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.
Sunshine! Warm Sunshine!! There is nothing like it. I woke up battling a neckache/headache and we were slow to get out and started because of it. Carrying a backpack and painting everyday causes my shoulder and neck muscles to get knotted up. I have a heating pad that has become my best friend that I use in the mornings while I write this and in the evenings when we get home. It wraps around my neck and shoulders like a cape and is such a fabulously attractive accessory but I have no pride. LOL! I have a massage scheduled for February 1st to start getting all the kinks worked out and I can't wait to see Debbe and let her do her magic. Painting is such a physical thing. The repetitive motions and the standing involved can really wreck your body. Exercise along with everything else has taken a backseat to painting this month. February will be a month to get back on track.
We headed to Ft. Pulaski again, to a more deserted part of the beach there. I love the wildness of the coastline in its more natural state. That is part of the reason for painting this series of paintings. The coast is such a beautifully self-sustaining place. But people, in our love to visit it or live near it, damage what is so wonderful about it. We destroy the fragile system that keeps everything working. Yesterday as we walked along, there were gatorade bottles and chip bags littered among the grasses and oyster shells. People come to be near the beauty and then destroy that beauty by leaving trash behind. I will never understand that mentality. My mother would say, they weren't raised right. Today, we are heading back out there to paint, but with a trash bag.
DTL - 1/25/1,2 - Drift Away
Painting outside for almost a month, you discover things about yourself. I struggle with painting on this smaller format because I think big. I see the landscape and want to paint big and sweeping. Not simple and appropriate for the small canvas I have with me. I really have to focus to zoom in and find a simpler idea. As you can see, I didn't do that in this one. hahaha! The driftwood abounds here, big skeletons of trees from who knows where, come to rest in the grasses, until the next storm washes them out to sea or pushes them to another place. Such a great story and it fuels my imagination as I paint. I wanted to capture this large piece of driftwood in front of me surrounded by the beautiful black needle grass. But I also thought I needed the sweeping background of the coastline behind it. It was my first painting of the day and I indulged myself in all the color and texture in front of me. I will be back soon with a much larger canvas.
DTL - 1/25/3 - Wild Thing
For my last painting, I tried to narrow my focus. I am always drawn to the tangle of old trees and vines and I liked the way this old straggly cedar was backlit by the sun. I was really happy with where it was headed, midway through painting it. It had a really nice abstract feel to it. Then the late afternoon glare hit. So many things were reflecting in the wet paint that I was really struggling to see what I was doing. I ended up having to scrape it a couple of times because of the glare and lost what I loved about it in the first place. I ended up rendering the tangle of old branches and then just had to stop and finish the painting because the park was closing. I learned some things though, with this one and look forward to trying again today.
I'll just start by saying that after the last few days (after the recent no flip-flops or shorts sort of day), yesterday was brilliant! In many ways, but mostly due to the blue-bird, cloudless skies and being on the shore at the Fort Pulaski National Monument park. It's no secret, to me anyway, and to Dottie, that I'm not a fan of clear blue skies for painting. For beaching, skiing, even fishing, I love them. When out painting I like a sky that is challenging my existence as the minuscule being I am. Storms, active clouds, fog, even severe skies... all more interesting visually. But oh well...
We really love to go Ft Pulaski, for any reason. Painting it is nice because of the natural beauty, and all of the topographical and textural variety that it has. Part of the park is closed right now because they're cleaning up storm damage from Hurricane Irma. So we snuck around a back "way" to get to this spot that we painted. We were all set up working when to our east, on the beach we didn't think we could access, we see that there are people and dogs out walking!!! We didn't have to forge any unknown, unnavigable waters or swamps to get where we were, just a few pockets of cedars and palmettos, but it was more of a walk than it would have been if we'd known we could be where all of them were. Today is another gorgeous one, so we'll probably head back over.
MH - 1/25/1&2 - Sun and Silence
(Below are some close ups showing details of the way I work in acrylic.)
This is a diptych but using the 9x12 boards vertically, creating a 12x18 painting. It feels good to work larger than the smaller format we've been working in. Aside from the gorgeous color of this subject, I loved the angle of the wind blown and tidal influenced trees against the log coming in on a diagonal, on the left. That counter force to the main thrust of everything else in the composition has a dynamic element to it that helps enforce the leaning left of everything else. But the big reason I wanted to paint this one was the range of beautiful deep darks to the light value grays, a full palette of value and color to work with. The title of the painting, Sun and Silence, is about how I felt being there, in that spot, at that time.
I've included these blown up detail shots to show how this acrylic is looking on the surface I'm working on, the fine linen surface of the Centurion Universal primed boards. These are great panels for the acrylic work. They take the paint beautifully, allow enough detail for my way of painting, but not so much texture that it interferes with what I'm doing. If Creative Mark, who makes these panels, could get their saw set up right so that they're All the same size, not off by 1/8" or so from panel to panel, we'd like them even more. For the price, hard to beat!
DetailOne thing about the Golden Open paints that is an advantage, is at the same time, a drawback. I would have liked to lay a wash of a warm orange or red over that area of the tree trunks above, and then to have been able to come back into it with sky in order to create a little bit of a warm halo of a glow in that area. I saw it there, but couldn't because, believe it or not, these acrylics don't dry fast enough to be able to do that for an hour or two. That's the good part.
MH-1/25/3 - Slack Tide
After all of the complication of my first two panels, for the third one I decided I wanted to give my eyes a break and paint something a little less taxing in it's complexity. I turned around and painted the shore looking towards Tybee Island. The lighthouse is in the background, something that might seem trite, but if you're there, it's there and has been for a long time and shouldn't be ignored in my opinion. I thought it was a nice break to the vertical of the horizon, one reason for it being in my painting! This is the time when the tide is out, hasn't started returning, there's no movement. A great time for GNATS, and other biting insects, but we were spared! We do have plenty of 'NO NATZ' spray on hand at all times. I'll be honest, yes there have been times since I've lived here and been out painting or fishing, that the gnats were annoying. But so far, it's never been anything that a little defensive spray wouldn't tackle. We're off again on a beautiful Sunday morning! Thanks for reading along, see you tomorrow morning.