The Pursuit of Happiness is Written in Our DNA 

“We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal by their Creator, that they are endowed with certain inalienable Rights that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” 

Amelia Island Lighthouse

I traveled less than 2 hours to paint my first lighthouse.


Lofty words from the US Constitution. I read somewhere that the “Pursuit of Happiness” is written in Americans’ DNA—we are wired never to be content. To always be grasping for something more, is this the American Dream? Or perhaps it is the foundation of our capitalist society. Or maybe it is what propels that American spirit within us to achieve the greater good. 

Trinity Lightship in London.

I journeyed to London to paint this lightship.


I thought of this recently as I prepared for my Retrospective Exhibit called the “Pursuit of Happiness.” Sometimes times we are like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz looking for happiness in distant places. But often our happiness is found within arms reach or by the click of two heels. I’ve traveled the world pursuing happiness only to find it eluding me. Now, however I’ve discovered that for me happiness is simplicity. It is a life devoid of the distractions of consumerism and just simply pursuing God, serving others and quietly dipping my brush in paint. 

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Brush on Fire 

Every artist dips in her soul, and paints her own nature into her pictures.” Henry Ward Beecher

Unlike a brush fire that fuels wildfires, I am dipping a brush into my soul to help preserve a park. Partner with me and “Paint the Parks” to conserve nature for the enjoyment and benefit of present and future generations. 

Ten percent of the proceeds from the art on my “Paint the Parks” page will go to the Friends of St Marks Wildlife Refuge. It is a 501 (c) non profit corporation. All (100%) of your contributions go to support Refuge programs and projects.

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Coast Guard Families Need Your Help 

Amelia Island Lighthouse, Florida

The Coast Guard is responsible for the functioning of the beacon at Amelia Island Lighthouse on Fernandina Beach, Florida.

Looking for practical ways to help those impacted by the government shutdown. Donations are needed by The Coast Guard Mutual Assistance. They assist Coast Guard members and their families with unexpected financial expenses. The Coast Guard is the only branch of the military not being paid during the government shutdown. All donations are appreciated. Check out the Coast Guard Mutual Assistance website for more details.

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Everybody but the Coast Guard 

Hillsboro Lighthouse

Hillsboro Lighthouse in Florida is manned by the Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard is the only branch of the military that is not being paid during the government shut down. They save lives and help those at peril on the high seas. Now their lives are in peril. 

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Defying Human Logic

Portland Breakwater Lighthouse

The lighthouse has six cast iron Corinthian columns.


Sometimes life defies human logic. At least my life does. I build barriers when there is no danger in site. Sometimes the barrier becomes a hinderance to new experiences. It reminds me of the Portland Breakwater Lighthouse. The breakwater was built before the lighthouse. While the breakwater was built in response to a storm it caused more harm than good. It became a navigational hazard to Mariners sailing into Portland Harbor. 

After an outcry, a wooden lighthouse was built on the site in 1855. The current lighthouse was built in 1874-75. It is a marvel of imagination. The Portland Breakwater Lighthouse is unlike any lighthouse I have visited. Inspired by the beautiful Greek Choragic Monument of Lysicrates, the design makes it a magnificent and unique edifice. 

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The Quiet Before the Storm


Perched high on a cliff, East Chop Lighthouse is located in a quiet residential area. Surrounded by a grassy area with a picket fence and benches, the idyllic setting belies its noble purpose. The perils offshore inspired a mariner to raise money to privately build the lighthous in 1869. 

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Take Time To Pause

I love lighthouses but some more than others. Old Brant Point Lighthouse has no lens. Maybe this is why it connected with my artistic soul. I noticed that most people passed by this lighthouse on the way to see Brant Point Lighthouse a few steps away.


They only paused to look at the old lighthouse when they saw me drawing it. When they paused, I felt like I had achieved my purpose. That is really why I paint lighthouses. I want to offer people a moment to reflect and pause. It is in those moments that we can rediscover ourselves and the world around us.