TGIF: Doubling as an artist and street cop on Aviles

Travel, St. Augustine, Aviles Street, Florida, travel, vacation, Georgia Nick Gallery, art, painting

Aviles Street in St. Augustine, Florida.

After seven intensive days painting as a Plein Air artist in St. Augustine’s Glided: Impressions of the Flager era, I was ready to put my watercolors and pastels away and cool my brushes.

As I was leaving the Gilded Art Walk reception, a fellow Plein Air artist mentioned a one day event on Aviles. It seems the Art Gallery owners on Aviles Street were inviting artists to paint one day then exhibit the art afterwards.

Since my car was still loaded with art supplies, I decided to participate the next day.

Outside Georgia Nick Gallery

An artist paints in front of Georgia Nick Gallery.

I arrived early the following day for the event. I stopped by Georgia Nick Gallery to receive a badge and gift bag. I found a place on a busy corner to paint.

Corner where I painted

Intersection where I doubled as an artist and traffic cop.

I found a vantage point on a busy corner. Doubling as artist and traffic cop, I painted and hailed traffic for cars driving nearby. It seems the drivers were blind sided and needed help crossing the intersection.

My painting, "Afternoon on Aviles."

My painting, “Afternoon on Aviles.”

After a few hours of painting and hailing traffic, I was pleasantly surprised at results of the painting. I didn’t see much potential in the watercolor wash initially. But as I begin to use complementary pastel colors I could feel the painting coming to life.

http://www.elainemarieartist.com

TGIF: No means yes in South Beach

A picture of the museum

The Jewish Museum Florida FIU was designed by Henry Hohauser who attended Pratt Institute.

South Beach is a place of defiance. I once heard someone say, people come to South Beach to do every “God forsaken” thing they wouldn’t do anywhere else! No means yes in South Beach.

It should come as no surprise that the Jewish community in South Beach has often defied the status quo.

Art Deco weekend.

Thousands of people come to Art Deco Weekend each year.

Barbara Capitman, a Jews, defied the establishment. Capitman fought city officials “tooth and nail” to preserve the historical buildings that light up Miami Beach and make it the second most popular place in Florida. If not for her vision and perseverance, there would not be an Art Deco District. The over 800 Art Deco buildings that remain are testaments to Capitman’s defiance. The Art Deco District was the first 20th century neighborhood placed on the National Register of Historic Places much to her efforts. The Miami Design Preservation League continues Capitman’s legacy.

Poster

Miami Design Preservation League poster rallying the community.

What’s more, Henry Hohauser, an architect who was Jewish, built over 300 Art Deco buildings. Hohauser lived in an era when signs “Gentiles Only” and “No Jews Allowed” were commonplace in South Beach. Jews were not even allowed to live beyond 5th Street.

An Art Deco chandelier and displays inside the Jews

An Art Deco chandler and displays inside the Jewish Museum.

Visit one of Hohauser’s buildings and experience first hand the story of Jewish culture in Florida. Hohauser’s building, once a synagogue, is now the home of the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU. Eighty stained glass windows, a copper dome, and chandeliers are reminders of the days when Hohauser and others worshipped in the synagogue. Taste and see the Jewish experience during the Jewish Food Tour that leaves from the Museum. Learn how the Jewish community thrived despite many obstacles.

Falafel and Israeli salad.

Enjoy Falafel and Israeli salad on the Jewish Food Tour.

Facing off with those who thought South Beach should be known only as a place for “fun in the sun,” Holocaust survivors garnered public support for the building of the Holocaust Memorial. A memorial garden and a sobering sculpture recall those who died and remind all who visit: “we shall NEVER forget.”

Sculpture at the Holocaust memorial

A bronze sculpture by Ellsworth Kelly at the Holocaust Memorial.

The impact of Jewish culture permeates every aspect of the city. Mount Sinai Hospital was built because Jewish doctors weren’t given staff privileges at area hospitals. The Bass Museum scheduled to reopen in the fall, is named in honor of John and Johanna Bass, Jewish immigrants who bequeathed over 500 works of art to the City of Miami Beach.

The Bass Museum in Miami Beach.

The Bass Museum in Miami Beach during Art Basel.

It is said that obstacles are opportunities. Fighting bias and opposition, the Jewish community realized that no means yes in South Beach.

http://splashandcolor.com

https://jmof.fiu.edu

http://holocaustmemorialmiamibeach.org

Sunset Tour at Tybee Island Lighthouse on May 12

Tybee Island Lighthouse.

Tybee Island Lighthouse has a keepers house, dwellings and museum.

Visit Georgia’s oldest and tallest lighthouse at Tybee Island. Located near Savannah, Tybee Island is a barrier island with wide, sandy beaches complete with a 19th century landmark.

Experience a spectacular sunset and climb to the top of the Tybee Island Lighthouse. Pay $25 for a 90 minute tour. Make reservations by calling 912-786-5801. Spaces are limited.

https://www.tybeelighthouse.org

http://www.elainemarieartist.com

TGIF: Birthday Celebration at Big Diamond

Hillsboro lighthouse

Hillsboro Lighthouse Inlet at Pompano Beach.

Enjoy a night of revelry under a full moon and a day of festivities at the Hillsboro Inlet Lighthouse or Big Diamond, March 10-12.

The birthday celebration kicks off March 10 at 5:30 pm with a Full Moon Gala. A spectacular night awaits with a cocktail hour with appetizers, four course meal, live music, dancing, silent auction and private lighthouse tours. A Black and white theme attire sets the tone for a regal affair. The cost for this fund raiser is $110 per person with RSVP required. This is just the beginning of a weekend of fun.

