Wednesday, January 1, 2020

January 1, 2020 - A New Year, Two Views

All images are photographed late in the evening for posting the same night we paint them.  We strive to reproduce the color of the paintings here as close to our originals as we can, but some variation is probable.  The paintings are labeled with our initials preceding the date label and title.  The date label is Month/Day/Order Painted. 

All of these paintings can be purchased on our website.  This link will take you to the page where they're posted... Salt Marsh Studios.

Dottie's Day

Today…Where to begin??!!  Up early this morning with only a few hours sleep, (midnight fireworks will get you every time!) we got out to paint at sunrise.  The excitement of starting this challenge had my energy up and it was hard to settle into painting at first. Not to mention the color of the sky was crazy.  Beautiful to see but impossible to paint.   And halfway through I answered my phone, sent my brush flying through the air and in trying to grab it hit my panel and it flew off the easel.  Scraped that painting down and started again.  Perfect way to start off :)

The intensity and coolness of the sky soon started change and warm as the sun rose.  The sky always captivates me and both paintings early this morning were predominately about the sky and the effect of the color on the marsh.  The second painting was done about 9am and the marsh was still golden although the sky had now faded.   Both fairly simple compositions, too.  I love the feeling of being overwhelmed by the sense of space and that is what I am trying to figure out how to express.

DTL-1/1/1-First Sunrise

DTL-1/1/2-Winter Marsh Palette

A little break for the Polar Plunge here (I know, crazy to work that in in the middle of a painting day!) and a BIG cup of coffee and we headed back out this afternoon.  The light was fairly flat so I worked on something a little more complicated and hoped that by the time I got ready to paint the marsh it would warm up a little.  I always forget how tough trees are to paint outside and am always seduced by those gnarly, windblown ones.  That was enough to scramble my brain but I added the heart shaped water in the marsh.  It was actually there and I wanted to try and make it work.  I’m trying NOT to play it safe this month.  Take chances and try things.  Fail, if I need to but at least try.  

I was raised with failure being a bad thing. Perfection was expected and that’s a big load to put on a kid.  I learned to work really hard to succeed but also to keep my failures to myself as if it was something to be ashamed of.  As I have gotten older, I have tried to get rid of that way of thinking…. But it is a constant process of reminding myself that I can fail and it’s ok.  So you may see some “stretches” of paintings this month as I am just going for it.

DTL-1/1/3-Tangled Heart
I decided to do one more this afternoon as the light was just calling to me.  The late afternoon light was so golden and it lit up the marsh in the most beautiful way.  This one was painted quickly as I tried to get the sky down before it changed.  The sunset that followed was gorgeous but I was out of panels and energy!  Quite the New Years Day.  I’m exhausted but happy with what I got done today.  Time to sit back, eat some collard greens & hoppin’ John and watch The Sugar Bowl.  :)

DTL-1/1/4-Late Afternoon Glow

Marc's Day

Today began for us watching the Tybee Island fireworks on the beach at midnight, and then continued until nearly 2:30 am due to my wanting to smoke a pork butt and a big chicken.  They took longer than I expected, way longer.  We want to have them in the refrigerator when we come in from painting to save food prep time.  We were out of the house ready to paint by 6:30am for the 7:30 sunrise, dragging ourselves out the door, along with some coffee to stoke our brains.  For a painting project of this kind, you're bound to head to 'familiar' locations to paint, they're the kind of places that have what you need, like parking or bathrooms, or a subject that is reliably interesting no matter the weather conditions.  This morning we headed to the very first place the we painted together on Tybee Island, the end of Spanish Hammock, a spot that is full of possibilities at all times of the day, any time of the year.  It did not disappoint, a gorgeous clear sky morning, warmed and toned by a beautifully warm sunrise across the marsh.  The first day of this project held some challenges, working out the kinks of procedure, supplies, where to go, when to go, and how to paint!  It was ok, we worked out most of those issues and had a great time.  I painted the first two pieces this morning before we, yes we did, went to the Tybee Pier for the Tybee Polar Plunge!  Hundreds of crazy folks, including us, donned bathing suits and hit the 56ºF water at noon sharp!  It was for a cause, a lot of fun and a real wakeup for our dragging butts.  (ps... we know that many of you who live north of the Arctic circle, or at least in Minnesota and Canada, wouldn't consider a polar plunge on a 56ºF degree day too challenging... and it's not!)  Here's the deal, we live in a place that celebrates, anything with great sense of humor.  We know we weren't cutting an ice hole to jump through, the town loves a good time, and it was!  Got a shirt out of the deal too.  All of this is part of why I love this little island we call Tybee!  

MH-1/1/1-Good Morning 2020!
This was a very quick study of this fast changing light.  I "blasted" in a very wet passage of a warm (reddish) gray dark representing the marsh and tree line first.  Then I painted the sky as fast as I could because it was changing every few minutes.  I was most interested in the large relationship between the sky and the land mass, that's it... the color of course taking center stage.  As I worked it, I tried to keep that in mind and not paint more than was needed.

MH-1/1/2-Fronds In Light
For the second piece I just turned to my left to look across the road to this tangle of vegetation.  The challenge for me is to try to organize it into some sort of discernible pattern that reads, and to organize all of the rest of the chaos into an idea.  My idea was to feature all of the fronds that are beyond their life span and the way they were hit with the warmth of the morning light. 

MH-1/1/3-Afternoon Tints
After the Polar Plunge and some lunch, I'll be honest, I was more interested in at least a 20 minute power nap, than heading back out right away.  The long night before had left me feeling like a lawn chair on this beautiful day made a lot of sense.  Didn't happen, we headed back out to a different section of Spanish Hammock to paint.  It was a good afternoon.  I stopped at this piece and spent the rest of the time, while Dottie painted a 4th piece, photographing the gorgeous late day, January light that we were immersed in as our Day 1 came to a close.  

At home the paintings were all photographed, edited, what you see written up, uploaded to our Salt Marsh Studios website, and here.  In the meantime Dottie prepared a traditional New Year Day meal here in the South... Hoppin' John, Hoe Cakes and Collard Greens, which I just finished stuffing myself with... yUmmmMMMMM!!! 

See you all tomorrow.  We're looking foward to Not having to jump into the Atlantic Ocean in the middle of the day.


Paul Nutting said...

I'm looking forward to following you both on this adventure. I first stumbled across Marc's work when you were doing a plein air marathon in Minnesota. Then I was delighted when you moved to Colorado and took two of your workshops. I also followed your Colorado adventure (in a particularly cold March) and feared for your safety when it appeared you became one day dangerously close to hypothermia. Now delighted to follow both of you in Georgia. Can't wait to see what you do.

Lucy Yanagida said...

I’m so intrigued by y'alls challenge! Every piece reminds me of my roots in Louisiana and childhood trips to Florida! And also brings me back to a book I just read ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’. I’m determined to get my hands on one of these paintings! Thanks for doing this! Keep up the good work.