Hillsboro Lighthouse Celebrates National Lighthouse Day

Enjoy a boat ride, explore the grounds and climb the Hillsboro Lighthouse in Pompano Beach, Florida. Join the Hillsboro Lighthouse Society’s National Lighthouse Day celebration on Saturday, August 11. 
The Hillsboro Lighthouse first illuminated on March 7, 1907, completed the chain of lights which extended from Jupiter Inlet to the Torguas. The lighthouse, also called “Big Diamond” is unique. With of a beam of 28 nautical miles, it is has the strongest light beam of all US lighthouses. It has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1978. 
The shuttle to the lighthouse sails in the morning at 8:15, 9:00, 9:45, 10:30 and 11:15. Pay $35 for day or purchase yearlong membership for the same price. For more information, visit Hillsboro Lighthouse


Beacons of the High Seas

According to the Navy League, no industry has been more vital to the economy of the United States than that of America’s maritime industry. Lighthouses was once the cornerstone of maritime industry. 

For the month of August, I will be celebrating National Lighthouse Day with discounts on my lighthouse art at the boutique store Made in Jax at the Jacksonville International Airport. 

Save big on my Gliclee prints at the airport. Gliclee (zhee-KLAY) is a museum quality investment that uses acid free watercolor paper, and pigment based archival inks. This insures that Gliclees never fade, degrade or yellow. Unlike a print that may fade, a 6 color ink jet process ensures a Gliclee retains its original luster. 

Zero Chance of Manatees?

When I purchased my ticket for the Wakulla Springs boat cruise, my only question was “Will I see manatees today.” I love manatees and I had planned this side trip just to see them. But the man at the ticket counter replied there were no reported sightings of manatees for the day. With my hopes somewhat dashed, I purchased my ticket for the 4 pm cruise. After all, the forecasters predicted rain and there had been no rain. Could the manatee forecast be wrong? Zero chance of manatees, I wondered. 

Five minutes into the tour a huge manatee swam beside where I was sitting. I gave out a loud cheer. The guide was startled by the manatee and stopped for photo ops. He said this manatee sighting and a bird piercing a fish would be the highlights of tour. But he like the forecasters, was wrong. For a few minutes later, we watched a mother manatee nurse her calf before they swam away. Then sometime later, we saw a tiny manatee join his older sibling for a swim. Mom was overseeing the brood on the edge of the water nearby.

We had witnessed so many precious moments it was hard to believe that I had seen this all in the course of an hour. Before we ended the cruise, another manatee was sighted. Seven manatees in all. 

At the end the cruise, the captain said he had never seen so many manatees on a cruise during the Spring. I smiled lifting my hands with heartfelt gratitude to the One who had sent manatees and sunshine my way. Zero chance of manatees? Hardly. 

Honoring Those Who Soared

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. 

Breaking the Sound Barrier

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

Shop local at Made in Jax 

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 

TGIF: Artists Explore and Paint Nation’s Oldest City 

Artists converge on the coastal town of St. Augustine, April 21-29. The Plein Air event features outdoor painting at historic sites, brunch, closing reception, demonstration, exhibit and more. 

Artists will begin checking in on April 21. The day follows with an orientation brunch and quick drawn on April 22. Celebrity artist Roger Bansemer gives a painting demo on April 26. He is one of the hosts of the PBS seies, “Painting and Traveling with Roger and Sarah Bansemer.” Roger was the show winner in last year’s event. The Plein Air Paint Out concludes on April 29 with a reception and Nocturne painting session. Following the Plein Air event, there will be a juried exhibit, May 4-27 at the St. Augustine Art Association on 22 Marine Street. 
There is a fee to participate as an artist in this event. For more information, call 904-824-2310.