To inspire my paining process I have compiled a lot of visual research and stumbled across some cool facts, charts, ephemera and data.
The Boston harbor islands served a wide range of uses through out the years including, city landfills, fortifications, farmland and industrial operations and a home to hermits and outcasts.
With these changes in use, the environment flora and fauna also has changed. In 1635 farmers began to plant non-native plants including orchards. By the end of the 17th century most of the islands were inhabited, cultivated and mostly deforested for firewood. During the 19th century the islands were often being used for recreational purposes, and to beautify their environment an initiative began to reforest the islands. I have found some very nice resources that list a in depth analysis of the current flora of Raccoon island. Here are some scientific illustrations:
The subject of my painting was Raccoon island. Raccoon island is a small island off the coast of Quincy, Ma. At low tide it is possible to walk to it from the mainland. The island was likely used by Native Americans as a seasonal campsite. Later, in the 1600s, colonists grazed sheep on the island at this time it was called "Sun Island." In the 1880s to the 1930s the island was used for recreational camping parties.
A history left behind, I am fascinated by old abandoned buildings and things left behind that tell a story. In this painting I am using a society's left overs, foliage and a little bit of allegory to tell the story of Raccoon Island.