Florida Keys – Travel Watercolors And More

Faro Blanco, Florida Keys, iguana, Islamorada, Key Largo, Key West, lighthouse, Marathon, paintings, pelicans, seascape, Watercolor, watercolour
Florida Keys Islamorada sailboats shore
Last week I had another adventure of my life, traveling along the shore of Florida Keys with my friends. Amazing trip and unforgettable scenery. It was certainly a paradise for an artist’s eye. I had an opportunity to paint a few watercolors there and brought tons of memorable photos that one day can transform into paintings.
Above seascape watercolor painting is from  Islamorada little town. Translating from Spanish, Islamorada is a Purple Island. When looking at the clouds’ color in the distance I understood why they named this beautiful place after one of my favorite hues. The scene was so serene, so lovely, that I couldn’t not to paint it.

We also visited a larger town of Florida Keys, the city of Marathon. Besides fishing, diving, and sailing, it has a big tourists’ attraction, beautiful Faro Blanco Lighthouse that proudly stands in the marina of Hyatt Hotel right next to the Palm Island:
watercolor seascape
Another gorgeous place that I’ve visited was John Pennekamp State Park:

This, from the first glance, peaceful place showed us its habitat pretty quickly. I was amazed how much wild life Florida Keys have and how close you can get to meet the “residents” who in return don’t even care about tourists taking the pictures:

Florida Keys
Amazing trip! True discovery of Florida Keys beauty and hidden secrets! 

Cheers from

   

Sketching California

Bells, California, garden, lighthouse, Mission, Morro Bay, Morro Rock, Piedras Blancas, San Louis Obispo, sketches, sunset, Watercolor
watercolor sketch
My recent field trip to the south of San Francisco Bay Area ( 3 to 4 hours of unforgettable drive) brought a lot of good memories and some artful subjects.

Above painting is the capture of the sunset through Piedras Blancas Lighthouse silhouette.The sun was “rolling” of that big white rock down to the horizon.. the wind was crashing the waves of the shore. I admired the reds and oranges of the sunset at the Pacific ocean.

Then, going more into the land I’ve visited San Louis Obispo, a town which is famous by its Spanish Mission, which was established in 1772.
watercolor sketch
Behind the church I found a gorgeous garden that was hiding centuries old Mission Bells

watercolor sketches
If long time ago the town was a center of Christian education of that area; nowadays, San Louis Obispo is a cozy sunny place to visit the museums, walk in historical downtown, drop-in to the gift shops; and, for me of course,  a great subject for the sketches.

After a few days exploring inland, I got back to the ocean. This time it was Morro Bay, which is named after a mountain formation, the Morro Rock, that is sitting right next to the shore like a monument to fishermen life:

watercolor sketch
Founded in 1870s, Morro Bay now is a center of beach holidays; and, undoubtedly, tourism is the largest city’s industry.

Yet, it still remains a fishing port, Morro Bay has a national reservation for birds and wildlife refuge. 

During this art trip I also took many photos which will definitely inspire for many paintings to come.




www.artirina.com

California Landscapes – Point Arena Lighthouse

beach, California, grass, historical, Irina's art, landscape, lighthouse, ocean, Pacific Ocean, Point Arena, rocks, sea, seascape, shore, summer, Sztukowski, Watercolor
California Landscape

When painting this gorgeous landscape I had to practically “built”
the rocks layer by layer. It took me a couple of hours to achieve the texture
of the rocky cliff with its washes, cracks, grass, and clays. I was doing it
patiently with passion, thinking that Mother Nature did the same her way but it
took a few million years :0)
Here are a few interesting facts:
The Point Arena Lighthouse is situated on the closest point
of land to the Hawaiian Islands in the Continental United States. The point is
surrounded on three sides by the Pacific Ocean which keeps the area cool. This Lighthouse
is set in one of the most spectacular and peaceful surroundings on the northern
California coast. The Point Arena tower is the only Pacific West coast
lighthouse of significant height that you can climb to the top! Access to the
lantern room provides a panoramic view of the rugged California coast and of
the ocean.
A Little bit of history:
The first lighthouse at this site was constructed in 1870.
The brick-and-mortar tower included ornate iron balcony supports and a large
Keeper residence with enough space to house several families. In April 1906, a
devastating earthquake struck the Light Station. The Keeper’s residence and
Lighthouse were damaged so severely that they had to be demolished.
The new lighthouse began operation in 1908, nearly 18 months
after the quake. It stands 115 feet (35 m) tall, and featured a 1st Order
Fresnel Lens, over six feet in diameter and weighing more than six tons. The
lens was made up of 666 hand-ground glass prisms all focused toward three sets
of double bullseyes. It was these bullseyes that gave the Point Arena
Lighthouse its unique “light signature” of two flashes every six
seconds. This incredible optic, that held an appraised value of over $3.5
million, was set in solid brass framework, and was built in France. Prior to
the introduction of electricity, the lens was rotated by a clockwork mechanism.
The Keepers, or “wickies” as they were called, had to hand crank a
160-pound weight up the center shaft of the lighthouse every 75 minutes to keep
the lens turning. Light was produced by a “Funks” hydraulic oil lamp,
that needed to be refueled every four hours, and whose wicks would have to be
trimmed regularly. Later, two 1,000 watt electric lamps were installed to
replace the oil lamp, and a 1⁄8 horsepower electric motor was installed to replace
the clockworks.
Nowadays (since 1984) nonprofit organization called the
Point Arena Lighthouse Keepers takes care of this place providing diligent
historic preservation of this beautiful place.
(info:courtesy to wiki and pointarenalighthouse.com/)




