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.
We're less than a week away from this incredible adventure we've been on, coming to a close. There's still a little over a dozen paintings for us to each paint in the next 5 days, but, and I know this is true for Dottie too, I'm really beginning to feel like I'm about to lose a glorious way to live each day. Being outside all day, sunrise to sunset, being tuned into nature's patterns, mostly wondering what that will be, every single day is breath giving! I feel so aware of my facilities as a painter, those technical and physical aspects of being a painter that if not kept in shape by the exercise that painting from life is, have the probability of becoming stagnant. Painting outside throws it all at you, weather, bugs, your own emotional and physical state, good and bad. In our case we chose a place(s) to paint each day, hoping that we'll find our ideas/inspiration/motivation for creating something that is unlike what we've done before. Each day we get to a point of simply being wiped out. A full day of standing up at an easel in the wind/sun/rain/bugs... takes a toll on you. But we paint on. Sometimes the most glorious feelings of the day are when we arrive first thing in the morning, then the difficulties of painting, the reasons not everyone is or can be a painter, arise and we push through them, followed by the end of the day when we sometimes say "Let's just capture the end of the day over the marsh!". So we set up and revel in what is in front of us, the glory of the sky is always in top form, we paint it and the simplicity of the marsh spread out before us. That's a beautiful ending, one that we have to find a way to continue as part of our day, even post A New Year, Two Views. Expect to see some large, 2ft to 4ft size canvases from us, painted from life, in the future. We've talked a lot about our desire to do that more, this little painting month has us realizing that we must do that! We've given our selves this gift, lasting a month, but will be with us for the rest of our lives. As special a time as we've had and are having, I'm so grateful that we decided to allow ourselves this special time together.
Thanks for following us along.
MH - 1/26/1 - Roots
I chose a close up of a large tree root base that had drifted up onto the mud and grass edge of the beach at Pulaski. These are all acrylics again, and will be from here on out. This gave me some fits until I stopped trying to paint all of the grass growing along this edge, and got back to painting shapes and patterns. It is beautiful grass, but it can't be successfully painted unless you find it's major patterned shapes and design. This one took me WAY too long. When I did finally approach it in a way that expressed the idea I had in the first place, I ended up with a piece that I am happy about. The spread of that root end of the tree trunk had a life, reaching out like a hand for a grip on the land that it originated from, but that through some act of nature in it's past, had been ripped away from before being sent on a watery voyage before landing here again.
MH - 1/26/2 - Dark Into Light
After spending so much time on the Roots piece above, I decided I had shake loose my painting muscles, do something that was more about big shapes and paint with a broad approach. I turned away from where I was looking and saw this treeline in it's back lit darkness, fronted by all of the palms, deadfall and other growth in front of it, holding sparkles of color and value. That's all I needed, so I painted it rather quickly. This is on a slightly coarser linen panel, acrylic primed, than I've been using. It seemed to work even better for me than the others do. It holds moisture in the depressions of the linen, holding the paint in a workable state longer.
MH - 1/26/3 - Scarlet Band
This was our end of the day painting spot, just outside the gate at Fort Pulaski. There were skies to be painted in every direction around us last night. A storm was moving across the marsh to the south, creating this scarlet band of light at the horizon that I tried to get into the painting before it all changed.
This month is like a countdown now. Only 7 more days to paint, then 6 and now 5. I have done 30 day painting challenges before, I think 7 of them. I've done a still life everyday for a month. I've done a medium to large painting everyday for a month. I've done the Strada challenge, doing one painting outside everyday for a month. And I've blogged about them. But I can honestly say I have never done anything like we have done this month. It has been life changing as a painter. But what has been really interesting is that in years past doing month long challenges, by mid month I was starting to dread every day. It became work and more about just sticking with it than getting something out of it. And I did learn a lot from those experiences. But this month, this has been consuming, exhausting, frustrating, invigorating and just so much fun. At the end of each day I am spent, mentally, emotionally and physically. And I can't wait to get up the next morning and do it all over again.
DTL - 1/26/1 - Windward
I really tried for a loose, simpler painting that just said what I was thinking and feeling about this. Nothing more. I tend to get caught up in rendering instead of painting sometimes. I come at it initially with a big idea and then somewhere toward the middle, I fall in love with the details. It was nice to enjoy just putting the paint down in this one and letting it be.
DTL 1/26/2 - Secluded Beach
For the second painting, my goal was to get out of the wind and find something to paint. I wandered around and found some palms to paint and set up my easel. Then as it is bound to do, the wind shifted. Suddenly I was in almost a whirlwind effect and I was struggling to get paint down and make sure my stuff wasn't blowing away. I decided to scrape it off and move somewhere else. I set up a second time in a little more sheltered area and started again. But frustration set in as the wind whipped the palms and I kept trying to nail down my composition. By this time my neck and shoulders were so stiff from bracing myself against the wind, that I was miserable. So I scraped it down for a second time and moved again. I have learned this month, that it is better for me to start over than to push through and try to force a painting that isn't working for whatever reason. This time I set up in the sun, in an area that had little wind, got a fresh panel and just worked on broad simple shapes and the light that was hitting the beach in the distance.
DTL - 1/26/3 - Sunburst
I was hoping for a crazy, colorful dramatic sunset when we set up to paint. Once again, I got a beautiful sunset but it was a quiet one. The sun peeking out from behind the clouds was blinding at times but I wanted to capture the sunburst effect that I was seeing. Sunsets are hard to paint en plein air. The light and the color change so fast, especially in the winter when it happens so much more quickly. You have to make a quick decision and just go with it. If I were in the studio painting what I saw, there are a lot of things about this that I would adjust to have a more finely developed painting. But out here, I don't have the luxury of a lot of time, I only have the luxury of the moment. Seeing it in all it's glory and putting down how it makes me feel.