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.
Today started out with a real ground clinger of a fog! We were excited to go see what some of the areas we frequent would look like as paintings in this sort of weather, and at high tide. Not to be disappointed, we found a little inlet that butts against the road near us that was very paintable in the fog. As things go, about as soon as we started putting on the paint, it began to lighten up and lift. That's when it's hard to stick with the game plan. I think we both managed to do that.
The fog came back, and as a matter of fact as I sit here about 5:15pm tying up this blog, it's still here and is enveloping our own little slice of the marsh... it's beautiful!
I made an equipment change today. I've been painting with my little 10x12 OpenBoxM since we began this marathon. I love it, love OpenBoxM and have had 5 of them over the years. But since they're a top of the tripod 'L' shaped panel holder/palette type of box, I end up feeling kind of cramped after a while. You mix up here you paint, if the panel is at eye level, or close to it. You can stand back and mix, then apply paint, but for some reason I find myself with my elbows clinching up against my chest and my face too close to the box. That results in my not standing back enough to look at the paintings, and paint. Today I decided to switch it up and go with my James Coulter 'Art Box and Panel' gear set up. With that I can mix at waist level, then stand back and paint at eye level. I feel so much more freedom in that set up than with tripod topped easels. Everything still goes into the back pack, it's not too much heavier, and the mixing area is larger as well. I'm using the Compact size box that has a 9.5" x 15" mixing area, with the additional wings that fold out to hold 'stuff'. It made a difference for me today. I felt a lot less 'bound up' against the painting, and will continue to use it at least for a while to come.
MH - 1/12/1 - Obscured
This is the first piece from today, the little fog shrouded inlet we stopped to paint. Since we're only using a limited, split complimentary palette, and black, this is a great subject. Tonal, but a surprisingly large range of hues, although toned down big time. If the sun hadn't come out and lit it all up, we probably would have stayed for another. But we went to the beach.
MH - 1/12/2 - Dune Fog
This gnarly, bushy headed little clump of sea oats got my attention right away. I felt like I was painting a portrait of a little alien creature while working on it. My challenge was to allow the recession of color and value that was there, in a very short space of about 12-15 feet, to be in my painting. The temptation is always to look too much into specific areas and, and all of the resulting recognition of the details that emerge, and ignore the 'overall' picture/idea, which is what gives the scene, subject, it's appeal in the first place. I also tried not to paint all of the sea oats, like yesterday, and will continue to find way's to simplify this subject matter while still retaining it's special, uniqueness.
MH - 1/12/3 - Violets
I had a great idea when I started this one because there were a couple of people dressed in black (mostly) sitting on the sand, on a towel, just past this dune's edge. I just about got to the point that I was going to paint them in, when they got up and walked aways, taking all their stuff with them, done! Oh well. Also, the sun was beginning to light the area more, so where at the start, I had this very subtle, close value, tonal subject with dark mysterious figures in it, I now had nothing but a lit up dune. I decided to finish it. While that was happening some people were walking the beach in front of me, being lit up too, so I used them to give this all some scale.
Mystical, magical sea fog. We had a day full of it. So much so that by the end of the third painting my hair was dripping wet. I could feel the droplets fall on my cheek and roll down my face as I painted. It was warm enough again today to paint barefoot in the sand and that makes me very happy. Warm days in January are such a gift. Even though it doesn't get very cold here, our normal winter highs are usually in the 50's not the 70's. Last week we had highs in the 60's and this week it is supposed to be in the 70's. Flip flop weather :)
DTL - 1/12/1 - Magic Settling
And that is just what it felt like as I looked out over the marsh into the fog. You could see the fog billowing in and settling among the grasses. It was other worldly and beautiful, especially with the brightness of the sun to the east. I told Marc, when we got out of the truck that this painting could either go really well or really badly. It was that kind of one shot painting and I knew if I tried to work too much on it, it would be ruined. Those are always fun to do, and just a little nerve wracking.
DTL - 1/12/2 - Sea Fog
If the marsh was mysterious in fog, then the beach was ethereal. The light was much brighter and warmer but the visibility was worse than it was over the marsh. I loved the challenge of trying to capture all of the bright warm color. The dunes are always one of my favorite things to paint in and out of the studio. And I really liked the jetty in the distance, giving a nice horizontal to the diagonal of the dune.
We are starting to be recognized by people now that have seen us other places on the island painting. It's kind of funny. We painted on the other end of the island yesterday and I ran into the same family today that was beside us yesterday. They greeted me like a member of the family and for about 10 minutes I was in deep conversation about buckets, sandcastles, kites and painting with about five young children. Pure sweetness.
DTL - 1/12/3 - Sugar Sands
After painting "Sea Fog", I turned to my right and painted this one. The sky had brightened much more and even though there was still very dense fog it gave even more warmth to the scene. These dunes were so bright with very little shadow and it was a nice challenge to try and capture that.