www.artirina.com 

California Landscapes – Trinidad Memorial Lighthouse

California, impressionism, Irina, Irina's paintings, landscape, lighthouse, Memorial, Pacific Ocean, rocks, shore, Sztukowski, Trinidad, Watercolor
California Landscape Watercolor Painting
One of the stop during my recent art-trip was a small cozy town of Trinidad. I enjoyed walking along the rocky shore. Gentle breeze, afternoon Sun, and a lighthouse, all together called for some impressionistic style loose and fresh painting.

Here is a little more details about this beautiful place:

Trinidad is a seaside town
in Humboldt County, located on the Pacific Ocean 8 miles north of the
Arcata-Eureka Airport and 15 miles north of the college town of Arcata.
Situated directly above its own natural harbor, Trinidad is one of California’s
smallest incorporated cities, (with a 2010 population of 367) and is noted for
its spectacular coastline with ten public beaches and offshore rocks. These
rocks are part of the California Coastal National Monument of which Trinidad is
a Gateway City. This natural landmark is joined by three additional marine
landmarks – the historic Trinidad Head Light, the Trinidad Memorial Lighthouse,
and Humboldt State University’s Fred Telonicher Marine Laboratory.
Overlooking Trinidad Bay, an
accurate replica of the Head’s lighthouse (A Victorian keeper’s residence that was
built in 1898); Trinidad’s Lighthouse in Memorial Park. In 1947, the original
lens and bell were donated to the Trinidad Civic Club to be displayed in a
memorial park overlooking Trinidad Bay. Mrs. Earl Hallmark donated land, and in
1949 the Civic Club built the Trinidad Memorial Lighthouse. On Memorial Day,
families and friends gather at the lighthouse to remember and honor those lost
and buried at sea
(courtesy to trinidad.ca.gov
and http://trinidad-ca.com/discover/lighthouses.html)

Point Bonita and Rodeo Beach Plein-Air Painting Day

artists, Bay, bestselling art, bridge, California, Fine Art, Golden Gate Bridge, Irina, lighthouse, plein air, Point Bonita, realism, realistic, Sztukowski, Watercolor
San Francisco Bay
I painted this artwork on plein-air (outdoors) when the weather was changing rapidly. It was foggy in the morning. But then, the wind picked-up burning the fog, lifting it, and letting the sun shine and reveal the beauty of San Francisco Bay and Golden Gate Bridge.

Our CWA artists and their guests had a marvelous time. Somebody painted the lighthouse, others went to Rodeo Beach, and my friends and I picked the view of the famous Golden Gate Bridge.

Point Bonita Lighthouse
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Original Artwork Golden Gate Bridge is 12″x16″ Watercolor on 140lb Cold Pressed Cotton paper


The highlights of that day Plein-air at Point Bonita are in CWA Newsletter here
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More plein-air paintings are in this Gallery



In Every Piece Of My Art There Is A Piece Of My Heart And A Sparkle Of My Soul

To The Lighthouse – Point Reyes, California

California, Deer, Good Morning America, lighthouse, ocean, original painting, Point Reyes, realism in watercolor, rocks, sea, shore, Sztukowski, Watercolor
Click HERE to see detailed image
Painting outside requires a lot of things. One of them is to drive sometimes to the “lands end” .. This happened to me last weekend when my sister and I joined CWA at our monthly plein-air meeting. The selected location for that weekend was Point Reyes, one and a half hours away  historical place on a shore. A gorgeous place! As the matter of fact ABC program Good Morning America named it one of the 10 most beautiful places in America. And I need to add: The Foggiest. When we drove to the Lighthouse the fog was covering the hills as a blanket. We even didn’t notice a deer until it came close enough to the road; and, if you can see the buck cared less of people presence. He was staying gracefully and posing for a picture. 
Point Reyes National Seashore is a 71,028-acre (287.44 km2) park; and, I believe its heart is in the place where they built the Lighthouse: on the rocks, in the fog, wind, and only 52 degrees F (around 11C). brrrrrr… but still beautiful! Although, we only lasted a couple hours and had to go home to finish the paintings. 

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Original Watercolor Paintings:

Point Reyes Lighthouse 10″x14″ on 140lb Arches Block Cold Pressed Paper
Deer In The Fog 9″x12″ on 140lb Arches Block Cold Pressed Paper

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More plein-air paintings are HERE
In Every Piece Of My Art
There Is A Piece Of My Heart And A Sparkle Of My Soul