View from the lighthouse

A view from Hillsboro Inlet Lighthouse.

Blow out the birthday candles with Hillsboro Lighthouse Preservation Society, March 11-12. Experience live music, art vendors, cottage tours, lens room and lighthouse tours, silent auction, and more. Grab a slice of birthday cake to celebrate Big Diamond’s 110th Birthday. Visit Groupon to save on up to 40% off the lighthouse tour.

Boat ride

Enjoy a scenic boat ride to Big Diamond.

All monies help preserve Hillsboro Inlet Lighthouse. For 110 years, the lighthouse has faithfully guarded the Hillsboro River Inlet. The historic Hillsboro Inlet Lighthouse was built and commissioned in 1907. Big Diamond is unique. With of 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.

Hillsboro Inlet Lighthouse is located in Pompano Beach near Fort Lauderdale, Florida. For more information, visit http://www.hillsborolighthouse.org.

http://www.elainemarieartist.com

http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/elaine-austin.html?tab=artwor

TGIF: A Perfect Setting for “The Crown”

Queen of peace

“Queen of Peace” the perfect name for a craft at the serene Island of Tory.

Tory Island’s cliffs, mountains and shoreline are like an instant replay of the award-winning drama, The Crown. In the beach episode in Scotland, the Queen Mother escapes to a quiet shoreline to gather her wits. She got some peace of mind and a bargain on a castle. You’ll find bargains and a royal retreat at Tory Island.

Tory Island, Ireland has the distinction of having a resident, King. Besides greeting visitors, I’m not sure what his official duties are. The King of Tory rules over a small and quaint island kingdom. Tory Island has a hostel and hotel, grocery store, some shops and a post office. We spent two enjoyable days on Tory Island during John Eagle’s lighthouse tour.

A sign for the ferry.

A sign for the ferry to Tory Island.

We caught the ferry to Tory Island and checked into the Tory Hotel. The lightkeeper welcomed us. After freshening up, we headed to the Tory Lighthouse. We walked around the lighthouse grounds and posed for group pictures.

Tory island lighthouse.

Tory Island Lighthouse.

Later while the group had dinner, I scouted the nearby sights. I wanted to see and draw a few buildings before sunset. I gave a sketch of a house to one of the locals I met. The people of Tory, like the rest of Ireland, are very friendly.

A sign in Irish dialect.

The past and the present converge at Tory Island.

They are also proud of their Irish heritage and speak an Irish dialect. Tory is home to a colony of prominent artists. The King of Tory is also an artist.

Street sunset

Sunset on the streets of Tory Island.

After sketching, I went with the group on a sunset tour of Tory Island. We saw a spectacular view of the mountains, cliffs and the ocean. It was a wonderful way to close the day.

Sunset view of a cliff.

The sun falls softly on a cliff at Tory Island.

From my hotel room, I had a glimpse of the Tory Lighthouse. Before turning in for the night, I paused for a while and watched the flashing Lighthouse beam against the dark sky.

In the morning, I arose early for a final walk through Tory Island. I was glad I did. I got a close up view of a historic Tower.

Tory Island offers cultural sights and breathtaking views in a peaceful setting. It is ideal for a retreat or a quiet getaway. You’ll get the royal treatment at Tory Island.

http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/elaine-austin.html?tab=artwork

http://www.elainemarieartist.com

TGIF: Miami Beach Art Deco Weekend

 

Studio Apartments in Miami Beach.

My painting of the Studio Apartments in Miami Beach.

Join the Miami Design Preservation League in welcoming the Jazz Age Lawn Party to Art Deco Weekend, January 13-15. Enjoy prohibition era entertainment with music, dance performance, dance lessons, food and drink all for one price. After 11 years in New York this popular event comes to Miami Beach.

Art Deco weekend also features a parade, dog show, car show, walking tours, vendors and activities for kids. There’s fun for all.

For more information, visit http://www.artdecoweekend.org.
http://www.splashandcolor.com.

The not so friendly skies

Art Deco Coloring book

I had to digitize my Art Deco Coloring book to get it printed.

I thought computers were suppose to make our lives easier. A computer glitch at Customs caused problems at several US airports a few days ago. Not to mention the vulnerabilities that were exposed by the hacking of the DNC, White House, Sony, Yahoo just to name a few. I guess it’s the price we pay for turning our lives over to computers and the so-called “cloud.”

I am all for the digital age but I think it elevates rather than diminishes the important role artists play. The artist’s message is not subject to blackouts. There are no language barriers in visual images. No technology bugs to work out. It’s kind of hard to hack an actual painting.

A few years while heralding the new Dunkin Donuts in downtown Miami, I took a sad pause and realized the historic building that I once delighted in sketching was transformed into a Dunkin Donuts shop. It made me realize the important role we artists play. Sometimes an artist’s drawing is the only documentation of past events or landmarks. My role as an artist is to document social history.

During a postcard talk at the Miami Main Library, post cards were described as mementos of a former time. The decline of postcards sales due to social media and digital cameras was lamented. While social media is a great platform for instant communication, it has not replaced the important role artists play.

How to retain social media records for future generations remains a daunting challenge. According to the article “Saving Government Tweets Is Tougher Than You Think” by Joseph Marks ”federal agencies should establish working groups to determine when agency social posts constitute federal records and how to retain them for posterity.” Obviously, there are some technology bugs to work out.

©Elaine Marie

http://splashandcolor.com