Tuesday, January 21, 2020

January 20, 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.

Marc's Day

You may have noticed that this is coming to you on the morning of the 21st, not the evening of the 20th?!?!  Yesterday was a long day, it was windy, in the high 30's to low 40's, and we got a late start.  Finishing the day was a challenge for us both as we felt rushed to get the paintings done so that we could follow our plan to have all of this up the same evening. For all of you cold weather zone painters, I've been there but when I was, I had clothing.  We have flip flops... ok, a few more items than that.  When I moved my things here last year, I donated all but a few cold weather clothing items to Goodwill, not planning to need them for my daily life.  I'll admit, I was chilly yesterday!  

We both wanted to undertake this month of painting for our own personal reasons, but what we did not want to do was have this part of it, the evening's work of about 4 hours of photographing, editing, writing blogs, IG and website information, to become more important than the painting itself.   

Simply put, we've let that begin to happen.  We're ignoring some gorgeous painting time at the end of these shortened winter days in order to get home to do all that.  So from now on, unless we just have all kinds of extra time at the end of a day, we'll be posting the day's work the following morning.  I'll still be photographing and editing at night, but we'll save the writing for fresh, coffee infused minds, in the mornings.  

Thanks for your patience and understanding. :-)

MH - 1/20/1 - Backwater
A cold, windy morning had us looking for somewhere sunny that had some blocking from the gusty winds.  We headed to Whitemarsh Preserve, a beautiful chunk of land that is covered in huge pines, magnolias and a little bit of swampy ground.  We painted the swampy portion as seen in this one.  Our light was changing fast, shadows roaming all over the place.  I picked this little clump of 'stuff' that was highlighted with some nice long, horizontal shadows to compliment the upright thrust of the clump.  Of course the ever present palmettos were all around us too, they give this landscape great life, a staccato sort of accent. 

MH - 1/20/2 - Cold Warmth
After the morning's more complicated composition, I wanted to find one that let me relax a little bit.  It was getting colder and windier as our day was winding down.  Then, like I mentioned in my opening comments, I became a little frantic about getting anything down at all, and that's not what painting is to me.  Out on Spanish Hammock on Tybee for these last two pieces, I stopped on the trail in the woods and picked one that was even more complex and too close to me.  But I painted anyway, thinking that this one too would end up as a toner for another painting session, and maybe it should be still.

MH - 1/20/3 - Sun Down
Following that last one, I felt I needed to just say "WTF" and paint more freely.  I walked out onto the point of land that Dottie was painting hers on to see the sun setting.  I painted this one in about 15 minutes, the reflection of the last of our sun settling into the marsh, our bones shaking, the cool of the evening sent us home. 

Dottie's Day

Yesterday was a turning point for me.  I realized as I was scraping my second painting off that I had slipped down the rabbit hole of old habits. Over the last week, I have had some paintings that I really enjoyed and I have had some that I fought a battle with.  A big, losing battle.  
Last night, after a particularly hard painting day, we discussed what was taking us both off course....and for me, sometimes off the rails.  I set out this month with my head in a different place and a different goal in mind.  And in the pace of the days that we have set before us, it became more about getting a painting finished, than about the painting itself.  It is interesting how we can so quickly go off course.  I felt it though, while I was out there, especially yesterday.  It wasn't the cold or the wind that threw me off.  It was me.  
Today is a new day.  And I will be all about staying the course for the next 10 days.  No more painting to just to finish my quota for the day.  I will once again be trying to connect with the magic out there.  And if the painting doesn't get finished or the composition isn't stellar, that is ok with me.  I want to experiment more to try to get where I want to be.  That is the important thing.  That is what I am out there to do.

DTL - 1/20/1 - Winter Moss
I enjoyed parts of this painting.  There were these little trees in the corner of the swampy area that were covered in moss.  There also was so much fabulous stuff in the water below.  The reflections and color were amazing.  I started out putting everything in.  Fitting it all together like pieces of a crazy puzzle.  That part was so much fun.  But I succumbed to "creating a painting".  I took all the crazy out of the water and the background and made it about the moss and the trees.  I took the safe route and in doing so took all the fun for myself out of it too.  That's that rabbit hole I was talking about.  After this painting, I painted a second one which was so far down the rabbit hole that it is now a lovely toned board.  And as I was scraping all the paint off the second one, I knew I had turned fun into work.  

DTL - 1/20/2 - Yellow Sky & 1/20/3 - Halo
I headed for the only source of light, the setting sun.  I didn't have a lot of time left.  I just wanted to get the bones of what was going on in front of me, down.  The feeling.  At this point, the day was over and it was just about putting paint on the canvas.  No time to make it pretty.  These were two quick color studies, but they have way more personality and vibrance than the first painting. That is what I want more of.  


debstamp said...

Absolutely LOVE your last two paintings of this day, Dottie. When I initially saw one of them on the home page (latest works) I thought who did this? :-) There's an energy and life to both of them that is palpable. Stunning. Bravo to you both for sticking it out on these challenging days.

Antje Bednarek said...

Dear Dottie, dear Marc, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and feelings and adventures with your paintings on this site. I find myself walking through my daily life here in Germany seeing so many things with different eyes, thinking once more as I did years ago (but somehow discarded at some point for whatever reason) "my everyday surroundings ARE beautiful, I knew it!" And ever more often I find myself seeing little paintings-to-be in my familiar views. 'Tis because I feel so encouraged and inspired by your endeavour and words. Thank you for that! And best of fun for the next ten days, you lucky ones :) Antje.