Take a hike

Cape Florida Lighthouse.

Copyrighted Cape Florida Lighthouse by Elaine Marie.

Walk off those holiday pounds. Explore Florida’s breathtaking ecosystem. Discover interesting facts about native plants and animals. Journey through Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park on January 1 from 9-11 am. Limited to 30 people. Free with regular park admission.

For more information, call 305-361-5811.

Be SMART in the New Year

 

West Chop Lighthouse

West Chop Lighthouse at Martha’s Vineyard.

Next year I want to paint SMART. I’ve got a long list of lighthouses to paint.

There are about 450 lighthouses in the United States and I’ve painted 15 of them since March. Many are inaccessible or located in remote locations which makes it challenging but not impossible. I was fortunate to visit four lighthouses on Martha’s Vineyard in one day without a car. It took planning and perseverance. Lots of things went wrong.

Edgartown Lighthouse

Edgartown Lighthouse at Martha’s Vineyard.

I want to paint all the remaining lighthouses on Florida’s west coast. But what’s my plan?

Well, I saw this article on “The Resolution Revolution” by Gary Scheiner of Integrated Diabetes Services. He said the key to being successful with New Year’s Resolutions is being SMART. I’m not into resolutions but I do like having a plan of attack for goals.

In the SMART system goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time Limited.

Gay Head Lighthouse.

Gay Head Lighthouse at Martha’s Vineyard.

He was talking about diabetes but I think the SMART plan can be applied to any situation.

It works this way:
I want to eat better/ I will limit my nighttime snacks/I will have one snack each night/ I will have only one snack on weeknights/which will help me control my nighttime blood sugar and sleep better/for the entire month of January.

East Chop Lighthouse.

East Chop Lighthouse at Martha’s Vineyard.

Finally, he says consider what will motivate you and ease the path toward goal achievement, and consider obstacles that might get in the way.

You’ve come a long way, baby

Painting by Sue Williams

“We’ve got a lot of work to do” by Sue Williams.

After going to the exhibit “No Man’s Land” at the Rubell Family Collection, I felt a little deflated. I was disappointed about not seeing works by Kara Walker and Carrie Weems—it was a rotating exhibit. I felt that their absences left a sizable void in the exhibit in spite a painting done in 1992 by Sue Williams.

My painting Death of Fertility.

My painting “Death of Fertility” was exhibited at “Widening the Cycle.”

Miami is the only major city in the United States founded by a woman so my expectations were high. Also, I had recently exhibited in “Widening the Cycle” in Boston and expected art that spoke about feminism. The Boston exhibit explored menstruation and had a Feminist Walking Tour to complete the event. The exhibit achieved its goals of raising awareness about menstruation and discrimination women face.

“No Man’s Land” left me wondering what’s the difference between feminism and sexism. Women complain about men exploiting the female body and I saw a few pieces that I thought did just that. So what’s the point?

Are women better off in a post feminist era? Are men more committed to going to Superhero movies than being good fathers? Women now head more families and more children are fatherless and in poverty. I read an article that said the average millennial woman cries one day a week; overwhelmed by the demands of family and work.

Too bad this exhibit did little speak to the issues facing women. It was just an exhibit by women. And may be sadly that was the point.

The Buck Stops Here

Art Deco Coloring book

Buy Splash and Color on sale on Etsy.

My Etsy Artflorida bookstore is now open! What a surprise I felt when I received the congratulatory  email from Etsy.

Doubtful it would open after many tries with Amazon, I had shrugged  my emotional shoulders and given up. If it don’t fit don’t force it I told my son. Something I would have never told him as a child. At one time in my life I wondered if my persistence was a disguise for stubbornness. But now I sometimes give up without a thought or fight. Sometimes God closes doors I reason. But I wonder if it is just an excuse and not predestination.

I recently asked my daughter why she and her siblings are so dogged about everything. Whenever I ask them to do something they dig their hills in until it is done. Even if I decide to change my mind they will proceed on the same course until the task is done. I could never understand it until my daughter said “Mom, you taught us never to give up.” And I thought they never listened to anything I say.

The Coast is Clear

The New Canal Lighthouse.

The New Canal Lighthouse in New Orleans.
Copyrighted by Elaine Marie.

With each of my lighthouse painting, I capture a new mood and attitude. I’ve discovered that lighthouses have personalities. Some are friendly and engaging. Others are reserved and cautious.

The daymark does not guide me. It is the atmosphere, sunlight, clouds, and setting that directs me. I am driven by thought, intuition, passion and emotions. Each painting is a personal encounter.

Water is an integral part of my art as a reference, an influence or medium. My art is shaped by childhood trips to the beach and my passion for history. The rhythms of the ocean and rivers have captivated me since I was a child. I bring this fluidity into my art with my water colors. My paintings focus on conservation and preservation. There are sometimes hidden messages embedded in my art.

I love art because it transcends time and place. Art is a universal language that speaks to the heart and soul.

The Florida Lifestyle

Pensacola Lighthouse

Pensacola Lighthouse on the Florida Panhandle copyrighted by Elaine Marie.

The American Automobile Association and pollsters finally got it right. There are three Floridas! When I ordered my Florida tour book recently, I had the option of three books: South Florida, Central Florida, and the Panhandle.

One thread courses through them all— sunny skies and scenic beaches. As I travel around the sunshine state with my sketch book in hand, I am captivated by what I see: the pristine beaches of North or Central Florida contrasted by the well-groomed tropical beaches of South Florida.

As a state whose economy and geography is defined by water, you would think that Florida would treasure its natural resources.

Yet, Florida has a pattern of abusing natural resources like the St. Johns River and the Everglades. How can we manage our state’s current growth and not diminish our resources? We are on the path to outpacing New York as the third largest state.

The symbiotic relationship between wetlands, aquatic habitat and clouds is what makes Florida unique and is often the subject of many of my paintings. If we destroy our fragile ecological balance, we imperil our lifestyle.

Outside In: Black Art Matters

Passion of Christ by Romare Bearden, Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens.

Passion of Christ by Romare Bearden, Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens.

A sculpture by renowned artist Augusta Savage from the Jacksonville area was removed from outside the Cummer Museum Gardens and placed inside the museum. A symbolic move that parallels the current emphasis on Black Art. The Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens has updated its exhibit collection to include other Black artists. Cummer’s move is part of a new trend.

For years after being ignored, major museums are trying to diversify their collections with American Black Art. It was over 30 years ago, that I penned the article “Forgotten Artists” for the newspaper the Grapevine in San Vito de Normandie in Italy. I recalled how Black artists were excluded from the cultural mainstream. There was no mention of any American Black artists in the college textbook Janson’s “History of Art” nor was the Harlem Renaissance mentioned which was a major art movement in the United States.

Black Art has often relegated to Black History month in February. A couple of years ago, I visited Art Basel Miami Beach and wrote an article entitled “African American Works on Paper” to pay tribute to Black artists. That same year the Lowe Museum featured the Harmon and Harriet Kelly collection of African American Art. The Black couple amassed a wonderful collection of Black Art when few were doing it.

The Rubell Family Collection in Miami brought Black Art to the forefront with the 30 Americans exhibit in 2009. In 2013 at Art Basel Miami Beach, Kehinde Wiley’s portrait of Micheal Jackson was auctioned for $175.000. This year Kehinde Wiley received a Medal of Arts award from the State Department. For more information on Black Art visit these links:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/29/arts/design/black-artists-and-the-march-into-the-museum.html?smid=tw-nytimesarts&smtyp=cur&_r=0

http://blackartinamerica.com

http://www.elainemarieartist.com