Gay Head Lighthouse, on the move and in the kitchen

Sue Guido-Burke painted the Gay Head Light with acrylics on natural stone. — Photo courtesy Sue Guido-Burke

As the Gay Head Lighthouse was being moved back from the cliffs earlier this month, Sue Guido-Burke of Mendon and West Tisbury was also giving the lighthouse a new home — on the backsplash of her kitchen stove.

Sue and her contractor husband Tom married in 2008 after meeting at their high school reunion, and decided to build a house on the West Tisbury land that Tom owned. Once the house was complete, Sue decided that she wanted to put a little of herself into it.

The artist began with a 14-foot mural of the Menemsha sunset on her bedroom wall, which proved a success, and the oil painter’s first foray into acrylics. Next came the idea to paint the Gay Head Lighthouse on the tile in her kitchen.

Ms. Guido-Burke described her creative process in a recent email to The Times: “I thought about doing something for the back of our stove, when someone told me all I have to do is paint on natural stone. I was along the harbor when all the artisans were there two years ago when I saw this photo, and saw the colors, and thought it would be great to try it. I had a hard time finding a smooth natural stone to paint on, and finally borrowed a couple of tiles from one of our clients on a rebuild, and it was perfect. It was a honed natural stone 12 inches by 12 inches. I used four of them. It didn’t matter what color, but it was a dark beige. Then I finally started it, after having it in my head for almost two years. I don’t paint a lot, and really surprised myself how great it came out … It just radiates in our kitchen … it’s just perfect. I’m still so excited about it.”

We’re inspired by Sue’s idea and her beautiful execution. Have you or anyone you know found a way to make your home unique to the Vineyard? We’d love to hear about it. Email us