Words Do Have Power

Cape Florida Lighthouse.

Cape Florida Lighthouse is the closest lighthouse to Miami.

Words do have power. Now that I look back on this quote by a fellow artist, ” First the rats, then the roaches, then the artists…”I realize how it started me on my journey of painting lighthouses. My friend was lamenting the demise of neighborhoods due to the demolition of buildings. This thought planted a seed that came to fruition when I moved to Miami Beach years later. 

Miami Beach

Miami Beach is more than fun in the sun.

In Miami Beach, I discovered the Art Deco District and how it came into being because of the passion and foresight of one woman, Barbara Capitman, a New Yorker. She was the force behind the creation of the Miami Design Preservation League. This non profit organization is responsible for the Miami Art Deco District becoming the first 20th Century neighborhood to be designated as a National Historic Landmark. Through their hard work an entire neighborhood was saved from demolition. 

The Post Office in Miami Beach is an Art Deco building.

The Miami Beach Post Office is an Art Deco Building.

It was in Miami that I began painting landscape architecture, Art Deco buildings. Previously, I only painted portraits. My art and passion for history found a new voice. As I finished painting and exhibiting the Art Deco buildings, I began wondering what my next step would be. 

A painting of an Art Deco building.

The Molbar one of the Art Deco buildings I painted.

Thinking about my trips to the beach as a child and my love of history, lighthouses became my new subject matter. As I researched lighthouses, I learned how they were in dire need of preservation due to neglect. After years of faithful service, these guardians of sea were deemed excess property by the government and irrelevant in terms of navigation. I wanted to help change that perception through my paintings. Not only would I paint lighthouses, I would promote lighthouses for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations. 
Brant Point Lighthouse.

Brant Point Lighthouse in Nantucket one of the newest paintings I’ve done.

So this is where I am now. First the rats, then the roaches, then the artists. 

Drawing a lighthouse

I’ve drawn and painted lighthouses in the United States and Europe.


A Marvel of Human Ingenuity 

West Rathlin Lighthouse.

West Rathlin Lighthouse was built with beacon below the tower.

The upside down lighthouse on Rathlin Island in Ireland is a marvel of human ingenuity. Unlike most lighthouses, the Keepers at West Rathlin Lighthouse had to climb down to the light. The Commissioners of Irish Lights Engineer-in-Chief CW Scott came up with this novel idea. Because the top cliff was often obscured by fog and low clouds, a traditional lighthouse would not do. 

Built in 1912 on a somewhat vertical cliff, the upside down lighthouse was a huge undertaking. It took almost 4 years to complete. The enormous amount concrete used had to be mixed by hand. An inclined railway was built for transporting materials. 


A Damsel in Distress

Star of the Sea Youth Hostel

Star of the Sea youth hostel was formerly a life saving station.

It’s kind of ironic that I stayed at the Star of the Sea Youth Hostel in Nantucket. I really needed a reprieve from a chaotic visit to Martha’s Vineyard. The hostel was once a life saving station for distressed vessels. Now I was looking for shelter from a distressed encounter. 

Brant Point Lighthouse

Brant Point Lighthouse can be seen from the ferry.

Although the ferry ride was about a hour from Martha’s Vineyard, it felt a world away from the turmoil I had witnessed. I was happy to retreat to Nantucket for a few days of painting and quiet.

Old Brant Point Lighthouse

Most people don’t realize this a lighthouse because the lens is missing.

I had reluctantly booked a stay at the hostel. I thought the military style sleeping arrangements would not offer the peace and quiet that I needed. To my surprise there was a curfew with a time of quiet at night. 

Sankaty Lighthouse

Sankaty Lighthouse took a little maneuvering to get to.

After three days of quiet and completing 4 paintings, I felt renewed. The hostel was beautiful and I memorialized my visit by painting it. Of course the weather was windy and the water turbulent on the ferry ride back to Martha’s Vineyard. I was afraid it was an indicator of things to come. 

