now need to support her full time. So, she took the bold task of moving from one coast to another, and she set up a studio in a home she moved to in Chester, Connecticut.

Bev’s artist career had actually stared in a suburb of Tacoma, Washington where, as a young mother, she pursued her talent, sketching 19th century architecture. She started with old barns, then historic train stations, and then historic houses. She said, “If it had walls, I drew it.” She sold her paintings at craft shows, art shows, and other venues, anyplace she could set up a 10x10 booth.

When her family started boating, she got hooked on lighthouses. “When you’re on the water, they’re your street signs,” she said. Once the lighthouse bug caught her, she only painted lighthouse images, from one coast to the other, and, of course, the Great Lakes. Her limited edition prints became the mainstay of her business; however, small sources of income also came from bookmarks and licensing her image on puzzles, Christmas ornaments, and checks, plus she did some work for Harbour Lights, a manufacturer of lighthouse collectibles.

In Connecticut she got involved in a local movement to build a replica of the long lost Chester Rock Lighthouse, an idea that got rejected by a State of Connecticut environmental agency. When she moved back to the West Coast, she got involved with the Mukilteo Lighthouse, which was her favorite.

The lighthouse world has lost another unique talent who was part of the earliest stages of the lighthouse craze and preservation movement of the late 1980s and early 1990s. Our condolences go out to her family and friends. Noted lighthouse author Elinor DeWire may have said best when she wrote on a social media web site, “If there are lighthouses in heaven, then I’m sure Bev is already at work painting them in her whimsical way and making sure we all know how special they are.”

This story appeared in the May/Jun 2014 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

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