Hurricanes do terrible damage to lighthouses. I know that lives are of far more value than lighthouses. Still I can’t help but wonder how Cape Hatteras Lighthouse and the other lighthouses on the East Coat will be impacted by Hurricane Florence. It goes without saying that lighthouses are high risk real estate. The sole purpose of a lighthouse is to save lives in dangerous places.
I thought about this while finishing this article on New Canal Lighthouse in New Orleans. It was severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina.
I visited the New Canal Lighthouse during an overnight stay in New Orleans. I realize the typical tourist in New Orleans doesn’t visit a lighthouse but I was surprised when the Concierge had no knowledge of any Lighthouses in the area. In fact there were two-New Canal and Port Pontchartrain.
Undaunted I used GPS to find the lighthouse. I arrived a few hours before the lighthouse opened.
The New Canal Lighthouse resembles a house. The rebuilt lighthouse sits atop pilings to prevent storm surges like the one caused by Hurricane Katrina. The lighthouse was restored by the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation in 2012.
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’…”
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.
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
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.