Surfside Life Saving Station in Nantucket, MA was established in 1874. The Life Saving Service is the precursor to today’s United States Coast Guard. It is a National Landmark.


Experience Captivating Art at Trends

After being featured in the United States Lighthouse Society’s newsletter, I unveil two Plein Air paintings at Trends Art and Home Boutique. The two paintings showcase my captivating and colorful style. My work is part of the Art Guild of Orange Park’s “Our Town” juried exhibit. The opening reception is October 7 from 3-5 pm with the exhibit continuing through November 3. Trends is open Tuesday-Saturday. 

Trends Art and Home Boutique is located in San Marco at 3915 Hendricks Avenue. San Marco is a popular destination in Jacksonville, Florida. It is home to art galleries, Art Deco buildings, outstanding restaurants, historic mansions, fashionable boutiques and more.  
For more information, call 904-346-1738. 

Elaine Marie Artist

Cruise Through Chicago History


Modern and Art Deco buildings

Discover interesting trivia about Chicago’s colorful history during the tour.

Cruise down the Chicago River and learn about Chicago’s history with Shoreline Sightseeing. My daughter and I caught an online deal and enjoyed a balmy day with our tour guide, Javier. His keen wit and depth of knowledge kept passengers engaged and entertained for the 75 minute tour. We boarded at the Michigan Avenue Bridge location and found no waiting and plenty of elbow room for our boat ride and photos.

Our quick witted tour guide, Javier.

Our quick witted tour guide, Javier.

We discovered the history of Chicago through its landmarks. Chicago is the birthplace of the skyscraper and home of many renowned architects. The highlights include the history of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 which resulted in an architectural boom and the Chicago World’s Fair and Commerce in the Windy City. The Sears Tower now the Willis Tower is North America’s  tallest building.

Chicago River

The blue waters of the Chicago River attest to the proud history of the city.


Walking the Plank in Madrid

Palacio de Comunicaciones

I saw a sign welcoming refugees at the Palacio de Comunicaciones.

My trip to Madrid was supposed to be a drive by.

With four days in London and one day and two halves in Madrid, I felt their would be little time to really enjoy and see Madrid. My daughter asked me to arrive on a Thursday and leave the following Thursday. She was taking business classes and had fit me in during her down time.

With so little time in Madrid, I gave more thought to my trip to London. I downloaded the app VisitaCity and planned our London trip. My son advised me to at least research Madrid. Sure that it would only frustrate me, I ignored his advise. My daughter offered to take me sightseeing in Madrid, I still said a firm no. With no plans for Madrid, I boarded the plane.

After a pleasant flight on American Airlines, I arrived at Madrid. I walked on what seemed like an endless plank and followed the crowd to customs, an elevator and caught a train to the baggage area.


I walked over to a Cabifly stand where a nice lady helped me make arrangements to catch a cab to Madrid.

I was supposed to tour the city—but I decided to rest. Later that evening we had tapas and Churros. Friday, I was refreshed and ready to catch a tour bus to see the city, visit the Museo del Prado, meet my daughter at Museo Reina Sophia then have dinner.

My daughter had classes. So she downloaded Google maps to guide me to the tour bus stop. After getting lost once, I caught the tour bus.

Museo Arquelogico

Museo Arquelogico

In the middle of the Madrid City Tour, I jumped off amazed at all the beautiful architecture.

Puerto de Alcala

I got off the bus when seeing Puerto de Alcala.

I walked through Parque del Retiro and decided to forego the Prado. Losing track of time and not checking in with my daughter, I wandered throughout the Park and city captivated by the marvels of Madrid.

Monument to King Alfonso XII.

At Parque del Retiro, I changed my plans after seeing the lake and monument to King Alfonso XII.


I left Parque del Retiro, to walk through Madrid.

I finally caught a cab to Museo Reina Sophia and waited an hour in the lobby for my daughter. She had gone into the museum and wasn’t happy to find my in the lobby. Worried because I hadn’t checked in, I think she would have asked me to walk a plank if she could have.