This painting is based on a color-pencil drawing by Carl Barks.
While Barks did several "Sailboat" oil paintings, none were set at night. Because his drawing included a lighthouse standing watch on a cliff over looking the ducks, I thought it offered the perfect opportunity to change the setting from bright daylight to early evening, allowing the bright "blaze" of the lighthouse to illuminate the ducks from behind.

The title is taken from "The Lighthouse," a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:

"They come forth from the darkness, and their sails Gleam for a moment only in the blaze,
And eager faces, as the light unveils
Gaze at the tower, and vanish while they gaze."


01-2012 "Their Sails Unfurled Before the Blaze" 16" x 20" oil on masonite

Barks's cover to Walt Disney's Comics and Stories No. 108.

Barks's original oil painting:
"Red Sails in the Sunset" (19-74).

Barks's original color pencil drawing: "Home Are the Sailors, Home From the Sea," 1997.