Charlottetown Rural student's painting graces The Guardian Christmas paper

Published on December 24, 2015

The lovely winter scene that graces the front page of today's edition of The Guardian is the work of Chaeyeon Lee, a grade 12 student at Charlottetown Rural High School.

Lee's charming watercolour of a P.E.I. lighthouse was chosen by respected Island artist and art educator Henry Purdy from a dozen works of art submitted by students in teacher Richard Haines's art class.

Inspired by a lighthouse on P.E.I.'s north shore, this painting began as a line drawing, gradually evolving as the artist added additional elements.

Lee said she chose a lighthouse as her subject for a couple of reasons.

She noted, for example, that Prince Edward Island is surrounded by water and that the coast of the Island is dotted with lighthouses.

"Lighthouses represent P.E.I. to me," Lee said.

One of the most striking elements of Lee's painting is her sky.


Lee said the sky in the painting with its vivid colours is one she's seen here since coming to the Island to live.

She used a photograph of the lighthouse as her guide but has seen the actual lighthouse the photograph depicts.

Lee said she started to paint her picture a couple of times.

"I tried a lot of times. That one was the good one. It took me about two days."

Lee loves to use watercolours.

"I painted watercolours a lot when I was young, I'm more comfortable with watercolours."

The colours she used are an accurate reflection of the image she saw on the north shore.

Lee said she loves to paint flowers and landscapes but doesn't know at this point whether she's serious enough about her art to make a career out of it.

Purdy said the entries placed before him were really very good and very diverse, and represented a wide variety of media.

"Some are on paper, canvas, stretched canvas, panel, cardboard, and they're done with various media, from watercolours to acrylic, to the use of cotton batten to affect some texture in one of the pieces."

Purdy said Lee, the student who produced the winning entry, shows a very mature handling of the media.

"It's good," Purdy said. "It's Covehead lighthouse and the sky is very startling and vigorous. It has a lot of atmosphere and attitude to it. You can see where the person has actually penciled in the image and then hasn't worried too much about whether they stayed within the lines or not. It's well done. In fact all of them show that they've taken their time with it.

"They've thought about it."

Purdy said none of the artworks submitted gave him the impression that they'd been dashed off.

"They're very good. A number of them go beyond that."