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. 

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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

Charting a new course in London


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’…”

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: Florida Lighthouse Day Getaway

Enjoy a day of fun in the sun. This lighthouse getaway features a day of celebration at two of Florida’s evocative lighthouses and much more. Experience snorkeling, shellings, swimming and exploring nature. You’ll discover shaded pavilions along unspoiled pristine beaches. 

Don’t miss this special opportunity. Limited spaces are available for climbing Port Boca Grande Lighthouse and the historic Gasparilla Lighthouse on April 21. Only 108 people will be permitted to climb the Gasparilla Lighthouse and the Port Boca Grande lantern room is open only on this one day a year. 

Savor cake and lemonade and join in on a host of festivities. Children nine and under are free but must be 44 inches. The cost to climb each lighthouse is only $5 per person. Cost for parking at Gasparilla Island at Florida State Park is only $3. 
For more information visit https://www.charlotteharbortravel.com/event/florida-lighthouse-day/1925/.
https://https://www.elainemarieartist.com/home/gallery-shop/

TGIF: Life Decoded at South Beach 


Celebrating the ease with which I found a parking space at the Miami Beach garage, I was hopeful for a great day. Tourists laughing and chattering against a backdrop of palm trees, were signs of good things to come. This is the South Beach that advertisers promote. Life at its best. But having lived there for 4 years I knew there was a darker side. Skyrocketing homelessness and rampart crime. But just for today, I held those thoughts at bay. 


On the way from the garage, I found myself spellbound by H&Ms window display: Denim Decoded. Using a few bare essentials of clothing they had put together an astonishing look. How clever I thought. If only my life could be so genuine and simple. Life Decoded. Stripped away of all the complexities with only the bare necessities remaining. Simplicity at its best. 


As I stepped into H&M a transformation took place. I was no longer weighed down by the troubles of this world but carefree. Leaving the store my purse was $30 dollars lighter. But it was worth the investment in this new way of being. 


With a new sense of calm and joy, I strolled along a walkway beside the beach. Tents for the wine and food festival blocked the view. But it didn’t matter I knew a few minutes later the ocean would appear. 


At the Bass, I laughed and marveled at the exhibits. The sculptures of “Vocabulary of Solitude” by the Ugo Rondinone brought back to mind my fascination with mannequins on display at H&M. How could these lifeless characters inspire me and an artist? Like Michelangelo releasing the soul of his sculptures from stone, Rondinone had endeavored to do this with polystyrene foam. While at the museum, I met with a friend and asked about the expanded education center. I was excited to hear how the community had embraced the new programs and exhibits.


After I left the museum I headed to the Art Deco District. I was hoping to find a building I had once drawn. No luck. So I decided to sketched the Royal Palm Hotel. 

Now it was time to leave. I placed an order at Pizza Rustica and braced myself for the drive home. Surrounded by a sea of cars I withdrew to a reservoir from my peaceful day. When traffic became a parking lot, my serenity began to dissipate. A few minutes later I got a call about the sudden death of my cousin. Saddened, I thought about my day and all the things I relished. I was glad God had given me a day to enjoy the simple things in my life: art, friends, shopping, dining and the beach. Life decoded. 

A Picture is Worth A Thousand Tweets 

Lightship 95 on the River Thames in London.

The  recent public outcry about the Obama’s official portraits has generated a lot of social media buzz. People seemed puzzled and even angered by the artists, Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald.

I’m not sure there’s anything the artists could or should say to the critics. They’ve already said it. I mean a picture is worth a thousand words or in today’s vernacular a thousand “tweets.”

Artists are accustomed to being misunderstood and misinterpreted. I find that often in my personal life.

I discovered this recently after I wrote a feature in the United States Lighthouse Society News in early February. After reading the article my sister said, “Now I understand why you paint lighthouses.” Initially, I was a little taken aback because she has been with me on at least four lighthouse trips.

Yet perhaps I took for granted she understood why I painted lighthouses. We visual artists aren’t always adept at verbal explanations because we rely on our paintings to be our voice. In any event, I hope my article amplifies what compels me to paint lighthouses. You can read my article entitled “Lighthouses as Inspiration” posted on February 2 on United States Lighthouse Society News at https://uslhs.wordpress.com