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. 


Ring in the Holidays

Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse

Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse near Palm Beach, Florida.

Ring in the holidays at Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse’s Holiday Shop and Sip Social on Dec. 6 from 5:30-7:30 pm. Enjoy holiday shopping with wine, tasty treats and free gift wrapping. Special discounts benefit the lighthouse. Purchase unique gifts for the kids and that hard to please someone on your Christmas list. Get a free Lighthouse ornament when you become a member of Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse. RSVP at 561-747-8380 x101

St. Augustine Lighthouse in North Florida.

St. Augustine Lighthouse in North Florida.

Join the Luminary Night celebration at St. Augustine Lighthouse, Dec. 6 from 6-10 pm. Get free admission, visit Santa and witness over 1,000 dazzling candles. Catch the Christmas spirit while enjoying holiday music. For more information, call 904-829-0745.





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.

TGIF: St. Augustine First Friday Art Walk

Statue of Henry Flagler.

The exhibit “Gilded: Impressions of the Flagler Era” is on display at the St. Augustine Art Association.

Experience an evening of art, live entertainment and light refreshments during St Augustine Art Walk tonight, 5-9 pm. Catch one of the free trolleys to visit all of St. Augustine’s art galleries.

Enjoy art that captures the glitz and glamour of the Gilded Age at the opening exhibition, “Gilded: Impressions of the Flagler Era.” See these works fresh off the canvas at the St. Augustine Art Association on 21 Marine Street. Over 50 Plein Air artists showcase original art during this juried exhibit. The exhibit pays tribute to the legacy of Henry Flagler. Flagler, millionaire developer and co-founder of Standard Oil, put St. Augustine on the map as a major tourist destination and winter retreat.

Under Flagler’s tutelage, the city became a resort for the rich and famous. The Vanderbiilts, Rockellers, and Presidents stayed in the exclusive and glamorous Ponce de Leon Hotel in the heart of St. Augustine. The stained glass windows designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany and Thomas Edison’s “new fangled'” electricity marveled guests. Because guests thought they would we be executed, Flagler had hired staff operate electrical switches.

Flagler’s vision transformed the city and the state. He constructed railroads, local roads, homes, churches, hospitals to facilitate guests and employees throughout the state.

Note: Street parking is free after 5 pm, so arrive early.

TGIF Travels: Free Holiday Fun at St. Augustine Lighthouse

St. Augustine Lighthouse in North Florida.

St. Augustine Lighthouse in North Florida.

Enjoy a delightful evening for the whole family December 7 from 7-9 pm during Luminary Nights at the St. Augustine Lighthouse.  Experience a night of spectacular Christmas lights, holiday decorations and fun activities.

Festivities include children’s activities, holiday crafts and yuletide refreshments. Listen to live music with a string quartet and watch a tree aglow with white lights inside the Lighthouse tower.

A Christmas tree adorned with nautical ornaments donated from people around the country is displayed in the Lighthouse Keeper’s House. Climb the lighthouse and see a breathtaking view of St. Augustine Nights of Lights.

For more information, check out

Preservation 50 Friday: Making History in St. Augustine

Painting of st. Augustine lighthouse.

St. Augustine Lighthouse copyright Elaine Marie.

The old adage “I couldn’t see the forest for the trees” applies to my outing at the St. Augustine Lighthouse. I struggled to get a clear view of this lighthouse. It stood surrounded by a canopy of trees.

I had been forced to draw lighthouses in the parking lot before but now on the grounds I was too close to be objective. This applied in many ways.

I had visited St. Augustine Lighthouse many times over the years. I also had a painting of the Lighthouse by another artist in my home. Now it was my turn to paint, what would I say? How could I capture it?

The city of St. Augustine is steep in history and tradition. Within the tradition, there are numerous stories of ghosts and mysterious happenings, as well. Thinking about all this I decided to capture its mystery and strong tradition.

Unlike the other lighthouses, its huge base dominates the lighthouse as much as the contrasting daymark. With this in mind, I began painting the St. Augustine.

Preservation 50 Friday: Family Fun at the St. Augustine Lighthouse

St. Augustine Lighthouse.

The St. Augustine Lighthouse.

The St. Augustine Lighthouse offers a fun-filled day for the family. There is a nautical play area near the Hammock Park. Few of the other lighthouses I had visited before were so family friendly.

Kids play area.

Kids will have fun at the St. Augustine Lighthouse.

The Keepers’ House offers an intimate look at the life of Lightkeepers that kids will enjoy. There is a living room, time line, displays and lots of area history. After visiting the museum, climb the lighthouse.


Get ready to climb the St. Augustine Lighthouse.

Enter at the Lighthouse Oil Room where the lighthouse’s supply of lard oil was once stored.

Toting the oil

Toting the oil and keeping the light burning was a major challenge for Lightkeepers.

A sign challenges climbers to imagine Lightkeepers climbing the stairs while “toting the oil.” Stop by the Lightkeepers Office and Workroom. This lighthouse gives insight into the lives of Lightkeepers and their families.

For more on the St. Augustine Lighthouse, visit