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.
Back to the beach, but not without some diversionary tactics first. Last night we decided that since it was going to be a great day today (qualified), we would get out at about sunrise to capture the entire day on the beach, in all of it's warm, January beauty. Because beginning tomorrow, and for about a week, the weather gods are not supposed to be looking kindly on our daily plein air painting. It's not freezing, but our highs are likely to drop into the 40's and 50's next week with some rain and wind. The blush is off the rose! Back to this morning... We're up doing our routine which mostly involves COFFEE, and our daily juicing. We began juicing at the end of September and are addicts. I'm sure that there is a large bare spot on earth now because of our own personal need for things that grow and have water in them. Seriously, I've always been a good, really good veggie eater. But never have I ever used as much produce since beginning to do this as we do now. We juiced, sucked down coffee, took care of the pooches, and headed out to a beach on the north side of Tybee with high expectations for the day. Easels were just set up, brushes about to be wet when the skies opened up enough to drive us off the open beach. We've discovered that these panels don't like getting wet.
Took it all home thinking we'd paint looking at our marsh from under the porch, then the rain stopped. We carried on, went off to paint albeit a little later than planned. Even with the delay, we both managed to get 4 paintings done the end. And the end was as gorgeous a sunset as we could ask for.
MH - 1/16/1 - Fast Morning
This is an ironic title considering the start. Loving the atmosphere at the beginning of this one, it changed so fast that most of the painting was painted from what I remember the scene to have been. We stood up on a boardwalk to paint so that we had a little more elevation. Just a different view point.
MH - 1/16/2 - Beach Greens
From the same location as the previous painting, I chose to use some of the low growing cedars that are in the next highest zone back from the dunes to make a composition. The dark shape is what intrigued me about it.
MH - 1/16/3 - January Life
Sitting on one of the jetties for the afternoon I found it sort of nice to relax, take in the absolute beauty of the day, and then try to paint that 'feeling' into what I was enjoying in front of me. Everything was bright, the light, the color, and people's moods. A couple of brothers from the west coast stopped by to chat, joke, and then took our picture. A rare photo of us not taken by us, but by someone else!
MH - 1/16/4 - Jetties
Last of the day painted looking to the SW and almost into the sun. The long lines that the jetties make, laying silent and steady in their bed of sand are interesting contrasts to the soft rising forms that the dunes are. There was a lot of complimentary color happening, yellows and grayed violets. A perfect ending...
Beach. 78 degrees in January. Sunshine. All day long to paint it. I'm not sure it gets much better. At least in my opinion. I have so loved these days of summer in the middle of January. This time of year, I'm just usually going through the motions. I don't do well with short days and no sunshine. Before I moved back to the beach, January and February and most of March seemed like endless days of dreary, gray or rainy weather. No light. No sun. It was good for getting work done in the studio but that was about it. I dreaded it every year for many, many years. I know there is a such a thing as "seasonal affective disorder". I'm not sure I had it but I definitely felt that depression that the lack of light causes. It's like a damper on your soul. Since moving back to my hometown, I haven't felt that feeling even on cloudy, rainy or foggy days because here even on those days there is always light. The sky is so big, you can always see light in some direction. You can see the movement and the change in the sky and it in turn, gives your soul a feeling of lightness. Every short winter day here, to me, is such a gift of light.
DTL - 1/16/1 - Soft Beginning
The last of the clouds were heading out to sea. The softness of all of the layers of clouds and the light from the sun illuminating the ocean created this wonderful mood. Lightness, warmth, peace and contentment. The perfect beginning to any day.
DTL - 1/16/2 - The Breakers Beyond
How quickly everything changes here. There is a saying "If you don't like the weather, wait 10 minutes and it will change". That pretty much sums it up. This was painted immediately after the painting above. The wind picked up as the tide started coming in and the sky brightened as the clouds moved out to sea. I loved all of the movement created by the dune grass and the breakers beyond. There seemed to be a lot of energy here, in what I would consider a pretty typical beach scene. We had a handful of visitors come by as I was painting this one, as well as a phone call from my youngest son reporting on his spring semester of college classes. A lot was going on.
It is ongoing effort, when you are outside painting to stay focused on your painting but also be able to engage in conversation with people interested in what you are doing. A lot of artists are unnerved by inquisitive people watching or taking pictures. And it can be distracting. But that is part of painting outside from life. The people walking by or stopping to talk are part of your painting. Even though they may not be technically painted in, they are in your painting in the bigger sense of things. Painting outside comprises all of the elements surrounding what you are painting. The conversations with people walking by, that gets into your painting as well. It adds to it...rounds out your experience and how you feel about where you are, what you see and who you meet. They add to the emotion of the moment.
DTL - 1/16/3 - In The Shallows
The tide was going out and I was struck by all of the color in the tide pools and the small wavelets around the rocks. I also liked the way the sand dipped down around them. When I was a child, there were lots of jetties on the beach. All man made and were usually long wooden beams, with spikes holding them all together, along with rocks piled up around them. The wood in the beams quickly became waterlogged and splintered and the spikes rusted. As a kid, you quickly learned to swim or body surf far enough away from the jetties that you didn't get swept toward one by a big wave. Although all of us that were in the ocean often enough, came away with some great story and a scar to go with it from a jetty encounter. Those jetties are long gone but some of the rocks remain. They are interesting to paint and the water that swirls around them is full of color and pattern.
DTL - 1/16/4 - Sandbar Breakers
The last painting of the day. It was almost 4:00 and I just couldn't bear to leave the beach. I wanted just one more hour to enjoy the light and the warmth. The tide had gone way out. There is a huge sandbar off of the south end and at dead low tide you can almost walk across to Little Tybee. The waves break quickly and rhythmically across the sandbar and there is such a nice pattern to it. The colors were rich, as they always are at the end of the day and it was just one of those afternoons and one of those paintings that makes you feel warm and happy inside.