“Milltown Morning” is the first in a series of digital paintings depicting the historic lumber mill town of Port Blakely on Bainbridge Island, Washington. The Port Blakely mill was built by Captain William Renton in 1863. It was the first of three that would be built on the site until the third mill was torn down in 1924. All that remains usable from that era are a couple of the small cottages that lined the boardwalk. There is now a park at the former mill site where one can see the few remaining pilings.
In those 61 years people came and went, worked, lived, married, had children, and of course, eventually died, leaving behind stories that all too often last only a generation or two before fading into obscurity. Fortunately, in the case of Port Blakely, many of those stories have been collected and presented in a wonderful book called “Port Blakley, The Community Captain Renton Built” by Andrew Price Jr. His book helped fuel my imagination as I recreated the town.
My goal was to do with art what Andrew Price did with words—to recreate something now lost to history and make it come alive. This would have been very difficult without his book and without access to vintage photos and research made available by the helpful people at the Bainbridge Island Historical Society. To all I am very grateful.
Please explore the links to the left and at the top of the page to learn more about the history of Port Blakely and process involved in creating this art. I hope you enjoy it.