Keeper Originals: Watercolor Paintings and Prints was formed in 2003 after the artist, Lloyd Childers, left her lighthouse keeping duties on the Outer Banks and retired to Hampstead, NC, near Wilmington, to begin painting in earnest. After a career in State Government, she moved to Corolla on the Outer Banks as the lighthouse keeper for Currituck Beach Lighthouse and executive director of Outer Banks Conservationists, Inc., the nonprofit group that restored the keepers’ house, lighthouse and lighthouse compound in Corolla.
Having been a “keeper” for five years and hoping that her paintings would be “keepers” the name Keeper Originals seemed fitting. Lloyd enjoys watercolor and colored pencil media for her paintings, which are professionally reproduced in prints of various sizes. Prints are handsomely matted to fit standard sized frames.
In anticipation of her retirement, Lloyd took photographs of the lighthouse, the nearby Whalehead Club and every aspect of the coastal environment on the Outer Banks, including Nags Head, Manteo, and Wanchese to use as source material. Daily views of the lighthouse, keepers' house and maritime forests in and around the Village of Corolla were constant sources of inspiration. The unique maritime environment north of the Corolla also intrigued her. There she might find a wandering band of Corolla Wild Horses, a Coast Guard or Life-Saving Station, wind patterns in the sand, sea oats, dunes, beach cottages or distant fishermen--vibrant views all to feed her artist’s soul.
Lloyd wrote and illustrated a book about her experiences on the Outer Banks, entitled “The Keepers House and Other Reflections.” She returned to Raleigh in 2008 to be near her daughters and grandchildren and continue her painting. Her subject matter has expanded to include portraits of children and people. Other paintings result from her travels to the North Carolina barrier islands and mountains, as well as the Chesapeake Bay and Annapolis area, Maine, the Pacific North West, New Orleans, the Southwest and the Mediterranean including Italy, Turkey and the Greek Islands.