the shortness of life can not dissuade us from its pleasures

My painting eat, drink and be merry.

My painting, “Eat, Drink and Be Merry,” will be on display at the St. Augustine Art Association through May 28.

“The shortness of life can not dissuade us from its pleasures nor console us for its pains.”

This quote by Luc de Clapiers sums up the life and legacy of Henry Morrison Flagler. The brevity of  life did not spare Flagler sorrows nor limit his dreams. A millionaire developer and co-founder of Standard Oil, Flagler suffered the loss of two daughters, a grandchild and a wife who died of tuberculosis.

Flagler’s life and accomplishments were part of the inspirations for my Trilogy: Flagler Mortality series.

My Flagship painting ” You can’t it take it with you” is of the Memorial Presbyterian Church. Splashes of gold and color droplets allude to wealth and the brevity of life.

Flagler built the Memorial Presbyterian Church in St Augustine to honor his daughter who died in childbirth. Flagler, his first wife and daughter are entombed in the church building.

My colorful and festive painting ” Eat, Drink and Be Merry” captures the essence of Flagler’s Alcazar Hotel. The hotel offered accommodations, dining and expansive recreational facilities. It had a casino, bowling alley, tennis courts, Turkish and Russian baths, Swedish Massage services and one of the world’s largest indoor swimming pools.

My third painting, “Behind Every Rich Man,” is of Grace Methodist Church and Wiley Hall. The muted colors and lack of details depicts the lack of recognition often given to key players.

Located behind the Flagler’s glamorous Ponce de Leon Hotel, both buildings are reminders of those who contributed to Flagler’s success. Flagler’s executives used Wiley Hall to conduct business. Grace Methodist Church relocated and sold Flagler the land on which he built the Alcazar.

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TGIF Travels-Christmas Celebration at Tybee Island

Tybee Island Lighthouse.

Tybee Island Lighthouse.

Celebrate a lighthouse Christmas at Tybee Island Lighthouse, Dec 10 and Dec 17. Witness a spectacular view of Christmas lights from atop the lighthouse. Experience Christmas through the eyes of the last Lightkeeper and his family.The warm glow of candlelights and hot cider will remind you of the sweet simplicity of Christmas.

For more information, visit http://www.saintsimonslighthouse.org

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Preservation 50 Friday: London’s Lightship

Trinity House Lightship

Trinity House Lightship, London UK copyright elainemarieartist.com

I admire the art of JMW Turner. When I visited London this past winter, I stopped by the Tate Britain Museum. I was excited about the museum because Turner bequeathed over 300 paintings to the Tate.

A few days before visiting the Tate, I had traveled to Trinity Buoy Wharf to sketch London’s only Lighthouse. While there I also sketched the Trinity House Lightship. As I sketched, I thought about Turner and pondered how I could pay tribute to him.

Back in the United States, I looked at my yellow foreground and became inspired when I thought about 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”…

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Take a hike

Cape Florida Lighthouse.

Copyrighted Cape Florida Lighthouse by Elaine Marie.

Walk off those holiday pounds. Explore Florida’s breathtaking ecosystem. Discover interesting facts about native plants and animals. Journey through Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park on January 1 from 9-11 am. Limited to 30 people. Free with regular park admission.

For more information, call 305-361-5811.

Be SMART in the New Year

 

West Chop Lighthouse

West Chop Lighthouse at Martha’s Vineyard.

Next year I want to paint SMART. I’ve got a long list of lighthouses to paint.

There are about 450 lighthouses in the United States and I’ve painted 15 of them since March. Many are inaccessible or located in remote locations which makes it challenging but not impossible. I was fortunate to visit four lighthouses on Martha’s Vineyard in one day without a car. It took planning and perseverance. Lots of things went wrong.

Edgartown Lighthouse

Edgartown Lighthouse at Martha’s Vineyard.

I want to paint all the remaining lighthouses on Florida’s west coast. But what’s my plan?

Well, I saw this article on “The Resolution Revolution” by Gary Scheiner of Integrated Diabetes Services. He said the key to being successful with New Year’s Resolutions is being SMART. I’m not into resolutions but I do like having a plan of attack for goals.

In the SMART system goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time Limited.

Gay Head Lighthouse.

Gay Head Lighthouse at Martha’s Vineyard.

He was talking about diabetes but I think the SMART plan can be applied to any situation.

It works this way:
I want to eat better/ I will limit my nighttime snacks/I will have one snack each night/ I will have only one snack on weeknights/which will help me control my nighttime blood sugar and sleep better/for the entire month of January.

East Chop Lighthouse.

East Chop Lighthouse at Martha’s Vineyard.

Finally, he says consider what will motivate you and ease the path toward goal achievement, and consider obstacles that might get in the way.

Mix up at Martha’s Vineyard

West Chop Lighthouse

West Chop Lighthouse

When someone asked the bus driver a question, he looked at a sign to see what bus he was driving before he gave out information. This should have been a clue not to ask him anything. Still I asked where to catch the return bus before getting off at the West Chop lighthouse. The next bus would be back one and a half later. I was on a tight schedule and had one more lighthouse to do. If I stayed on schedule, I would have time for dinner before sketching the last lighthouse.

West Chop lighthouse was on private property so I stood outside the fence to draw. I drew the Jupiter Lighthouse in the parking lot so this was no big deal.

After I finished drawing the lighthouse and I waited for bus where I was told to stand. As the bus passed nearby I realized I had been given faulty information. After venting with the transit authority, I decided to sit on the beach and enjoy the view. Relaxed I watched the waves and realized this was the only leisurely time I would have at a Vineyard beach. I even put my foot in the 50 degree water. What was I thinking??

Eglise Sainte-Catherine

My painting of the Eglise Sainte-Catherine.

My painting of the Eglise Sainte-Catherine.

Notre Dame in Paris is a household name. It is a popular Gothic cathedral and a backdrop and a namesake for movies. A stone structure built as a response to the power of the monarch, it is awe inspiring.

However, it was the Eglise Sainte-Catherine in Honfleur that captured my imagination. Off the beaten path, Eglise Sainte-Catherine was built by mariners as a temporary wooden structure after a war. The interior resembles the hull of a ship.