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.
So today was Friday but in "workspeak" it was Monday. :) We have been in a great groove of painting this week. Not to say that we haven't had struggles here and there with paintings, or reptiles or weather but things were rolling along. Today... not so much. It wasn't a bad day, but it just felt disjointed and that affects painting. It was Senior Center day for mom today, which means we drop her off, drive somewhere and try and get a couple of paintings done before we pick her up. Today we checked out a couple of new spots but the wind was gusting about 30mph so we settled on a different spot that was out of the wind. It was a great place to paint but because we spent time scouting locations, we only had time to paint one painting each before we had to leave and pick up my mom. After we dropped mom off, it was 2pm. Now we were fighting the clock to get 2 more paintings done before sunset. Winds were still gusting so we decided to go home and paint the marsh behind our house. That would have been a great choice... not much wind but just like working from home, you have to deal with interruptions. Sometimes, it doesn't take much to throw you off course....
DTL - 1/17/1 - Marsh Oaks
This was a great idea. Or so I thought. We found a great spot to paint out of the worst of the wind but the sky was clear and the sun was blinding. There was a bridge to our left and marsh, creek and trees to our right. The problem was, the only subject to paint that was out of the glare of the sun was the bridge. And it really wasn't very paintable. All the great stuff meant either painting in full sun or putting our easels up agains the sunlight which, I have learned, my eyes don't like. Like I have mentioned before the glare leaves me struggling to see color accurately. But there seemed to be no other option so I set my easel up and got to work. The shadows initially were great on the oaks but as time passed they completely disappeared and flattened out. I painted what I remembered but once again, when I pulled it off the easel, the color and contrast was not what I thought I had painted. It evidently takes me more than half a month to learn a lesson. I just keep doing the same thing expecting different results. Some people would call that stubborn, or worse, I call it optimism :)
DTL - 1/17/2 - Grass Skirt
For the second painting, I was determined NOT to look into the sun or have the sun behind my canvas. The marsh would have been great but that meant I would be looking into the sun. No go. We have a natural area between us and our neighbors and there is a great little untrimmed palm that looks as though it has a grass skirt. There was a nice pattern of light on the fronds and I set up to paint. I had a different, much sketchier, looser painting in mind than what I ended up painting. Sometimes envisioning an idea of what you want to paint is a great thing. It gives you a plan. Sometimes it can backfire. That's what happened here. What I didn't take into account when I decided to paint the palm was that the wind was gusting. Duh!! Unlike a normal tree which goes back to its shape when the wind blows, a palm can completely change shape. One big frond twists and moves behind another or turns in upon itself. And then 15 minutes later the wind blows again and it rearranges itself once more. So after painting and wiping out and painting again, I abandoned my original idea and just painted the tree. All the while in the back of my mind, the clock is ticking.... and I still have one more painting to do.
DTL - 1/17/3 & 1/17/4 Sunset Shadows (diptych)
I had about an hour before there was no light to paint by. I wasn't sure what my first painting of the day looked like and I wasn't real sure the second one was viable either since I had painted it in such a crazy manner. So I decided to clip two panels together and paint a diptych... it makes total sense when you only have an hour to paint. Right?! I would have liked about another half an hour but I painted up until all my light was gone. There is a good bit of glare because it is so wet but I'm pretty happy with it, considering. AND, it was fun. Finally, a bigger canvas than 9"x12" :)
Some days...Today I felt like all of the lessons I've learned about painting vanished, blown away by the gusty winds that were whipping us and our easels around today. It was a great day for enjoying an incredibly bright sun and the warmth it enveloped us in. For whatever reason(s), my head was not focused on my job today. It happens, might be that after 16 days of doing this, my enthusiasm needed a little time out?! I don't know. As always, we had a great time being out doing our work, being together for another day. I just couldn't paint! I completed 2 pieces, had a 3rd one about done but was so unimpressed with what I was doing that I scraped it off and illustrated my personal impression of my day in a serious self portrait over it. After I de-"faced" it and was looking at this photo of it, I realized that the scraping had done a nice job of painting a painting! If only I'd resisted the urge to memorialize my mug...
MH - 1/17/1 - Edge Of The Moon
We took Dottie's mom to her day at the Senior Center this morning and decided to head down to Skidaway Island, and the Moon River (Perry Como) before heading back to pick her up in a few hours. A few hours should have been plenty of time to paint at least two pieces, and had it not been for a very windy morning, we might have done that. It was really tough to find anywhere that wasn't in the path of a very strong, easel and face beating wind. I painted this at our stop, along side of the Moon River Bridge. Light was high, bright, full face on the subject, washing out the color. Not a situation that would I normally choose to paint but did due to the wind. Painting is always a challenge, I was, and did add some more color combinations to my color vocabulary, so it was not a waste to paint it. Just not ideal.
MH - 1/17/2 - Sparkle Marsh
We returned to our house to paint after the lunch hour. There was a high tide, so our view of the marsh was a wet one. When I walked into the backyard to see what I wanted to do, I saw an interesting view to paint. It was a shimmering marsh, close valued colors that let the bright reflections coming off of the base of the marsh grasses shimmer against the grayed colors of the grasses and water. It's a great idea to paint, I will probably try it again on a larger scale. I wanted to paint it again, post high tide... the result is below.
MH - 1/17/3 - Self Portrait Of The Toddler Artist (at age 64-1/2)
Is exactly how I felt this afternoon painting this one. I think there was about 1/4" of paint on it, going NO where, when I decided to save others' eyes from serious damage, and scraped it off. But I was still thinking that I needed my daily three, oh...the pressure... so this became my first 'plein air' self portrait. I may do more.