Mary Pickard inherited her father's appreciation for light and its play on color. The daughter of Walter Anderson, among the Mississippi Coast's most famous artists, built an unusual towered home at Shearwater, the Anderson woods and waterfront compound, where art, pottery and family life interplayed.|
"What I loved most about the house is the way light went through it," said Pickard. "The walls were pickled yellow pine, which made them opalescent, changing color according to the light.
"I can't believe I won't see that again."
Katrina destroyed or badly damaged 15 of the 17 houses and buildings at Shearwater in Ocean Springs, including Pickard's architecturally intriguing house and the quaint wood showroom used for the longtime family business, Shearwater Pottery.
The Andersons were the third owners of the 24 acres bought for $1,500 in 1918. George Anderson didn't want his wife, Annette, to choose it, leery of living close to the water with storms. But she thought it a great place to encourage the artistic muses of their children and her instincts were right.
Mary Pickard grew up there.
"Shearwater was a place where we were very, very close to the natural world," she said, "and that's what makes it hard now with the trees being gone and the bareness of the earth, which of course will heal in time."
Eventually she and her former husband, architect Edward Earl Pickard, built a house there with a design that reflected dominant coastal architecture. He taught architectural design at California Polytechnic Institute, Auburn and Notre Dame universities.
The Pickards started building 102D Shearwater in 1979 but didn't move in until 1986 because he was teaching elsewhere. He was fascinated by the old Baldwin Woods House in Biloxi and incorporated some of that design, including octagonal shapes. All is gone.
Mary Pickard's sons want to build a family camp on the Shearwater site.
- KAT BERGERON