When I visited Titusville earlier this year, I was touched when I saw a street sign honoring Challenger Astronaut Ronald McNair. He was one of the seven astronauts who perished during the launch of the Challenger. A physicist and NASA astronaut, I’m sure he and his family had high hopes for his future.
Like the most of the nation, I watched with horror as the Challenger exploded in 1986. Often our nation’s military heroes die on some foreign soil, a distant place on a map. Their deaths sadly seem so far removed from us. But our televisions brought this sorrow closer to our hearts and living rooms.
In Titusville, I thought about the community, family, and friends who may be still grieving this loss. The “McNair” street sign became a memorial. On Memorial Day, we reflect and remember those who served our nation with the greatest of all sacrifices. We must also remember their loved ones who daily struggle with the emptiness in their hearts. Let us never forget.
I visited the Pensacola Lighthouse with my family after attending a reunion in Mississippi. This would be the fourth and final lighthouse to sketch during our trip. I was happy to end the trip with a lighthouse I had longed to paint. Located on the western most tip of Florida, the lighthouse seemed to be unreachable.
Although rain had been forecasted for the day, we decided to visit the lighthouse on a cloudy day. After clearing security, we headed to the lighthouse. The National Naval Aviation Museum was in eyesight of the museum. Although I’ve been to many air shows, the sight and sounds of the Blue Angels flying near the lighthouse captured my imagination.
To see more of my art and to learn more about lighthouses, visit my website Elaine Marie Artist
I traveled to Trinity Buoy Wharf to sketch London’s only lighthouse, Bow Creek or Trinity Lighthouse, a day before my visit to see the paintings of JMW Turner in the Tate Museum in London. I admire the art of Turner and was excited about my upcoming visit to the Tate Museum. There was much to see-Turner bequeathed over 300 paintings to museum.
But first I was headed to the lighthouse. As we got off the Tube, we followed the directional signs to Trinity Buoy Wharf. Once there, we happened upon a lightship, in addition to the lighthouse. Two light vessels at one stop! Amazed, I hurriedly sketched the lighthouse. As the wind flipped the pages, I quickly sketched the lightship while my daughter took shelter in a nearby restaurant.
As I sketched the lightship, I thought about Turner and pondered how I could pay tribute to him. Pausing for moment, I became spellbound by the lightship that was now converted into a studio. It seemed pregnant with stories of its past.
Back in the United States, I looked at my yellow foreground and became inspired when I read how much Turner used yellow. According to the book How to Paint like Turner, “Some of Turner’s most daring and experimental innovations centered around his use of yellow. It seems to have been his favorite color and he used it liberally…For more than thirty years his use of yellow became one of the most frequently mentioned aspects of his art, with critics variously accusing him of ‘yellow fever’…”
Experience the best of Jacksonville, Florida while exploring unique art, handcrafted items and custom jewelry at the boutique shop Made in Jax at the Jacksonville Airport. Over 60 local artists are showcased.
Stop by to see my Archival Gliclee Lighthouse watercolor prints. Each print in the Escape Artist series is signed and features a narrative with visitor information, interesting facts and a fascinating tale. To learn more about me, visit my website, Elaine Marie Artist